Years ago, when I was still on Twitter, I saw someone rhetorically ask, "Since when did children of celebrities think they could be pop stars?" He was referring to Miley Cyrus, I guess, but I replied to him and said, "Since Ricky Nelson." We've come a long way from Ozzie and Harriet and their son's teen idol days; now the… read more!
Lists of Nine with Keyword "celebrities" (most recent at top)
My big project for the past 8 months – and very well for the next 8 years – is something I'm calling L.A. Street Names. It's a forthcoming website and app about the name origins of streets throughout Los Angeles County. Naturally, some of these streets' namesakes are celebrities, but not nearly as many as one might think. (Someone recently… read more!
This is the most random of lists, I know. My mind has been preoccupied with a big, non-film-related project lately, and I've been neglecting my Lists of 9. At any rate, Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche is renowned for her European elegance and charm. As such, it's no surprise to see her cast opposite elegant and charming Europeans like Daniel Day-Lewis… read more!
The entertainment world is filled with stage names, from Joan Crawford (née Lucille LeSueur) to Lady Gaga (née Stefani Germanotta). For this list, I chose those actors who, unlike Maurice Micklewhite (a.k.a. Michael Caine) and Frances Gumm (a.k.a. Judy Garland), could have easily worked under their birth names – if only it weren't for other actors already having those names,… read more!
It's an old showbiz tradition: make a name for yourself in your home country, do noteworthy work in a movie that scores US distribution, and Hollywood will soon come calling. It does say something about the American film industry that it has always been relatively open to immigrant talent. But those big breaks don't always pan out for the stars,… read more!
Some actors are born to play certain roles. So much so that they'll be cast as the same person in two entirely different movies – and I'm not talking about sequels, spinoffs, remakes, or cameos in which they spoof themselves. Read this list and you'll see what I mean. IAN HART as John Lennon. Mainstream moviegoers know Hart as the… read more!
My wife and I have been semi-regulars at Hollywood's Musso & Frank Grill for a decade now. 2019 has been a banner year for the restaurant: the oldest in Hollywood, Musso's turns 100 this year, and it also serves as a key location in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. On a sadder note, Musso's most famous bartender… read more!
In the old days, a biographical motion picture – biopic, for short – would cover its subject's life from cradle to grave, emphasis on grave. Yet there have also been countless biopics made while their subjects were very much alive: W., The Queen, What's Love Got to Do with It, I, Tonya, and so forth. In rare, awkward instances, the… read more!
Lots of famous people were born and/or raised in San Francisco: Joe DiMaggio, O.J. Simpson, Danny Glover, Courtney Love, Margaret Cho, and so on. But you won't find any notable names when you Google the phrase "lifelong San Franciscan". In true California spirit, the people most associated with the City by the Bay either came from elsewhere to make their fortune,… read more!
Middle names are mutable things. Without going too deeply into my own biography – because we'd be here all day – my middle name Tapio is actually my father's surname, and it was mine too at birth. Technically, I've had three different middle names in my life. And my wife changed hers after we got married; now she's a Tapio… read more!
Recently I saw a production of Shakespeare's Henry IV with none other than Tom Hanks playing Falstaff. He was very funny, and it was moving to see this huge star, whom I'd admired since Bosom Buddies in 1980, perform before my very eyes. 38 years in, Hanks's career is still going strong. Yet 38 years isn't 50 years, which made me wonder:… read more!
It's breathtaking to think that there was once serious talk of making a film out of Catcher in the Rye – with none less than J.D. Salinger starring as Holden Caulfield. Can you imagine? Of course, this never came to pass. But these nine other writers did succeed at getting in front of a camera and playing a character other than themselves.… read more!
When a celebrity dies young, you can't help but wonder: What would have happened had they lived? This "alternate reality" list, half research and half speculation, attempts to answer that question for nine dead movie stars. My only criteria: they had to be under 50, they had to be at the peak of their careers, and they had to die… read more!
I turn 48 today. I am frequently told that I do not look my age. That's nice, but truthfully, the late 40s look wildly different on men. (Compare 47-year-old Wilford Brimley in 1982's The Thing to 47-year-old Ewan McGregor today.) Lots of guys look, talk, and/or carry themselves more maturely than I do, and yet they are my juniors. Here are nine… read more!
Some time ago, I published a list about nine non-actor entertainers who were each given exactly one Hollywood starring vehicle. This list expands the idea a little, as I've found a number of additional films – many made outside the studio system – that attempted to give big-screen breaks to various celebrities. So here are nine more famous names with… read more!
You have no idea how many famous people use stage names, pseudonyms, noms de plume, etc. until you start researching a list like this, which is about the exact opposite: noteworthy performers with improbable birth names. As there are so many to choose from, I'm being a stickler and not including anyone who changed their name in marriage (e.g., Loretta… read more!
One of the most enduring criticisms of Hollywood movies has been the age disparity between their romantic leads, with a male star often old enough to be his on-screen paramour's father. Things have improved: Chris Pratt, 37, wooed Jennifer Lawrence, 26, in last year's Passengers; compare that to 50-year-old Gary Cooper marrying 22-year-old Grace Kelly in High Noon or James Stewart romancing the quarter-century-younger Kim Novak in Vertigo. Ick!… read more!
Traditionally, an actor becomes a movie star either after a slow ascent from minor roles to bigger ones (see: Harrison Ford, Sandra Bullock), or with a hell of a debut (see: Edward Norton, Julie Andrews). The actors on this list, however, all had potential breakthroughs: large or memorable parts in heavily-promoted studio features. Yet for one reason or another, those… read more!
I'm not blasé about celebrity sightings. It's one of the fun things about living in Los Angeles; even stars go nuts over seeing each other. And while through the years I have seen many famous people working on movie sets or at premieres, or socializing at bars and restaurants, sometimes I catch them doing the sort of quotidian things you wouldn't expect to see the rich and… read more!
It was recently announced that Mick Jagger was about to sire his eighth child. Provided that he and baby both survive, this will make the Rolling Stone a new dad at 73. This news got me searching for other famous elderly fathers, and I found many lists citing men over 50. Pshaw! Here is the definitive list of history's very oldest celebrity dads. Accept no imitations. Charlie Chaplin, 73. Chaplin was notorious… read more!