Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ben Kingsley Trivia

Just by the virtue of his role of Gandhi in the Richard Attenbourough movie "Gandhi" Ben Kingsley has become a legend. His acting, his characterization of complex individuals and his underplay of some non-regular individuals makes his roles worth being shown in acting classes. here are some trivia about him.

  • Educated at Manchester Grammar School.
  • Son of a GP.
  • Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year's Eve Honors List 2001.
  • Derived his stage name from his grandfather's nickname, "Clove King." His grandfather was a spice trader in Zanzibar.
  • Is of half Indian and half English descent. His father, Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, was a Kenyan-born physician of Indian descent while his mother, Anna Lyna Mary Bhanji, was an English-born fashion model of Jewish-European extraction.
  • Ben Kingsley's paternal family was from the Indian state of Gujarat, the same state Mahatma Gandhi was from.
  • He has four children: Jasmine and Thomas Kingsley, with Angela Morant; and Edmund Kingsley and Ferdinand Kingsley, with Alison Sutcliffe.
  • Made his London stage debut in 1966 as the narrator of "A Smashing Day" produced by The Beatles manager, Brian Epstein. He wrote the music for the production as well as sang and played guitar for same. After one performance, John Lennon and Ringo Starr came backstage and told him that he should go into music and that if he didn't, "he would regret it for the rest of his life." He was subsequently offered a deal by the same publishers who handled The Beatles, but he chose to remain an actor. The next year, he was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company and his choice was made.
  • Was listed as a potential nominee on both the 2005 and 2006 Razzie Award nominating ballots. He was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actor category on the 2005 ballot for his role in the film Thunderbirds (2004). And he was suggested again the next year in the Worst Supporting Actor category of the 2006 Razzie nominating ballot for his performance in the film A Sound of Thunder (2005). He failed to receive either nomination. The very next year (2007) though, he got a Worst Supporting Actor Razzie Nomination for his performance in the film BloodRayne (2005).
  • Head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1998
  • Was originally cast as Ephraim in Munich (2005), but later had to withdraw from the project due to scheduling conflicts.
  • His performance as Don Logan in Sexy Beast (2000) is ranked #97 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
  • Has three films on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time: Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) at #96, Gandhi (1982) at #29, and Schindler's List (1993) at #3.
  • At the age of ten he went busking outside a cinema in Llanelli, South Wales, with his friend Shirley Edwards.
  • The second actor of Asian descent to win an Academy Award. Miyoshi Umeki was the first.
  • One of eight actors of Asian descent nominated for an Academy Award in an acting category. The others are Miyoshi Umeki who won Best Supporting Actress nominated for Sayonara (1957), Sessue Hayakawa nominated for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Mako nominated for The Sand Pebbles (1966), Haing S. Ngor who won Best Supporting Actor for The Killing Fields (1984), Pat Morita nominated for The Karate Kid (1984), Ken Watanabe nominated for The Last Samurai (2003) and Rinko Kikuchi nominated for Babel (2006).
  • Married his fourth wife Daniela Barbosa de Carneiro at a country house in North Leigh in Oxfordshire in September 2007.
  • Portrayed Mahatma Gandhi who was from the state of Gujrat in India and he is a Gujrati as well.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Three's Company Trivia

A Bit of trivia about Three's Company after the trivia about John Ritter.
  • The final episode of the series didn't air until the beginning of the 1984-1985 season when it served as the lead in to its spin-off "Three's a Crowd" (1984).
  • In the final episode of the series, Jack moved from the apartment to one above his restaurant to live with his girlfriend Vicki (as seen in the spin-off "Three's a Crowd" (1984)), Janet got married and left to live with her husband Phillip and Teri took a nursing job in Hawaii.
  • Felipe's son is named Fernando Valenzuela Felipe Jose Jack Francesco Gomez.
  • Jack was in the Navy.
  • Jack lived at the Y.M.C.A. before moving in with Janet and Chrissy.
  • Janet and Chrissy had another roommate named Eleanor before Jack moved in.
  • In the early series pilot, shot in March 1976, there were some differences to the actual show that ran for eight years: - Norman Fell and Audra Lindley played The Ropers in the pilot, but were named George and Mrs. Roper. As in the UK original, Mrs. Roper was more serious and not zany as in the series. - The pilot took place in a triplexed apartment area in North Hollywood, called the "Hacienda Palms", but the main series was at an apartment house in Santa Monica. - John Ritter's character in the pilot was named David Bell, and he was an aspiring filmmaker. The two women roommates in the pilot were played by Valerie Curtin and Susanne Zenor. Their characters were named Jenny and Samantha, respectively. - The theme song had no real lyrics. The singers just sang "da-da-da-da-da-dum". - The sets used in the pilot mirrored the main series with the exception of the living room of the three roommates.
  • Three different addresses were given for the apartment throughout the seasons (none of them was real).
  • Billy Crystal auditioned for the role of Jack Tripper.
  • During the pilot episode, Jack says: "Well, you know you have to learn to trot before you can gallop... who said that?" and the audience laughs. This was John Ritter's way of paying homage to his late father, Tex Ritter.
  • At the end of the second episode, first season, Jack says: "Goodnight, John Boy." This was a direct wink at John Ritter's former performance on "The Waltons" (1972) as Reverend Fordwick.
  • Suzanne Somers was fired midway through the show's run due to salary disputes, amid a very public lawsuit and loads of publicity.
  • Any time Norman Fell said an especially funny or witty line, he would look directly into the camera as he laughed.
  • When Jack opens his restaurant, Larry brings his Greek family there for dinner. It is later revealed that Larry's real last name is Dalliopoulos (He changed it to Dallas because it was easier to spell).
  • Mr. Roper's car was a '58 Chevy.
  • Priscilla Barnes said her years on this show were the unhappiest in her professional career. She almost quit as soon as she was cast because she did not like the backstage atmosphere.
  • In the first few seasons, where the opening and closing credits were shot on the beach, it was done as a last-minute aspect by the producers at Venice Beach. The first shot, where the camera zooms in on Jack Tripper (John Ritter) riding his bike, was obtained by going on the roof of a Venice shop-owner who took $100 for use of his roof.
  • The exterior shots of the Roper's apartment was an actual corner apartment-house in Santa Monica. Permission was obtained by the owners for filming rights.
  • Audra Lindley and Norman Fell left the show after the third season for a spin-off about their characters. They were promised by the ABC network that if their show didn't make it past its first season, their spots were secure for a permanent return to "Three's Company". Their spin-off lasted a season and a half, so ABC was not obliged bring them back. They were permanently replaced by Don Knotts.
  • The first season DVD set was rushed onto the market due to the demand after the death of John Ritter in 2003.
  • Chrissy's father was a Methodist minister.
  • Ralph Furley's brother, Bart, is mentioned several times throughout the series, but he is seen only in one episode ("Furley vs. Furley").
  • The original unaired pilot was written by Larry Gelbart and directed by Burt Brinckerhoff. A second pilot was taped with Joyce DeWitt as Janet and Susan Lanier as Chrissy. 'Denise Galik-Furey' was originally cast as Chrissy but suddenly became unavailable shortly before taping. Bobbie Mitchell guest starred playing 'Patricia Crawford'.
  • The 1980-1981 season was very difficult for the cast and crew. Suzanne Somers began to demand higher pay than her fellow cast members and part ownership of the show. When she was refused, she would often not show up to work. John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt refused to work with Somers any longer. So her character Chrissy was written out of the season except for a 60-second scene at the very end of the episodes. In these scenes, Chrissy was visiting her family and she would call Jack and Janet on the phone. These scenes were filmed early in the day so Somers would be off the set by the time Ritter and DeWitt arrived as they wanted no contact with her. At the end of the season, Somers was fired and Chrissy was never mentioned again.
  • Chrissy's full name is "Christmas Noelle Snow".
  • In the show's opening (beginning with the sixth season), a toddler walks up to Joyce DeWitt as she is feeding a goat. The toddler is Jason Ritter (son of John Ritter). This is revealed by DeWitt in a bonus feature of the Season 4 DVD.
  • During Suzanne's clash with the producers at the start of season five, the cast had to be given scripts with Chrissy, and without Chrissy in them. Most of the time, Chrissy's lines were given to Mr. Furley.
  • Two episodes from "The Ropers" (1979) were added to the 'Three's Company' syndication package. They include the Ropers pilot, and another episode that includes guest spots from John Ritter, 'Joyce Dewitt', and Suzanne Somers.
  • Although Jenilee Harrison was well liked by her co-workers, her inexperience and a drop in ratings led to them searching for yet another person to fill the third roommate position.
  • John Ritter is the only cast member to appear in every episode.
  • Because of the season five controversy, the producers reduced Chrissy's role to short phone calls. Suzanne Somers would come in and record them the day before the rest of the cast arrived to shoot the episode. Many of the phone tags were later cut when the series went into syndication.
  • Numerous guest actors and actresses appeared in multiple roles. Jeffrey Tambor was the leader with three.
  • At the end of season three, Mr. Roper reveals that he sold the building, and the Ropers are moving. Mrs. Roper is hesitant. In real life, Audra Lindley was excited about doing a spin-off, while Norman Fell didn't want to leave Three's Company. It took him almost six months to agree.
  • During the earlier seasons' opening credits, the brunette walking by the beach that causes Jack to fall off his bike is Suzanne Somers in a wig.

John Ritter trivia

John Ritter was a truly great comedian and a terrific actor. I am not sure if he knew himself how good he was. I remember watching him in the movie "Hero At Large", he was amazing and convincing in a role that was not very conventional. 

Here is a small capsule of Trivia about him:
  • Attended Hollywood High, graduating in 1966. His
  • Married Amy Yasbeck in Wilmington, Ohio. The two had lived together for a couple of years. [18 September 1999]
  • Son of Tex Ritter and actress Dorothy Fay.
  • During an interview on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993), Ritter claimed that he chose the name "Vaughan Cunningham" for his character in Sling Blade (1996) based on an in-joke with the cast of "Happy Days" (1974).
  • He was a scout (but not an Eagle).
  • Starred with his wife, Amy Yasbeck, in an episode of "The Cosby Show" (1984) 10 years prior to their marriage. Coincidently, they played a husband and wife expecting their first child.
  • Member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
  • His talent for physical schtick was heralded by TV's top comedy icon Lucille Ball, who hosted a tribute to John's talent on "Three's Company" (1977). John later appeared in an episode of Lucille's last comedy series "Life with Lucy" (1986) In that episode, Lucy claims that during the shooting of a scene, it was the third time in her entire career that she had to yell "cut" because he broke her up laughing.
  • His father, cowboy star Tex Ritter, tried to steer him away from an acting career but lived long enough to rejoice in seeing him in a recurring role on "The Waltons" (1972), which was Tex's favorite TV program.
  • Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next to that of his father.
  • One of John's last public appearances was at Disney's Prime Time Weekend at Disney's California Adventure Park, 4 days before his death.
  • Was the first guest of "The Wayne Brady Show" (2002).
  • Died in the same hospital he was born in.
  • 4 children: Jason Ritter (born February 17, 1980), Carly Ritter (born March 1, 1982), Tyler Ritter (born 1984) and Stella Ritter (born September 11, 1998).
  • At the same time he entered Hollywood High School, he fell in love with The Beatles.
  • His favorite musical group was The Beatles and he even appeared on 'Ringo Starr''s TV special Ringo (1978) (TV) in 1978.
  • Paul Hennessy, Ritter's character on "8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (2002), was ranked #48 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].
  • Buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, California (actually borders Glendale and Griffith Park). Lot 1622 Court of Liberty near Stan Laurel's grave-site.
  • Was nominated for an Emmy, for best actor in a comedy, for "8 Simple Rules" one year after his death, after only appearing in 3 episodes.
  • Died one day before the death of country music legend Johnny Cash. Incidentally, his father, Tex, had written several songs for Johnny during the 50s and 60s.
  • Ended 20 year rift with his "Three's Company" (1977) co-star Suzanne Somers shortly before his death.
  • On an episode of "8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (2002), he and the cast did a spoof of his classic TV Series, "Three's Company" (1977). In the spoof, he played Mr. Roper, Katey Sagal played Helen Roper, Kaley Cuoco and Amy Davidson played Janet and Chrissy respectively, Billy Aaron Brown played Jack and Martin Spanjers played Larry. At the end of the episode, Don Knotts who played Mr. Furley in "Three's Company," reprised his role in one short scene. It was, not surprisingly, Ritter's favorite episode.
  • In "Three's Company" (1977) and "Three's a Crowd" (1984), he played a straight man pretending to be gay. In Perceptions (2005), his son, Jason Ritter, played a gay man pretending to be straight.
  • His final film, Bad Santa (2003), was dedicated to his memory.
  • After his death, the Sept 29 issue of People Magazine featured 2 different covers - issues distributed to the central and southwest US (except Florida) showed Johnny Cash who had also recently passed away, the rest displayed a photo of John Ritter taken by veteran photojournalist Michael Germana. Appropriately, he was waving goodbye.
  • Was married Twice
  • While Nancy Morgan did a tribute to her ex-husband on Thre's Company DVD compilation, Amy Yasbeck the Widow did not.