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Famous British Actors #7

UK Orlando Bloom DONE 3:17:13

Orlando Bloom was born on January 13, 1977, in Canterbury, England, where he grew up with his sister Samantha.

His mother encouraged her children to incorporate the arts into their lives, and subsequently, he took part in regional theater in his youth. He moved to London and joined the National Youth Theatre at the age of 16, and then attended the British American Drama Academy. This training led to parts on British television and his film debut in 1997. He then continued his training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, during which time he performed regularly in stage productions.

Did you know this? --> While attending Guildhall, he had an almost-crippling accident when he fell three stories from a terrace, trying to cross between two buildings with friends, and broke his back! Though doctors feared that he wouldn't walk again at age 21, he was able to gradually recover after intensive surgery and therapy. Today, the actor remains mindful of his back and core, and is so very thankful that he has his health again.

On the positive side though, days before his graduation, he was cast in the fantasy trilogy of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. After garnering (to gather or collect) a noted role in ‘Black Hawk Down’, another big part was on the horizon ...

In 2003, he starred as the sensitive Will Turner in the Disney action/adventure ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’, alongside Keira Knightley and Johnny Depp. This marked another huge world blockbuster under his belt, and would go on to star in the next two sequels of the franchise: ‘Dead's Man Chest’ and ‘At World's End’.

He continued doing period work, playing Paris in the 2004 film ‘Troy’, the leading man in two films ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and ‘Elizabethtown’ in 2005, and then in the 2006 thriller ‘Haven’ with Zoe Saldana (which he also co-produced).

Another cape-and-sword opportunity arose for him when he was cast in the 2011 update of ‘The Three Musketeers’. Then he returned to his role as Greenleaf for portions of ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy, released in December 2012: ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’.

In his spare time (if he ever has any ;-) he enjoys mountain bike riding and yoga, and even once set voyage as a crewmember on a ship to Antarctica! He is also a practicing Buddhist and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

On a more personal note, he married Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr in 2010. Keep your eye on this young and talented actor ~

Check-in this coming week for more study-help hints . . .

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Famous British Actors #5 -> Harry Potter

UK Daniel Radcliffe

Have you heard of “HARRY POTTER” by any chance? ~ ha ha ~

Daniel Radcliffe’s parents initially refused to let him audition for the role, but a chance meeting with ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone’ director Christ Columbus led to an audition. After the audition, everyone involved with the film agreed that Daniel would make the perfect Harry ~ and the rest we all know ...

Since achieving international stardom for his work in the Harry Potter films, from the best-sellers by J.K. Rowling, that ended in 2011, the young actor is establishing himself as more than just a wizard-in-training.

He actually made his acting debut in the 1999 television movie ‘David Copperfield’, playing the young version of the title character. He soon landed a role on the big screen in 2001's spy thriller ‘The Tailor of Panama’ with Pierce Brosnan and Jamie Lee Curtis. But even before this film's release, he was cast as Harry Potter and a new era began ~

The eight-film series spanned more than a decade of his life, and the films actually show him growing up from a teen to a young man.

With the final film came some sad good-byes. He had to put his most famous character to rest and at an interview said this about Harry Potter:

"It's very rare in your career that you get to play an action hero. I'm not the natural frame and stature of an action hero, so I may not get to play one again."

In his work outside of ‘Harry Potter’, he has strived to break away from his best-known role, with some comedy and being on the Broadway stage, as well.

This continued in his first 'mature film role' after Harry Potter, and in 2012 starred in the gothic horror thriller ‘The Woman in Black’. He played a widowed lawyer and father who gets mixed up in some disturbing supernatural trouble. And in an even different realm, he also hosted the popular comedy show ‘Saturday Night Live’ that same year.

So he is very much someone to keep your eyes on and live history with ~

See you tomorrow ...

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Famous British Actors #4

Sir Alec Guinness DONE 3:14:13

Sir Alec Guinness ~ a man of many parts

Born in 1914, in Paddington, London, Sir Alec Guinness was one of England’s best actors. He has appeared in so many films that this page is not long enough to list them all (see link below).

Starting on the stage, being in numerous Ealing Comedies, including ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’, to later winning an Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Colonel Nicholson in ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’, and Prince Feisal in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. He was an incredibly talented British actor, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1960 for his amazing accomplishments for the country.

Younger fans remember him best when he portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy.

Read more about his biography ~

See you tomorrow ...

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Famous British Actors #3

UK Sean Connery DONE 3:13:13

Thomas Sean Connery was born on August 25, 1930 in Fountainbridge, Scotland. In the 1950s, he was cast in numerous films and television programs. In the early 1960s, he landed the lead role in James Bond. After Bond, he continued to work regularly in film, and eventually won an Oscar in 1987.

Known as "Tommy" during his youth, he grew up on the streets playing tag or soccer and causing rips in his short trousers that his mother was always patching. The local gangs called him "Big Tam" because of his size. He attended Tollcross Elementary School and amazed his teachers with his lightening-quick mathematical aptitude. From the day he could read, he read every comic book he could get his hands on and dreamed up his own imaginative tales of Martians and madmen. Even then, he had a fascination with film: "I would play hooky and go to Blue Halls, the local movie house, to watch the pictures" he recalled.

At age 13, he quit school to work full time at the local dairy. Three years later, he joined the Royal Navy, and like all good sailors, he got two tattoos on his arm, which he still bears today: MUM AND DAD and SCOTLAND FOREVER. Unfortunately, the artwork lasted longer than his naval career. Though he signed up for a seven-year stint, he was released from service after three years due to stomach ulcers.

He then did several local jobs and for months he saved every shilling to become a member of the Dunedin Weightlifting Club. "It was not so much to be fit but to look good for the girls" he once admitted.

The local ladies were impressed—but so were his fellow gym mates, who nominated him for the Mr. Universe contest. So, in 1953, he travelled the nine hours to London, where the competitions were held. He boldly introduced himself to the contest judges as "Mr. Scotland", and flexing the muscles on his 6-foot 2-inch frame, he was chosen third in the tall men's division and given a medal. But that wasn't all ~ a local casting director liked the hammy Scottish kid and asked him to join the chorus of a new musical, “South Pacific”, playing on Drury Lane, in London's theatre district. "I didn't have a voice and couldn't dance" he admitted. "But I could look good standing there."
One rehearsal was all it took: "I decided then and there to make acting my career." He chose the stage name "Sean Connery" because Sean, besides being his middle name, reminded him of his favourite movie hero, Shane. "It seemed to go more with my image than Tom or Tommy" he recalled. "Sean Connery" was listed as a chorus member in the “South Pacific” program.

When that contract was up, he had another stroke of luck ~ producers Harry Saltzman and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli cast him as the lead in a spy film based on one of a series of Ian Fleming novels, “Dr. No” — and Bond, James Bond, was born. The film was hugely successful and had immediate sequels almost every year: ‘Never Say Never Again’, ‘From Russia with Love’ and ‘Goldfinger’. Then ‘Thunderball’, ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ and ‘You Only Live Twice’ followed.

After Bond, he continued to work regularly starring in numerous films ~ here are a few: “The Man Who Would Be King”, “Robin and Marian”, “The Great Train Robbery”, “Time Bandits”, “The Name of the Rose”, “The Untouchables”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, “The Hunt for Red October”, “Medicine Man”, “The Rock”, “The Avengers”, “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, “First Knight”, “Dragonheart”, “Entrapment”, “Finding Forrester” and in 2003 “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” but to name a few - ha ha.

He's been called "the rogue with the brogue", and at almost 60 years of age in 1989, was named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive."

In 1999, he received a Kennedy Centre Honour for Lifetime Achievement, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000.

After decades in the spotlight, he still remains a street-smart, self-made man who never apologises, and time doesn't seem to have mellowed him. Sir Sean Connery, with his charm, sex appeal, and trademark braggadocio (boastful or arrogant behaviour), credits none other than himself for his success and longevity. But he acknowledges a debt to his fans as well;

"But if people hadn't liked what I was doing, I'd probably be delivering milk today—and I never forget that.”

More great reading (and learning) tomorrow ...

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Famous British Actors #2 -> "007"

UK Daniel Craig

BOND -> Probably his most popular actors are: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and the present Daniel Craig ~ who is YOUR favourite?

"007" needs more than a whole week to tell you about the amazing history this film-series has, but here's a little about Daniel ...

The present day Bond is Daniel Craig ~ born on March 2, 1968, in Chester, England. He moved to London when he was 16 to join the National Youth Theatre. His film debut was in ‘The Power of One’ and he featured in the BAFTA-winning BBC miniseries ‘Our Friends in the North’, too. He also worked with Steven Spielberg on the film, ‘Munich’, and then in 2006 took on the role of James Bond in ‘Casino Royale’ ~ the rest is history (for now ;-) ...

He grew up near Liverpool and enjoyed going to the theatre with his mother and sisters. Many of his mother's friends were actors, and he felt drawn to the profession. After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, his film debut was in ‘The Power of One’ - a 1950s drama set in South Africa. After that he won several major awards for his work on television, including two British Academy Television Awards, four Royal Television Society Awards and two Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. Impressive roles continued to happen, as he starred with people like Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and even with Paul Newman.

Around the time in 2005 when he played an Israeli agent in the Spielberg film ‘Munich’, rumours had begun to swirl about him becoming the next actor to play the role of the legendary spy James Bond.
Fans, who were used to previous Bonds played by Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan, objected to having him be the part. Many felt he was too blond or too old, however he believed it was a great opportunity, and agreed to a five-film contract.

"When I accepted the job to work on Bond, I genuinely did it to change my life. I knew that it would flip everything on its head... I've never made movies for money—I've always made them because I truly wanted to do them." he explained.

Proving the sceptics wrong, he helped make Bond history with 2006's ‘Casino Royale’. He helped reinvigorate the long-running film franchise with his modern take on Bond, described by one critic as "a noble thug." ‘Casino Royale’ became the highest-grossing Bond film to date, earning $594 million worldwide. He starred as 007 in the next instalment, ‘Quantum of Solace’ in 2008, another box-office hit, followed by the 2012 Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'.

Read more fun things about James Bond; his cars, gadgets, women, enemies ... here

Look forward to some more exciting history tomorrow ~

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