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He started life as Harry Webb and spent some of his childhood years in India. Cliff Richard was inspired by the music of Elvis Presley and at age 16, formed a band, ‘The Quintones’, with school friends and performed at their local Youth Club. From there, Cliff Richard went from strength to strength and became a global star.
Having moved to India to help build a system of railways, Rodger Webb married Dorothy Dazely in 1939 and the following year the couple had a baby boy – Harry Rodger Webb.
Born in The King’s English Hospital in Lucknow, Harry was educated in Howrah, until his family moved to England in 1948, following Home Rule in India.
After a privileged life in India, the Webbs faced poverty, and were forced to sleep on mattresses at the houses of various relatives. In 1951, they were given a…
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He sold more than 45 million records, had 38 top-40 hits, and appeared in more than 12 Hollywood films.
According to Billboard, Boone was the second-biggest charting artist of the late 1950s, behind only Elvis Presley, and was ranked at No. 9 in its listing of the Top 100 Top 40 Artists 1955–1995.
Until the 2010s, Boone held the Billboard record for spending 220 consecutive weeks on the charts with one or more songs each week.
At the age of 23, he began hosting a half-hour ABC variety television series, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, which aired for 115 episodes (1957–1960). Many musical performers, including Edie Adams, Andy Williams, Pearl Bailey, and Johnny Mathis, made appearances on the show. His cover versions of rhythm and blues hits had a noticeable effect on the development of the broad popularity of rock and roll. Elvis Presley was the opening act for a 1955 Pat Boone show in Cleveland, Ohio.
As an author, Boone had a number-one bestseller in the 1950s (Twixt Twelve and Twenty, Prentice-Hall). In the 1960s, he focused on gospel music and is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He continues to perform and speak as a motivational speaker, a television personality, and a conservative political commentator.
Boone was born Charles Eugene Boone on June 1, 1934, in Jacksonville, Florida, the son of Margaret Virginia (Pritchard) and Archie Altman Boone. Boone was reared primarily in Nashville, Tennessee, a place he still visits. His family moved to Nashville from Florida when Boone was two years old. He attended and graduated in 1952 from David Lipscomb High School in Nashville. His younger brother, whose professional name is Nick Todd, was also a pop singer in the 1950s and is now a church music leader.
In a 2007 interview on The 700 Club, Boone claimed that he is the great-great-great-great grandson of the American pioneer Daniel Boone.
He is a cousin of two stars of Western television series: Richard Boone of CBS’s Have Gun – Will Travel and Randy Boone, of NBC’s The Virginian and CBS’s Cimarron Strip. Research done a few years ago by The Boone Society found that Pat and his siblings are not biological descendants of Daniel Boone, nor of any of Daniel’s brothers.
Pat’s siblings were notified and have acknowledged that the research done by The Boone Society is true.
In November 1953, when he was 19 years old, Boone married Shirley Lee Foley, daughter of country music great Red Foley and his wife, singer Judy Martin. They have four daughters: Cheryl Lynn (better known as Cherry), Linda Lee, Deborah Ann (better known as Debby), and Laura Gene. Starting in the late 1950s, Boone and his family were residents of Leonia, New Jersey.
In college, he primarily attended David Lipscomb College, later Lipscomb University, in Nashville. He graduated in 1958 from Columbia University School of General Studies magna cum laude and also attended North Texas State University, now known as the University of North Texas, in Denton, Texas.
Boone began his career by performing in Nashville’s Centennial Park
He began recording in 1954 for Republic Records (not to be confused with the current label with that name), and by 1955, for Dot Records.
His 1955 version of Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” was a hit. This set the stage for the early part of Boone’s career, which focused on covering R&B songs by black artists for a white American market.
Randy Wood, the owner of Dot, had issued an R&B single by the Griffin Brothers in 1951 called “Tra La La-a”—a different song from the later LaVern Baker one—and he was keen to put out another version after the original had failed. This became the B side of the first Boone single “Two Hearts Two Kisses”, originally by the Charms – whose “Hearts Of Stone” had been covered by the label’s Fontane Sisters.
Once the Boone version was in the shops, it spawned more covers by the Crew-Cuts, Doris Day, and Frank Sinatra.
A number-one single in 1956 by Boone was a second cover and a revival of a then seven-year-old song “I Almost Lost My Mind”, by Ivory Joe Hunter, which was originally covered by another black star, Nat King Cole.
According to an opinion poll of high-school students in 1957, the singer was nearly the “two-to-one favorite over Elvis Presley among boys and preferred almost three-to-one by girls …”
During the late 1950s, he made regular appearances on ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee, hosted by his father-in-law.
Boone cultivated a safe, wholesome, advertiser-friendly image that won him a long-term product endorsement contract from General Motors during the late 1950s, lasting through the 1960s.
He succeeded Dinah Shore singing the praises of the GM product: “See the USA in your Chevrolet … drive your Chevrolet through the USA, America’s the greatest land of all!” GM had also sponsored The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom.
In the 1989 documentary Roger & Me, Boone stated that he first was given a Chevrolet Corvette from the GM product line, but after his wife and he started having children, at one child a year, GM supplied him with a station wagon, as well.
Many of Boone’s hit singles were covers of hits from black R&B artists. These included: “Ain’t That a Shame” by Fats Domino; “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally” by Little Richard;
“At My Front Door (Crazy Little Mama)” by The El Dorados; and the blues ballads “I Almost Lost My Mind” by Ivory Joe Hunter, “I’ll be Home” by the Flamingos and “Don’t Forbid Me” by Charles Singleton. Boone also wrote the lyrics for the instrumental theme song for the movie Exodus, which he titled “This Land Is Mine”. (Ernest Gold had composed the music.)
As a conservative Christian, Boone declined certain songs and movie roles that he felt might compromise his beliefs—including a role with sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. In one of his first films, April Love, the director, Henry Levin, wanted him to give co-star Shirley Jones a kiss (which was not in the script). Since this would be his first onscreen kiss, Boone said that he wanted to talk to his wife first, to make sure it was all right with her. He had his own film production company, Cooga Mooga Productions.
He appeared as a regular performer on Arthur Godfrey and His Friends from 1955 through 1957, and later hosted his own The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, on Thursday evenings. In the early 1960s, he began writing a series of self-help books for adolescents, including Twixt Twelve and Twenty.
The British Invasion ended Boone’s career as a hitmaker, though he continued recording throughout the 1960s.
In the 1970s, he switched to gospel and country, and he continued performing in other media, as well.
In 1959, Boone’s likeness was licensed to DC Comics, first appearing in Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #9 (May 1959) before starring in his own series from the publisher which lasted for five issues from September 1959 to May 1960.
In the 1960s and 1970s. the Boone family toured as gospel singers and made gospel albums, such as The Pat Boone Family and The Family Who Prays.
In the early 1970s, Boone founded the record label Lamb & Lion Records. It featured artists such as Pat, the Pat Boone Family, Debby Boone, Dan Peek, DeGarmo and Key, and Dogwood.
In 1974, Boone was signed to the Motown country subsidiary Melodyland.
The label was later to be renamed Hitsville after a Christian church sued Motown’s president Berry Gordy over the use of the earlier name. The country subsidiary was closed in 1977.
In 1978, Boone became the first target in the Federal Trade Commission’s crackdown on false-claim product endorsements by celebrities.
He had appeared with his daughter Debby in a commercial to claim that all four of his daughters had found a preparation named Acne-Statin a “real help” in keeping their skin clear.
The FTC filed a complaint against the manufacturer, contending that the product did not really keep skin free of blemishes. Boone eventually signed a consent order in which he promised not only to stop appearing in the ads, but also to pay about 2.5% of any money that the FTC or the courts might eventually order the manufacturer to refund to consumers.
Boone said, through a lawyer, that his daughters actually did use Acne-Statin, and that he was “dismayed to learn that the product’s efficacy had not been scientifically established as he believed.”
In 1956 Boone was one of the biggest recording stars in the US. Several film studios pursued him for movies; he decided to go with 20th Century Fox who made Elvis Presley’s first movie.
Fox reworked a play he had bought, Bernadine, into a vehicle for Boone. The resulting film was a solid hit, earning $3.75 million in the US.
Even more popular was April Love (1957), a remake of Home in Indiana. Boone regards it as one of his favourites, “the kind of movie I wish I could have made 20 more of: a musical, appealing characters, some drama, a good storyline, a happy ending, it’s the kind of film which makes you feel good. I never wanted to make a depressing or immoral film.”
In 1957 he was voted the third most popular star in the US.
Less popular was a musical comedy Mardi Gras (1958), which was the last movie of Edmund Goulding. However Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), a science fiction adventure tale was a huge hit. Boone had been reluctant to do it, and needed to be persuaded by being offered the chance to sing several songs and given a percentage of the profits, but was glad he did.
He produced and starred in a documentary, Salute to the Teenagers (1960) but did not make a film for a while, studying acting with Sanford Meisner. He returned with a military comedy All Hands on Deck (1961), a mild hit.
He was one of several names in another remake, State Fair (1962), a box office disappointment. Musicals were becoming less fashionable in Hollywood, so Boone decided to take on a dramatic role in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer-distributed movie The Main Attraction (1962) for Seven Arts Productions, his first movie outside Fox.
It was an unhappy experience for Boone as he disliked the implication his character had sex with Nancy Kwan’s and he got into several public fights with the producers.
He had a deal with Fox to make three films at $200,000 a film with his production company. This was meant to start with a thriller, The Yellow Canary (1963), in which Boone would play an unsympathetic character.
New management came in at the studio which was unenthusiastic about the picture but because Boone had a pay or play deal, they decided to make it anyway, only with a much shorter budget. Boone even paid some money out of his own pocket to help complete it.
Boone’s next movie for Fox was another low budget effort, The Horror of It All (1963), shot in England. He shot a comedy in Ireland Never Put It in Writing (1964) for Allied Artists. Boone’s third film for Fox was an “A” production, Goodbye Charlie (1964) but Boone was in support of Debbie Reynolds and Tony Curtis.
Boone was one of the many names in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). He appeared in The Perils of Pauline (1967), a pilot for a TV series that did not eventuate, which was screened in some theatres. Boone’s last film of note was The Cross and the Switchblade (1970).
In 1997, Boone released In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, a collection of heavy metal covers. To promote the album, he appeared at the American Music Awards in black leather. He was then dismissed from Gospel America, a TV show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. After making a special appearance on TBN with the president of the network, Paul Crouch, and his pastor, Jack Hayford, many fans accepted his explanation of the leather outfit being a “parody of himself”. Trinity Broadcasting then reinstated him, and Gospel America was brought back.
In 2003, the Nashville Gospel Music Association recognized his gospel recording work by inducting him into its Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
In September 2006, Boone released Pat Boone R&B Classics – We Are Family, featuring cover versions of 11 R&B hits, including the title track, plus “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”, “Soul Man”, “Get Down Tonight”, “A Woman Needs Love”, and six other classics.
Boone and his wife, Shirley, live in Beverly Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles. At one time, their neighbors were Ozzy Osbourne and his family. A sound-alike of Boone’s cover of Osbourne’s song “Crazy Train” became the theme song for The Osbournes (though the original Boone version appears on The Osbournes soundtrack).
In 2010, plans were announced for the Pat Boone Family Theater at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The attraction was never built.
In 2011 Boone acted as a spokesperson for Security One Lending, a reverse mortgage company.
Since at least 2007 Boone has acted as a spokesperson for Swiss America Trading Corporation, a broker of gold and silver coins that warns of “America’s Economic Collapse”.
Pat Boone grew up in the Church of Christ.
In the 1960s, Boone’s marriage nearly came to an end because of his use of alcohol and his preference for attending parties.
However, after coming into contact with the Charismatic Movement, Shirley began to focus more on her religion and eventually influenced Pat and their daughters toward a similar religious focus.
At this time, they attended the Inglewood Church of Christ in Inglewood, California.
In the spring of 1964, Boone spoke at a “Project Prayer” rally attended by 2,500 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
The gathering, which was hosted by Anthony Eisley, a star of ABC’s Hawaiian Eye series, sought to flood the United States Congress with letters in support of school prayer, following two decisions in 1962 and 1963 of the United States Supreme Court which struck down the practice as in conflict with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Joining Boone and Eisley at the Project Prayer rally were Walter Brennan, Lloyd Nolan, Rhonda Fleming, Gloria Swanson, and Dale Evans. Boone declared, “what the communists want is to subvert and undermine our young people. … I believe in the power of aroused Americans, I believe in the wisdom of our Constitution. … the power of God.”
It was noted that Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Mary Pickford, Jane Russell, Ginger Rogers, and Pat Buttram had endorsed the goals of the rally and would also have attended had their schedules not been in conflict.
In the early 1970s, the Boones hosted Bible studies for celebrities such as Doris Day, Glenn Ford, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Priscilla Presley at their Beverly Hills home. The family then began attending The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, a Foursquare Gospel megachurch pastored by Jack Hayford.
On an April 22, 2016, broadcast of Fox News Radio’s The Alan Colmes Show, Boone discussed an episode of Saturday Night Live which included a sketch entitled God Is A Boob Man; the sketch parodied the film God’s Not Dead 2 in which Boone had a role.
He described the sketch as “blasphemy”, stating that the Federal Communications Commission should forbid any such content, and that it should revoke the broadcast licenses of any “network, or whoever is responsible for the shows.”
Sources : Wikipedia / Youtube
She first gained attention with her role in the 1969 film Goodbye, Columbus, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer. She reached international fame in 1970’s Love Story, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.
In 1972, MacGraw was voted the top female box office star in the world and was honored with a hands and footprints ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre after having been in just three films. She went on to star in the popular action films The Getaway (1972) and Convoy (1978) as well as the romantic sports drama Players (1979), the comedy Just Tell Me What You Want (1980), and the historical novel-based television miniseries The Winds of War (1983). In 1991, she published an autobiography, Moving Pictures.
MacGraw was born in Pound Ridge, New York, the daughter of commercial artists Frances (née Klein; 1901–1980) and Richard MacGraw.
She has one brother, Dick, an artist. Her father was adopted. Her maternal grandparents were from Budapest, Hungary, of Jewish heritage.
MacGraw’s mother chose not to disclose her true ethnicity to her father, instead professing ignorance about it. “I think Daddy was bigoted,” MacGraw has said.
Her mother was considered a “pioneer” as an artist, who had taught school in Paris before settling in Greenwich Village.
Her parents married when her mother was 40: “My gorgeous father: a combination of Tyrone Power and a mystery, a brilliant artist and a brain beyond brains.”
He was born in New Jersey with his childhood spent in an orphanage. He ran away to sea when he was 16 and studied art in Munich. MacGraw adds, “Daddy was frightened and really, really angry. He never forgave his real parents for giving him up.”
As an adult, he constantly suppressed the rage he built up against his parents.
She described her father as “violent”.
Beginning in 1960, MacGraw spent six years working at Harper’s Bazaar magazine as a photographic assistant to fashion maven Diana Vreeland.
She worked at Vogue magazine as a fashion model, and as a photographer’s stylist. She has also worked as an interior decorator.
MacGraw started her acting career in television commercials, including one for the Polaroid Swinger camera. MacGraw gained critical notice in the 1969 film Goodbye, Columbus, but real stardom came in 1970 when she starred opposite Ryan O’Neal in Love Story, one of the highest-grossing films in U.S. history.
MacGraw was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for that performance. Following Love Story, MacGraw was celebrated on the cover of Time magazine.
In 1972, after appearing in just three films, she had her footprints and autograph engraved at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. She then starred opposite Steve McQueen in The Getaway (1972), which was one of the year’s top ten films at the box office.
Having taken a five-year break from acting, in 1978 MacGraw re-emerged in another box office hit, Convoy (1978), opposite Kris Kristofferson. She then appeared in the films Players (1979) and Just Tell Me What You Want (1980), directed by Sidney Lumet.
In 1983, MacGraw starred in the highly successful television miniseries The Winds of War.
In 1985, MacGraw joined hit ABC prime-time soap opera Dynasty as Lady Ashley Mitchell, which, she admitted in a 2011 interview, she did for the money.
She appeared in 14 episodes of the show before her character was killed off in the infamous “Moldavian wedding massacre” cliffhanger episode in 1985.
MacGraw made her Broadway theatre debut in New York City in 2006 as a dysfunctional matriarch in the drama Festen (The Celebration).
In 2016, MacGraw reunited with Love Story co-star Ryan O’Neal in a staging of A.R. Gurney’s play Love Letters.
In 1991, People magazine selected MacGraw as one of its “50 Most Beautiful People” in the World.
In 2008 GQ magazine listed her in their “Sexiest 25 Women in Film Ever” edition.
Having become a Hatha Yoga devotee in her early 50s, MacGraw produced a yoga video with the American Yoga Master Erich Schiffmann, Ali MacGraw Yoga Mind and Body.
This video was a bestseller upon release and still popular more than a decade later. The video’s impact was such that in June 2007 Vanity Fair magazine credited MacGraw with being one of the people responsible for the practice’s recent popularity in the United States.
In July 2006, MacGraw filmed a public service announcement for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), urging residents to take their pets with them in the event of wildfires.
In 2008, she wrote the foreword to the book Pawprints of Katrina by author Cathy Scott and photography by Clay Myers about Best Friends Animal Society and the largest pet rescue in U.S. history.
An animal rights advocate throughout her life, she received the Humane Education Award by Animal Protection of New Mexico for speaking out about animal issues.
MacGraw has acknowledged having had an abortion in her early twenties, at a time when the procedure was illegal.
After college, she married Robin Hoen, a Harvard-educated banker, but they divorced after a year and a half.
On October 24, 1969, MacGraw married film producer Robert Evans; their son, Josh Evans, is an actor, director, producer and screenwriter.
They divorced in 1972 after she became involved with Steve McQueen on the set of The Getaway. She married McQueen on August 31, 1973, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and divorced him in 1978.
MacGraw’s autobiography, Moving Pictures revealed her struggles with alcohol and sex addiction. She was treated for the former at the Betty Ford Center.
When former husband Evans received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002, she accompanied him. Their grandson Jackson was born in December 2010 to Josh and his wife, singer Roxy Saint.
Since 1994 she has lived in Tesuque, New Mexico, after “fleeing Malibu” when a house she was renting burned down.
Sources : Youtube / Pinterest / Wikipedia
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He had 35 records in the U.S. Billboard Top 40, and five of his pre-1955 records sold more than a million copies, being certified gold. During 1955 to 1960, he had eleven top 10 hits and his record sales were reportedly surpassed only by Elvis Presley. During his career, Domino sold over 65 million records.His musical style was based on traditional rhythm and blues, accompanied by saxophones, bass, piano, electric guitar, and drums.
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He and Dean Martin were partners as the hit popular comedy duo of Martin and Lewis. Following that success, he was a solo star in film, nightclubs, television, concerts and musicals. Lewis served as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and hosted the live Labor Day broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for 44 years.
Lewis has received several awards for lifetime achievements from the American Comedy Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Venice Film Festival, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and been honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Lewis was born on March 16, 1926 in Newark, New Jersey to Russian Jewish parents His father, Daniel Levitch (1902–80), was a master of ceremonies and vaudeville entertainerwho used the professional name Danny Lewis.
His mother, Rachel (“Rae”) Levitch (née Brodsky),was a piano player for a radio station. Lewis started performing at age five and would often perform alongside his parents in the Catskill Mountains in New York State.
By 15, he had developed his “Record Act” in which he exaggeratedly mimed the lyrics to songs on a phonograph.
He used the professional name Joey Lewis but soon changed it to Jerry Lewis to avoid confusion with comedian Joe E. Lewis and heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis. Lewis then dropped out of Irvington High School in the tenth grade. He was a “character” even in his teenage years pulling pranks in his neighborhood including sneaking into kitchens to steal fried chicken and pies. During World War II, he was rejected for military service because of a heart murmur.
Lewis initially gained attention as part of a double act with singer Dean Martin, who served as straight man to Lewis’ zany antics in the Martin and Lewis comedy team. The performers were different from most other comedy acts of the time because they relied on their interaction instead of planned skits. They quickly rose to national prominence, first with their popular nightclub act, next as stars of their own radio program.
The two men made many appearances on early live television, their first on the June 20, 1948, debut broadcast of Toast of the Town on CBS (later as The Ed Sullivan Show). This was followed on October 3, 1948, by an appearance on the NBC series Welcome Aboard, then a stint as the first of a series of hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour in 1950.
The duo began their Paramount film careers as ensemble players in My Friend Irma (1949), based on the popular radio series of the same name. This was followed by a sequel My Friend Irma Goes West (1950).
Starting with At War with the Army (1950), Martin and Lewis were the stars of their own vehicles in fourteen additional titles, That’s My Boy (1951), Sailor Beware (1952), Jumping Jacks (1952), (plus appearing in the Crosby and Hope film, Road to Bali (1952) as cameos) The Stooge (1952), Scared Stiff (1953), The Caddy (1953), Money from Home (1953), Living It Up (1954), 3 Ring Circus (1954), You’re Never Too Young (1955), Artists and Models (1955) and Pardners (1956) at Paramount, ending with Hollywood or Bust (1956).
All sixteen movies were produced by Hal B. Wallis. Attesting the comedy team’s popularity, DC Comics published the best-selling The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comics from 1952 to 1957. As Martin’s roles in their films became less important over time the partnership came under strain. Martin’s participation became an embarrassment in 1954 when Look magazine used a publicity photo of the team for the magazine cover but cropped Martin out of the photo.The partnership ended on July 24, 1956.
While both Martin and Lewis went on to successful solo careers, neither would comment on the split nor consider a reunion. They did however make occasional public appearances together up until 1961, but were not seen together again until a surprise television appearance by Martin on a Muscular Dystrophy Telethon in 1976, arranged by Frank Sinatra.
The pair eventually reconciled in the late 1980s after the death of Martin’s son, Dean Paul Martin, in 1987.
The two men were seen together on stage for the last time when Martin was making what would be his final live performance at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Lewis pushed out a birthday cake for Martin’s 72nd birthday in 1989 and sang “Happy Birthday” to him, and joking, “why we broke up, I’ll never know.”
After the split from Martin, Lewis remained at Paramount and became a comedy star in his own right with his first film as a solo comic, The Delicate Delinquent (1957). Meanwhile, DC Comics published a new comic book series The Adventures of Jerry Lewis from 1957 to 1971. Teaming with director Frank Tashlin, whose background as a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon director suited Lewis’s brand of humor, he starred in five more films, The Sad Sack (1957), Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958), The Geisha Boy (1958), Don’t Give Up The Ship (1959) and even appeared uncredited as Itchy McRabbitt in Li’l Abner (1959).
Lewis tried his hand at releasing music during the 1950s, having a chart hit with the song “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” (a song largely associated with Al Jolson and later re-popularized by Judy Garland) as well as the song, “It All Depends on You” in 1958. He eventually released his own album titled, Jerry Lewis Just Sings.
By the end of his contract with producer Hal B. Wallis, Lewis had several productions of his own under his belt. In 1959, a contract between Paramount Pictures and Jerry Lewis Productions was signed specifying a payment of $10 million plus 60% of the profits for 14 films over a seven-year period.
In 1960, Lewis finished his contract with Wallis with Visit to a Small Planet (1960), and wrapped up work on his own production, Cinderfella, which was postponed for a Christmas 1960 release, and Paramount, needing a quickie feature film for its summer 1960 schedule, held Lewis to his contract to produce one. Lewis came up with The Bellboy (1960). Using the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami as his setting—and on a small budget, with a very tight shooting schedule, and no script—Lewis shot the film by day and performed at the hotel in the evenings. Bill Richmond collaborated with him on the many sight gags. Lewis later revealed that Paramount was not happy financing a ‘silent movie’ and withdrew backing. Lewis used his own funds to cover the $950,000 budget.
During production Lewis developed the technique of using video cameras and multiple closed circuit monitors, which allowed him to review his performance instantly.
His techniques and methods, documented in his book and his USC class, enabled him to complete most of his films on time and under budget.
Lewis followed The Bellboy by directing several more films that he co-wrote with Richmond while some were directed by Tashlin, including The Ladies Man (1961), The Errand Boy (1961), It’s Only Money (1962) and The Nutty Professor (1963). Lewis did a cameo in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).
Lewis directed and co-wrote The Family Jewels (1965) about a young heiress who must choose among six uncles, one of whom is up to no good and out to harm the girl’s beloved bodyguard who practically raised her. Lewis played all six uncles and the bodyguard. On television, Lewis hosted two different programs called The Jerry Lewis Show. The first was a two-hour Saturday night variety show on ABC in the fall of 1963. The lavish, big-budget production failed to find an audience and was canceled after 13 weeks. His second program was a one-hour variety show on NBC from 1967 to 1969.
By 1966, Lewis, then 40, was no longer an angular juvenile, his routines seemed more labored and his box office appeal waned to the point where Paramount Pictures new executives felt no further need for the Lewis comedies and did not wish to renew his 1959 profit sharing contract. Undaunted, Lewis packed up and went to Columbia Pictures, where he made Three On A Couch (1966), then appeared in Way…Way Out (1966) for 20th Century Fox followed by The Big Mouth (1967), Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (1968) and Hook, Line & Sinker (1969).
In 1968, he screened Spielberg’s early film, Amblin’ and told his students, “That’s what filmmaking is all about.”
Lewis directed and made his first offscreen voice performance as a bandleader in One More Time (1970), which starred Sammy Davis Jr. (a friend of Lewis). He then produced, directed and starred in Which Way to the Front? (1970).
He would then make and star in the unreleased The Day the Clown Cried (1972), a drama set in a Nazi concentration camp.
Lewis rarely discusses the film, but once suggested that litigation over post-production finances prevented the film’s completion and release. However, he admitted during his book tour for Dean and Me that a major factor for the film’s burial is that he is not proud of the effort. In 1976, Lewis appeared in a revival of Hellzapoppin’ with Lynn Redgrave, but it closed on the road before reaching Broadway.
After an absence of 11 years, Lewis returned to film in Hardly Working (1981), a movie in which he both directed and starred.
Despite being panned by critics, the movie eventually earned $50 million. Lewis next appeared in Martin Scorsese‘s film The King of Comedy (1983), in which he portrayed a late-night television host plagued by two obsessive fans, played by Robert De Niro and Sandra Bernhard. Lewis also appeared in Cracking Up (1983) and Slapstick (Of Another Kind) (1984).
In France, Lewis starred in both To Catch a Cop a.k.a. “The Defective Detective” (1984) and How Did You Get In?, We Didn’t See You Leave (1984). Lewis has stated that as long as he has control over distribution of those movies, they will never have an American release. Meanwhile, a syndicated talk show Lewis hosted for Metromedia in 1984 was not continued beyond the scheduled five shows. Lewis starred in the ABC televised drama movie Fight For Life (1987) with Patty Duke, then appeared in Cookie (1989).
Lewis had a cameo in Mr. Saturday Night (1992) while guest appearing in an episode of Mad About You as an eccentric billionaire. Lewis made his Broadway debut, as a replacement cast member playing the devil in a revival of Damn Yankees, choreographed by future movie director Rob Marshall (Chicago) while also starring in the film Arizona Dream (1994), as a car salesman uncle. Lewis then starred as a father of a young comic in Funny Bones (1995).
In March 2006, the French Minister of Culture awarded Lewis the Légion d’honneur, calling him the “French people’s favorite clown” Lewis has remained popular in the country, evidenced by consistent praise by French critics in the influential magazine Cahiers du Cinéma for his absurd comedy, in part because he had gained respect as an auteur who had total control over all aspects of his films, comparable to Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock.
Liking Lewis has long been a common stereotype about the French in the minds of many English-speakers, and is often the object of jokes in English-speaking world pop culture.
“That Americans can’t see Jerry Lewis’s genius is bewildering,” says N. T. Binh, a French film magazine critic. Such bewilderment was the basis of the book Why the French Love Jerry Lewis, by Rae Beth Gordon
In 2012, Lewis directed a musical theatre version of The Nutty Professor (with score by Marvin Hamlisch) at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville from July 31 to August 19 over the summer. Lewis appeared in the Brazilian film Till Luck Do Us Part 2 (2013), then next in a small role in the crime drama The Trust (2016). Lewis made a comeback in a lead role in Max Rose (2016).
In an October 6, 2016 interview with Inside Edition, Lewis acknowledged that he may not star in any more films given his advanced age, while admitting, through tears, that he was afraid of dying as it would leave his wife and daughter alone.] In December of that year, he expressed interest in making another film.
Lewis has been married twice:
He has six sons (one adopted) and one daughter (adopted):
Lewis has suffered from a number of illnesses and addictions related both to aging and a back injury sustained in a comedic pratfall from a piano while performing at the Sands Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip on March 20, 1965.
The accident almost left him paralyzed. In its aftermath, Lewis became addicted to the painkiller Percodan for thirteen years
He says he has been off the drug since 1978.] In April 2002, Lewis had a Medtronic “Synergy” neurostimulator implanted in his back which has helped reduce the discomfort. He is now one of the company’s leading spokesmen.
In the 2011 documentary Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, Lewis said he suffered his first heart attack while filming Cinderfella in 1960.
In December 1982, Lewis suffered another heart attack. En route to San Diego from New York City on a cross-country commercial airline flight on June 11, 2006, he sustained a minor heart attack .
It was discovered that he had pneumonia as well as a severely damaged heart. He underwent a cardiac catheterization and two stents were inserted into one of his coronary arteries, which was 90% blocked. The surgery resulted in increased blood flow to his heart and has allowed him to continue his rebound from earlier lung problems. Having the cardiac catheterization meant canceling several major events from his schedule, but Lewis fully recuperated in a matter of weeks.
In 1999, Lewis’ Australian tour was cut short when he had to be hospitalized in Darwin with viral meningitis. He was ill for more than five months. It was reported in the Australian press that he had failed to pay his medical bills. However, Lewis maintained that the payment confusion was the fault of his health insurer. The resulting negative publicity caused him to sue his insurer for US$100 million
Lewis has had prostate cancer, diabetes, pulmonary fibrosis and a decades-long history of heart disease. Prednisone treatment in the late 1990s for pulmonary fibrosis resulted in weight gain and a noticeable change in his appearance.
In September 2001, Lewis was unable to perform at a planned London charity event at the London Palladium.
He was the headlining act, and he was introduced, but did not appear. He had suddenly become unwell, apparently with heart problems. He was subsequently taken to the hospital. Some months thereafter, Lewis began an arduous, months-long therapy that weaned him off prednisone and enabled him to return to work. On June 12, 2012, he was treated and released from a hospital after collapsing from hypoglycemia at a New York Friars’ Club event. This latest health issue forced him to cancel a show in Sydney.
Throughout his entire life and prolific career, Lewis was a world renowned humanitarian who has supported fundraising for research into muscular dystrophy. Until 2011, he served as national chairman of and spokesman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) (formerly, the Muscular Dystrophy Associations of America).
Lewis began hosting telethons to benefit the company from 1952 to 1959, then every Labor Day weekend from 1966 to 2010, he hosted the live annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. Over nearly half a century, he raised over $2.6 billion in donations for the cause.
On August 3, 2011, it was announced that Lewis would no longer host the MDA telethons and is no longer associated with the Muscular Dystrophy Association
On May 1, 2015, it was announced that in view of “the new realities of television viewing and philanthropic giving”, the telethon was being discontinued.
] In early 2016, Lewis made an online video statement for the organization on its website, in honor of its rebranding, marking his first appearance in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association since his final Labor Day Telethon in 2010 and the ending of his tenure as national chairman in 2011.
In 1969, Lewis agreed to lend his name to “Jerry Lewis Cinemas”, offered by National Cinema Corporation as a franchise business opportunity for those interested in theatrical movie exhibition. Jerry Lewis Cinemas stated that their theaters could be operated by a staff of as few as two with the aid of automation and support provided by the franchiser in booking films and in other aspects of film exhibition.
A forerunner of the smaller rooms typical of later multi-screen complexes, a Jerry Lewis Cinema was billed in franchising ads as a “mini-theatre” with a seating capacity of between 200 and 350. In addition to Lewis’s name, each Jerry Lewis Cinema bore a sign with a cartoon logo of Lewis in profile.
Initially 158 territories were franchised, with a buy-in fee of $10,000 or $15,000 depending on the territory, for what was called an “individual exhibitor”. For $50,000, the Jerry Lewis Cinemas offered an opportunity known as an “area directorship”, in which investors controlled franchising opportunities in a territory as well as their own cinemas.
The success of the chain was hampered by a policy of only booking second-run, family-friendly films. Eventually the policy was changed, and the Jerry Lewis Cinemas were allowed to show more competitive films, but after a decade the chain failed. Both Lewis and National Cinema Corp. declared bankruptcy in 1980.
In 2010, Lewis met with 7-year-old Lochie Graham who shared his idea for “Jerry’s House”, a place for vulnerable and traumatized children. The Australian charity hope2Day is raising funds to build the facility in Melbourne, Australia.
SOURCES : WIKIPEDIA
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