Academy Awards

Jun 152014
 

Dolly PartonDolly Parton (Dolly Rebecca Parton born January 19, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, and philanthropist, best known for her work in country music.
Beginning her career as a child performer, Parton issued a few modestly successful singles from 1959 through the mid-1960s, showcasing her distinctive soprano voice. She rose to greater prominence in 1967 as a featured performer on singer Porter Wagoner’s weekly television program; their first duet single, a cover of Tom Paxton’s “The Last Thing on My Mind”, was a top-ten hit on the country singles chart and led to several successful albums before they ended their partnership in 1974. Moving towards mainstream pop music, her 1977 single “Here You Come Again” was a success on both the country and pop charts. A string of pop-country hits followed into the mid-1980s, the most successful being her 1981 hit “9 to 5” (from the film of the same name) and her 1983 duet with Kenny Rogers “Islands in the Stream”, both of which topped the U.S. pop and country singles charts. A pair of albums recorded with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris were among her later successes. In the late 1990s, she returned to classic country/bluegrass with a series of acclaimed recordings. Non-musical ventures include Dollywood, a theme park in Pigeon Forge in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and her efforts on behalf of childhood literacy, particularly her Imagination Library, as well as Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede and Pirates Voyage.

Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, and digital downloads during her career have topped 100 million worldwide. She has garnered 8 Grammy Awards, 2 Academy Award nominations, 10 Country Music Association Awards, 7 Academy of Country Music Awards, 3 American Music Awards, and is one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton has received 46 Grammy nominations, tying her with Beyoncé for the most Grammy nominations for a woman and placing her in eighth place overall.

In 1999, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has composed over 3,000 songs, the best known of which include “I Will Always Love You” (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper for Parton, as well as an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), “Jolene”, “Coat of Many Colors”,”9 to 5″, and “My Tennessee Mountain Home”. Parton is also one of the few to have received at least one nomination from the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Emmy Awards.

May 202014
 

Steven Spielberg He is Considered One Of The Most Popular Filmmakers In The History Of Cinema

Steven Allan Spielberg (born December 18, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and business magnate. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg’s films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg’s early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing humanistic issues such as the Holocaust, the transatlantic slave trade, war, and terrorism.

He is considered one of the most popular and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He is also one of the co-founders of DreamWorks movie studio. Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Three of Spielberg’s films: Jaws (1975), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993) achieved box office records, each becoming the highest-grossing film made at the time. To date, the unadjusted gross of all Spielberg-directed films exceeds $8.5 billion worldwide. Forbes puts Spielberg’s wealth at $3.3 billion.

Achievements:
Spielberg receiving a public service award presented by United States Secretary of Defense William Cohen, 1999 Steven Spielberg’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Footprints and handprints of Steven Spielberg in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Former President Clinton with Spielberg as he accepts the 2009 Liberty Award Spielberg has won three Academy Awards.

He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards for the category of Best Director, winning two of them (Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan), and nine of the films he directed were up for the Best Picture Oscar (Schindler’s List won). In 1987 he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his work as a creative producer.

Drawing from his own experiences in Scouting, Spielberg helped the Boy Scouts of America develop a merit badge in cinematography. The badge was launched at the 1989 National Scout Jamboree, which Spielberg attended, and where he personally counseled many boys in their work on requirements.

That same year, 1989, saw the release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The opening scene shows a teenage Indiana Jones in scout uniform bearing the rank of a Life Scout. Spielberg stated he made Indiana Jones a Boy Scout in honor of his experience in Scouting. For his career accomplishments and service to others, Spielberg was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

Steven Spielberg received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1995.
In 1998 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit with Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Award was presented to him by President Roman Herzog in recognition of his film Schindler’s List and his Shoa Foundation.

In 1999, Spielberg received an honorary degree from Brown University. Spielberg was also awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service by Secretary of Defense William Cohen at the Pentagon on August 11, 1999; Cohen presented the award in recognition of Spielberg’s film Saving Private Ryan.

In 2001, he was honored as an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2004 he was admitted as knight of the Légion d’honneur by president Jacques Chirac. On July 15, 2006, Spielberg was also awarded the Gold Hugo Lifetime Achievement Award at the Summer Gala of the Chicago International Film Festival,[138] and also was awarded a Kennedy Center honour on December 3. The tribute to Spielberg featured a short, filmed biography narrated by Tom Hanks and included thank-yous from World War II veterans for Saving Private Ryan, as well as a performance of the finale to Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, conducted by John Williams (Spielberg’s frequent composer).

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Spielberg in 2005, the first year it considered non-literary contributors. In November 2007, he was chosen for a Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented at the sixth annual Visual Effects Society Awards in February 2009. He was set to be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the January 2008 Golden Globes; however, the new, watered-down format of the ceremony resulting from conflicts in the 2007–08 writers strike, the HFPA postponed his honor to the 2009 ceremony. In 2008, Spielberg was awarded the Légion d’honneur.

In June 2008, Spielberg received Arizona State University’s Hugh Downs Award for Communication Excellence. Spielberg received an honorary degree at Boston University’s 136th Annual Commencement on May 17, 2009. In October 2009 Steven Spielberg received the Philadelphia Liberty Medal; presenting him with the medal was former US president and Liberty Medal recipient Bill Clinton. Special guests included Whoopi Goldberg, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

On October 22, 2011 he was admitted as a Commander of the Belgian Order of the Crown. He was given the badge on a red neck ribbon by the Belgian Federal Minister of Finance Didier Reynders. The Commander is the third highest rank of the Order of the Crown. He was the president of the jury for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

On November 19, 2013, Spielberg was honored by the National Archives and Records Administration with its Records of Achievement Award. Spielberg was given two facsimiles of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, one passed but not ratified in 1861, as well as a facsimile of the actual 1865 amendment signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. The amendment and the process of passing it were the subject of his film Lincoln.

Feb 092013
 

William Ross will conduct the Oscar orchestra for the Academy Awards®, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.
WILLIAM ROSS TO CONDUCT OSCAR ORCHESTRA“We are happy to have Bill Ross conduct the Oscar orchestra,” said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “With a show so rich with music, we are so pleased to have someone as talented as Bill on our team.”
Ross, who conducted for the 79th and 83rd Academy Awards®, is a prolific award-winning composer and arranger whose work encompasses feature films, television and the music recording industry. He has arranged music for artists such as Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Kenny G., Sting, Quincy Jones, Seal, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston. The records on which he has worked have sold a total of over 250 million copies in the United States.
Ross has written original scores for such films as “The Tale of Despereaux,” “Ladder 49,” “Tuck Everlasting” and “My Dog Skip.” He also adapted and conducted the score to “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

Oscars® for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, February 24, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide. For more information go to Oscar.com or download the official Oscars app.
ABOUT CRAIG ZADAN AND NEIL MERON
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are producers of critically acclaimed and award-winning feature films, television movies, series, and Broadway productions.  Their feature films include The Bucket List, Footloose, Hairspray, and Chicago, which won six Academy Awards including one for “Best Picture.”  For television, they’ve produced films of “Steel Magnolias,” ”Life with Judy Garland,” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” among many others and the series “Smash” and “Drop Dead Diva.”  They recently returned to their roots in live theater by producing Broadway revivals of the Tony-winning ”Promises, Promises” and the Tony-winning 50th Anniversary revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

May 232012
 

Memorable Moments from 2011 Oscars: David Seidler’s Oscar acceptance speech and Melissa Leo’s tribute to Kirk Douglas.

Millions and millions of people from all over the world were watching the Academy Awards’ Gala. Each of the viewers having their own subjective experience. For the Editor of US Celebrity Blog these were the memorable moments of 2011 Oscars.

David Seidler’s Oscar Acceptance Speech

David Seidler at the 83rd Academy Awards

Upon the receipt of the coveted golden Oscar statue for Original Screenplay for work done on “The King’s Speech”, David Seidler said:

“The writer’s speech, this is terrifying. My father always said to me, I would be a late bloomer. I believe I am the oldest person to win this particular award. I hope that record is broken quickly and often. I’d like to thank my daughter, Maya, my son, Mark, for having faith in their dad as I have faith in you. And I would like to thank my producers, my director, my cast, there’s so many people and they are saying “wrap up now.” I’m sorry. I would like to thank her Majesty, the Queen, for not putting me in the Tower of London for using the Melissa Leo “f” word. And I accept this on behalf of all the stutterers throughout the world. We have a voice, we have been heard, thanks to you the Academy.”

David Seidler is 73. His defiant “My father always said to me, I would be a late bloomer. I believe I am the oldest person to win this particular award. I hope that this record is broken quickly and often.” left an indelible impression on me.

Kirk Douglas, Hollywood Star From the Golden Era

The other memorable moment for me was the appearance of Kirk Douglas. Say what you will, but Hollywood is about legends, dreams and memories. As much as I found Anne Hathaway irresistible and James Franco charming in his own way, Kirk Douglas represents Hollywood from the years past. He is a legend from the Golden Era of Hollywood. In spite of his age, Kirk Douglas’ charm, sense of humor, acting talent and timing remain intact……..
When he announced that Melissa Leo, won an Oscar for Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in “The Fighter”, she was quite surprised.

Kirk Douglas and Melissa Leo

Melissa Leo with her Oscar and Kirk Douglas. Photo credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

We’ll never know – after all she’s an Academy Award winner! – whether she’s planned the curtsy in front of Kirk Douglas or it was a spontaneous gesture. To me personally, for a split second it appeared to be a tribute. True, they both covered up the moment with humor. Still, whether the scene was improvised or deliberate,  it was an Oscar-worthy moment to behold. Since the Oscars are about peers honoring peers the curtsy couldn’t have been more poignant…….  (Way more memorable than her snafu during the acceptance speech.)