Archives for : February2014

VINCENT MINNELLI:Happy Birthday!(February 28, 1903 – July 25, 1986)

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VINCENT MINNELLI An American stage director and film director, famous for directing such classic movie musicals as Meet Me in St. Louis, The Band Wagon, and An American in Paris.
In addition to having directed some of the most famous and well-remembered musicals of his time, Minnelli made many comedies and melodramas.He was married to Judy Garland from 1945 until 1951; they were the parents of Liza Minnelli.

The first movie that he directed, Cabin in the Sky (1943), was visibly influenced by the theater. Shortly after that, he directed Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), during which he fell in love with the film’s star, Judy Garland.
The two had first met on the set of Strike Up the Band (1940), a Busby Berkeley film for which Minnelli was asked to design a musical sequence performed by Garland and Mickey Rooney.

The two began a courtship that eventually led to their marriage in June 1945. Their one child together, Liza Minnelli, grew up to become an Academy Award-winning singer and actress. The Minnelli family is thus unique in having father, mother and child who all won Oscars.

Though widely known for directing musicals, including An American in Paris (1951), Brigadoon (1954), Kismet (1955), and Gigi (1958), he also directed comedies and melodramas, including Madame Bovary (1949), Father of the Bride (1950), Designing Woman (1957) and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963).

His last film was A Matter of Time (1976). During the course of his career he directed seven different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Spencer Tracy, Gloria Grahame, Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Arthur Kennedy, Shirley MacLaine and Martha Hyer. Grahame and Quinn won Oscars for their performances in one of Minnelli’s movies. He received an Oscar nomination as Best Director for An American in Paris (1951) and later won the Best Director Oscar for Gigi (1958).

He was awarded France’s highest civilian honor, the Commander Nationale of the Legion of Honor, only weeks before his death in 1986.
Minnelli’s critical reputation has known a certain amount of fluctuation, being admired (or dismissed) in America as a “pure stylist” who, in Andrew Sarris’ words, “believes more in beauty than in art.”

His work reached a height of critical attention during the late 1950s and early 1960s in France with extensive studies in the Cahiers du Cinéma magazine, especially in the articles by Jean Douchet and Jean Domarchi, who saw in him a cinematic visionary obsessed with beauty and harmony, and an artist who could give substance to the world of dreams.

Minnelli served as a juror at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival. The MGM compilation film That’s Entertainment! showed clips from many of his films.

 

Angela & Fania Davis: Sister, Sister!

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Angela Davis & her sister Fania Davis Jordan.  Then & Now!

Ms. Mavis Staples:Stax Princess!

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Be sure to join us at the Stax Museum tomorrow for a book signing for the new bio out on Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers! Author Greg Kot will be with us f…rom 2 – 5 pm. More details at link below!
http://www.staxmuseum.com/events/calendar/view/book-signing-for-i-ll-take-you-there-mavis-staples

Rae Dawn Chong: Happy Birthday!

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Rae Dawn Chong  is best known for her roles in the films Quest for Fire (1981), The Color Purple (1985), and Commando (1985). She has become a naturalized United States citizen.
Chong was born in 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the first daughter of Maxine Sneed and Tommy Chong.

Canadian and Cherokee descent her sister Robbi Chong is a model and actress. sister by their father’s second wife. brother Marcus Chong have pursued acting careers.

Chong says that her grandfather left a poor village China in the 1930s to live with an aunt in Canada and although he spoke Cantonese he refused to teach his children or grandchildren. “I think my grandfather had great racial shame, which was hard on us growing up,” says Chong. “We grew up desperate to know anything about our Chinese culture.”

After acting in a few television roles, Chong’s second feature film was Quest for Fire (1981), for which she won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1983.
Other notable roles have been in the films Choose Me (1984), Beat Street (1984), The Color Purple (1985), Commando (1985). She appeared with her father in Cheech & Chong’s The Corsican Brothers (1984), and Far Out Man (1990).
Her most active period in films was during the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. She has continued working in television and film. She was considered for the role of Anne Lindsey in Highlander: The Series.
Chong played the love interest in Mick Jagger’s video “Just Another Night”.

Mr .Richard Street (October 5th, 1942-February, 27th 2013)

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Mr. Brian Jones:( February, 28th 1942-July, 3rd 1969)

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Bubba Smith: Happy Birthday! (February 28, 1945 – August 3, 2011)

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Bubba Smith is An American professional football player who became an actor after his retirement from the sport. American honors as a defensive end on the Spartans football team.
He had a major role in a 10–10 draw with Notre Dame in 1966 that was billed as “The Game of the Century.” He was one of only three players to have his jersey number retired by the program. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988.

He played nine years in the National Football League (NFL) with the Baltimore Colts (1967–1971), Oakland Raiders (1973–1974) and Houston Oilers (1975–1976). The first selection of the 1967 NFL Draft, he was the Colts’ starting left defensive end for five seasons who played in Super Bowls III and V, the latter with the winning side. He was named to two Pro Bowls and was a First-Team All-Pro in 1971.

Despite being 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 meters) tall and weighing 265 pounds (120.20 kilograms), his tremendous speed and quickness usually caused him to draw two blockers.
During his acting career, he mainly specialized in comedic roles in films, television advertisements and programs. For about a decade following his retirement from football, he appeared in various commercials for Miller Lite. His best-known role was as Moses Hightower in the first six Police Academy movies.

Smith spent nine seasons in the NFL as a defensive end. He was the first overall selection in the 1967 NFL draft, chosen by the Baltimore Colts. The Colts won Super Bowl V at the end of the 1970 season, earning Smith his only Super Bowl ring. However, in interviews, Smith stated that he would never wear the ring, as it was seen as a “sloppy” game by many. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders before the 1972 season, and finished his career with the Houston Oilers. He was selected All-Pro one year, All-Conference two years, and went to two Pro Bowls.

After leaving professional football, Smith began his acting career in small movie and television roles in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is perhaps best known for his role as Moses Hightower in the Police Academy movie series, a role he reprised in all but one of the Police Academy sequels.

Bubba appeared in the 1982 TV film Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story. He was Arnold the driver in the 1983 movie Stroker Ace that cast stars such as Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Jim Nabors, and Loni Anderson. He was a supporting character in the 1981 – 1982 flop Open All Night. He appeared in two episodes of the hit television series Married… with Children, once as the character “Spare Tire” Dixon and in a later episode as himself.

He was the long time spokesman of Baltimore-area law firm Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg. Smith starred in the short-lived television series Blue Thunder, partnering with Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive star Dick Butkus, with whom he frequently costarred in advertisements for Miller Lite beer. Smith also appeared in Tales of the Gold Monkey, in the episode called “God Save the Queen”, along with fellow actor James Avery. He appeared on Good Times as Claude, a bodyguard/thug working for Marion “Sweet Daddy” Williams.

He also appeared on an episode of The Odd Couple; when asked by Oscar Madison what his most embarrassing moment was, he replied, “When my mother named me ‘Bubba'”. Smith appeared in a 1982 Episode of Taxi(Season 4 Episode 19) where Smith’s character played a football player trying to get back into the NFL after being cut.

He inspired Tony, played by Tony Danza to train hard enough to earn his license back as a boxer. He also appeared on the Hit tv show, Macgyver ‘ Season 7, Episode 10 ‘.

Tasha and Sidra Smith:Happy Birthday!

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Dexter Gordon: Happy Birthday! (February 27, 1923 – April 25, 1990)

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Sandrina vs. Gabby: Groupie Vs. Groupie!

 

 

Screen-shot-2014-02-27-at-10_37_14-AMSandrina Schultz claims she dated D. Wade while he was still with ex-wife Siovaughn and also had a relationship with Lamar Odom during his marriage to Khloe Kardashian. She says women who marry athletes should know when they get in these relationships that infidelity comes with the package!

Tyler Perry: Black Men Unit!

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On Wednesday, February 26, Tyler Perry and ESSENCE hosted a star-studded affair to celebrate a spectacular year for Black men on the silver screen.

 

The event applauded the work of Spike Lee, Malcolm Lee (The Best Man), Tyler Perry and Sidney Poitier—who received the evening’s Legend award.

 

The dinner was truly a first of its kind bringing together a robust group of talent, including Omar Epps, Blair Underwood, Shemar Moore, David Oyelowo, Salim Akil, Harold Perrineau, Terry Crews, Terrence J, DeVon Franklin and more.

 

“I’m so happy that so many people are getting an opportunity to tell their stories, because there’s so much room for everybody’s story,” said co-host Tyler Perry. “That’s why I wanted to do this, I wanted to celebrate all of us and have us all here breaking bread together.”

 

Tracee Ellis Ross presented the awards to the night’s three honorees, who all gave moving speeches.

 

“I never in my life had such a warm reception,” said Sidney Poitier, the first Black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. He recalled a time “when we gathered in a church basement” and paid tribute to the Black actors who paved the way for him—Paul Robeson, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and the Nicholas brothers.

 

Spike Lee noted the achievements made by Black filmmakers this year, but warned the audience not to get “too comfortable,” recalling a similar burst of success 10 years ago. He also cited the need for more Black gatekeepers—those who can greenlight movies—in studios.

 

Lee’s cousin and fellow honoree Malcolm Lee thanked Spike for inspiring him. He agreed with Perry, stating that there is room for all actors in the industry and a diversity of stories to tell, noting that he and Spike make very different movies.

 

Host and honoree Tyler Perry spoke about how he achieved success by speaking to and recognizing an audience that did not receive much attention and, as a result, they lifted him to amazing heights. He also implored Blacks to stop relying on others to fulfill their dreams.

 

“Spike is right about nobody’s in the room [to greenlight their projects]” Perry said. “But I never believed in being in the room. I believed in owning the room.”

 

The event featured a performance by Ledisi and was a prelude to ESSENCE’s Black Women in Hollywood event.

 

Beyonce: Grown & Sexy!

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Tracey Ross:Happy 55th Birthday!

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Tracey Ross, is an NAACP Image Award winning actress, best known for roles on the soap operas “Ryan’s Hope” and “Passions.” She was also the first woman to win the Spokesmodel competition on TV’s “Star Search,” in 1984.

Scandal: Thursday Night NBC!

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Welcome back ‪#‎ScandalThursday‬!

Fantasia: Ms. Fanny!

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Trayvon Martin:(February 5, 1995-February 26, 2012)

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Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.  ‪#‎RIPTrayvonMartin

Maria P. Williams: Behind The Man.

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We all know of Oscar Micheaux and his achievement as one of the first major Black filmmakers but Black women were on the scene as well. In 1922  the Black press named the filmmaker Tressie Souders the first African American woman director. Her film, A Woman’s Error (1922), was distributed by the Afro-American Film Exhibitors’ Company based in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

Maria P. Williams, who, like Tressie Souders, also lived in Kansas City, Missouri, produced, distributed, and acted in her own film, The Flames of Wrath (1923) however she did not direct it. Yet the term producer at that time could include directing. They both are credited as early filmmakers during the silent era. Here is a pic of Mrs. Williams.   Black Women are amazing!

Samella Lewis: Happy 90th Birthday!

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Happy 90th Birthday to artist, author and educator Samella Lewis!
Widely exhibited and collected as an artist herself, she is nevertheless perhaps even better known as a historian, critic, and collector of art, especially African-American art. Lewis has completed four degrees, five films, seven books, and a substantial body of artworks which have received great critical respect. Her artistic and wonderful mind showed itself at the early age of four, when she started drawing …and painting.
A native of New Orleans, Samella pursued an art degree starting off at Dillard University in 1941, but left Dillard for Hampton Institute in Virginia, earning her masters degree in 1947. She earned her B.A. degree at Hampton University, then earned her master and doctorate in Fine arts and Art History at the Ohio State University.
Later she became chair of fine Arts Department at Florida A&M University in 1952; she was a professor at the State University of New York and at Scripps College in Claremont, California. She is the founder of the International Review of African American Art in 1975, also the Museum of African American Arts in 1976.

Daniel Gibson: Happy Birthday!

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James Worthy: Happy Birthday!

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