Did You Know?…(12)

What do Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, James Earl James, Samuel L. Jackson, and Bruce Willis all have in common, aside from the fact that they are all famous? Well, they all suffered from stuttering at some point. Yes, each of these very accomplished individuals suffered at some time or other from a speech impediment, stuttering.

    • Marilyn Monroe‘s sensual breathy way of “mouthing” and speaking may have been her way of coping with stuttering. In a rare interview, Marilyn said that she would just suddenly begin to stutter at different times which she believed was triggered by feelings of nervousness and anxiety. *A long time acting coach advised her to speak in this over- exaggerated fashion as part of a tool/technique to help improve her acting.
    • There are still many arguments as to whether or not Winston Churchill actually had a stutter or a lisp, in which the “s” sounds like “sh”. Either way, it certainly didn’t stop him from being a most affective and infamous orator.
    • James Earl Jones spoke with Sarah Hartley, Mail on Sunday Health Editor, and was quoted as saying, “My stuttering was so bad, I barely spoke to anyone for eight years.” Evidently, sinusitis plagued him early on as well as many of his family members. This contributed to frequent instances of congestion which is believed to have impacted his issues with speech. Can you imagine missing out on a such a treat as the voice of James Earl Jones? Thankfully, we’ve been blessed to enjoy his wonderfully rich and robust voice by way of characters like “Darth Vader” in ‘Star Wars’ and “Mufasa” in the ‘Lion King’, just to name a few.
    • In an interview with Krishnan Guru Murthy, Samuel L. Jackson was said to have pretended, as a young boy in Tennessee, to be other people by creating characters who didn’t stutter, in hopes that he wouldn’t stutter. There’s a particular word of profanity that he is known to use in many of his movies. Apparently, Mr. Jackson mutters this world daily under his breath, as a kind of affirmation. Evidently, it works. Who would have thought that profanity would be a saving grace in an actor’s career and life? I won’t spell out this word, but lets just say, the initials are: MF
    • Bruce Willis once disclosed in an issue of GQ Magazine, that he had a terrible stutter that was so bad, he considered it to be a disability. He also says that ‘acting’ helped to cure his stutter. And thankfully so. Wow! Who knew?!

Stuttering is thought to be a neurological impairment of the brain, and is said to occur in children, mostly boys between the ages of 2 and 5 years of age. There’s another interesting fact about this subject that I simply must share before closing this post. I had both a lisp and a stutter as a young child. My friends have a hard time believing me, as they tend to feel that I speak with perfect diction, but is true. I can vaguely recall how frustrating it used to be for me, as I struggled to get my words out. Hey, I think I feel another post developing! Hmmm…what do you think?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Another Farewell to Hollywood Royalty

Another Hollywood legend has made an untimely exit. Lauren Bacall has died at the age of 89. According to CNN reports, her grandson received a call earlier today saying that she had suffered a massive stroke.

Lauren Bacall tasted international fame in 1944 starring in the film: “To Have and Have Not”. She made this film with her soon-to-be husband Humphrey Bogart. The two later married and had two children. This dynamic duo starred in a total of four films which included: “The Big Sleep” (1946), “Dark Passage” (1947), “Key Largo” (1948). Together Bogart and Bacall created a unique magic that was all theirs. Humphrey Bogart died in 1957, leaving Bacall a widowed mother of two children.

Lauren Bacall was later married to actor Jason Robards at which point they had a child together, who later became an actor, Sam Robards. Bacall was said to have been engaged to Frank Sinatra four different times between marriages.

It’s hard to believe that during some of those beautiful black & white shots of Lauren Bacall, that she was a shy 19 year old trying to keep it together amidst all the attention. American Film Director, Howard Hawks’ wife is credited with discovering Bacall after she appeared on the cover of Harpers Bazaar. She modeled to earn extra money and also earned, and rightfully so, the term “The Look”. She was a classic, vintage beauty with a deep, sultry tone that was unmistakable. Lauren Bacall, a true Hollywood beauty, no further description needed. One of my favorite films in which she graced the ‘big screen’ with her presence, is called “Written on the Wind”. Everything about this movie mesmerizes me, from the opening music, to the color and wardrobe, plot and story, acting, etc. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Lauren Bacall, the second actor to die within the last 24 hours, the first of course being Robin Williams. It has often been said that when Hollywood actors/actresses pass away, death usually comes in three’s. Unfortunately, I have seen this happen more than once and I pray that this isn’t the case now. R.I.P. Regal and classy lady. In the infamous words of Humphrey Bogart, “Here’s looking at you kid”.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Images: Free Google images

Fly Robin Fly

FILE - This 1987 file photo released by Touchstone Pictures shows actor Robin Williams in character as disc-jockey Adrian Cronauer in director Barry Levinsons comedy drama, "Good Morning Vietnam." (AP Photo/Touchstone Pictures)

I was extremely saddened to learn that ‘entertainer extraordinaire’ Robin Williams passed away On Monday August 11, 2014. It was even more disheartening to hear officials speculate that he may have taken his own life. Indeed a crash landing for a man who soared to such magnificent heights as a performer.

I first became acquainted with the work of Robin Williams during the sitcom days of Mork & Mindy which ran from 1978 to 1982. He went on to do such hugely memorable things; everything from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire to Goodwill Hunting and more. His talent seemed to have no bounds and he always had me in stitches. I’ve seen him interviewed on numerous talk shows over the years and I have to say, it was painfully humorous to watch the host(s) try and conduct a serious interview with Mr. Williams with his constant joke-cracking at every turn, taking full advantage of every opportunity to throw them off their ‘game’ with his witty and outrageous tactics. I don’t recall witnessing one host who was able to keep it together in his presence.

You could just see them struggling to stay in control until it became impossible, at which point they would let loose into thunderous hysterical laughter. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but usually ended up doing both. Robin would just continue on mercilessly, with his rapid-fire barrage of comedic jokes that seemed to spew from a never-ending arsenal of humorous lines.

Comedic timing is key in the world of comedy and Robin Williams had it down to a science, that he managed to successfully convert into his own special art form.  He will surely be missed but  never forgotten and is certain to go down in entertainment history as one of the most accomplished entertainers to ever grace the screen,stage, etc. Rest in peace great man with the ever-present smile. Fly Robin fly.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Did you know?…(4)

 

 

Did you know that actor Tae Diggs grew up in Upstate Rochester New York a-k-a “Roc City”? That’s right! It’s true. He attended Allendale Columbia School and later, School of the Arts in Rochester.

  •  After high school, he attended college at Syracuse University where he studied ‘theater’. After receiving his Bachelors in Fine Arts degree in musical theater, he moved to New York City where he debuted in his first leading role in the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning sensation “Rent” in 1996.
  • He went on from the broadway stage to television where he landed a role in a soap opera called, The Guiding Light in 1998.
  • He starred in a popular medical television series called Private Practice and also the movies The Best Man (1999) and the follow-up movie The Best Man Holiday(2013)

These are just a few of the accomplishments this very talented actor has made. Just goes to show; good things and great people can and do come from this ‘neck of the woods’. Can you “digg” it?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

Image: Free google images: redbookmag.com

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