duminică, 28 aprilie 2019

Tony Brooks, a British former racing driver from England also known as the "racing dentist". He participated in 39 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 14 July 1956

Charles Anthony "Tony" Standish Brooks (born 25 February 1932 in Dukinfield, Cheshire) is a British former racing driver from England also known as the "racing dentist". He participated in 39 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 14 July 1956, achieving six wins, 10 podium finishes and 75 career points. He was third in the World Drivers' Championship in 1958 and second in 1959. He also scored the first win by a British driver in a British car in a Grand Prix since 1923, in 1955 driving a Connaught at Syracuse in a non-World Championship race.

Brooks was born on 25 February 1932, in Dukinfield, Cheshire, and educated at Mount St Mary's College. He is the son of a dental surgeon, Charles Standish Brooks, and studied the practice himself. He is also a cousin of Norman Standish Brooks, a former British Olympic swimmer. He took up racing in 1952 and drove a Healey and a Frazer Nash[1] at club events until 1955. In that same year, Brooks drove a Formula Two Connaught at Crystal Palace and finished fourth.[2]

Brooks claimed the first victory for a British-constructed car in a World Championship race in the 1957 British Grand Prix at Aintree, which he shared with Sir Stirling Moss. Along with Moss, Brooks is considered one of the best drivers never to have been World Champion and both Moss and three-time World Champion Jack Brabham were known to have thought highly of his ability.[3]
In 1959, Brooks, together with Brabham and Moss, had a chance to win the title due to the retirement (and subsequent death in a road accident) of Mike Hawthorn and the death, the previous season, of Peter Collins. Brooks started well, with a second place at Monaco, behind Brabham. He failed to finish at the Dutch Grand Prix, but dominantly won the French Grand Prix at Reims. Having failed to finish in a Vanwall at the British Grand Prix which he drove due to Ferrari workers in Italy being on strike, he won the only German Grand Prix of Formula One to be held at AVUS. The race was split unusually into two heats, and he won both. He had a slow car in Portugal, qualifying 10th and finishing five laps down. He retired shortly after the start at Monza but was still in contention to win the championship. At the first ever United States Grand Prix for Formula One at Sebring, he was hit by German teammate Wolfgang von Trips and pitted to check for any damage, losing two minutes. It proved to be a waste of time, but still finished in third place. He finished second in the championship with 27 points, seven behind Brabham, and one-and-a-half ahead of Moss.[4]
Brooks won six races for Vanwall and Ferrari, secured four pole positions, achieved ten podiums, and scored a total of 75 championship points. He drove for BRM but retired from the team at the end of 1961, just before their most successful season. He ended his career with a third place at the first ever United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.
He was also an accomplished sports car driver, winning both the 1957 1000 km Nürburgring and the 1958 RAC Tourist Trophy, with co-driver, Moss, racing an Aston Martin DBR1.[5] He was less successful at Le Mans in 1957, due again to an accident which occurred while racing an Aston Martin DBR1 at that year's 24-hour race, which brought about a change in his racing philosophy. A crash in the 1956 British Grand Prix and the subsequent Le Mans crash both occurred in cars with mechanical problems, of which he was aware, and Brooks, being a devout Catholic, vowed he would never again risk his life in a car that was in less than sound condition.[6]
He had fewer qualms when it came to his own condition, however: "I was lucky in the Le Mans shunt in that I didn't break anything, but I did have very severe abrasions – there was a hole in the side of my thigh I could literally have put my fist into."[6] It was with these injuries that he went on to race in the 1957 British GP with Moss, and win.

In 2008, Brooks was honoured by his home town. The Dukinfield District Assembly, part of Tameside Council, held a dinner in his honour and unveiled a plaque outside his former home on Park Lane.

sâmbătă, 27 aprilie 2019

Viggo Mortensen, an American/Danish actor, author, photographer, poet, and painter

Viggo Peter Mortensen Jr. (born October 20, 1958) is an American/Danish actor, author, photographer, poet, and painter. Born in New York to a Danish father and American mother, he was a resident of Venezuela and Argentina during his childhood. He is the recipient of various accolades including a Screen Actors Guild Award and has been nominated for three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards.
Mortensen made his film debut in a small role in Peter Weir's 1985 thriller Witness starring Harrison Ford and has appeared in several notable films since, including The Indian Runner (1991), Carlito's Way (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), Daylight (1996), The Portrait of a Lady (1996), G.I. Jane (1997), Psycho (1998), A Perfect Murder (1998), A Walk on the Moon (1999), and 28 Days (2000).
Mortensen received international attention in the early 2000s with his role as Aragorn in the epic film trilogy The Lord of the Rings. In 2005, Mortensen won critical acclaim for David Cronenberg's crime thriller A History of Violence.[2] Two years later, another Cronenberg film, Eastern Promises (2007), earned him further critical acclaim and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. A third teaming with Cronenberg in A Dangerous Method (2011) resulted in a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture. Other well-received films include Appaloosa (2008) and Far from Men (2014). Further Academy Award nominations came for his leading roles in Captain Fantastic (2016) and Green Book (2018).
Aside from acting, Mortensen's other artistic pursuits include fine arts, photography, poetry, and music. In 2002, he founded the Perceval Press to publish the works of little-known artists and authors.

marți, 23 aprilie 2019

Kim Novak, Hollywood 'sex goddess' in the 1950's. Actress best known today for her performance as Madeline Elster/Judy Barton in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Vertigo (1958) with James Stewart. Novak enjoyed box-office success and starred opposite several prominent leading men of the era, including Fred MacMurray, William Holden, Frank Sinatra, Tyrone Power, Kirk Douglas, and Laurence Harvey

Marilyn Pauline "Kim" Novak (born February 13, 1933) is a retired American film and television actress.

She began her film career in 1954 after signing with Columbia Pictures. There she starred in a string of movies, among them the well received Picnic (1955). She later starred in such films as The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and Pal Joey (1957). However, she is perhaps Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Vertigo (1958) with James Stewart. Novak enjoyed box-office success and starred opposite several prominent leading men of the era, including Fred MacMurray, William Holden, Frank Sinatra, Tyrone Power, Kirk Douglas, and Laurence Harvey.
best known today for her performance as Madeline Elster/Judy Barton in
Although still only in her mid-30s, Novak withdrew from acting in 1966, and has only sporadically worked in films since. She appeared in The Mirror Crack'd (1980), and had a regular role on the primetime series Falcon Crest (1986–87).[2] After a disappointing experience during the filming of Liebestraum (1991), she permanently retired from acting, stating she had no desire to return.[3] Her contributions to world cinema have been honored with two Golden Globe Awards, an Honorary Golden Bear Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame among others. She works as a visual artist.
Columbia intended for Novak to be their successor to Rita Hayworth, their biggest star of the 1940s, whose career had declined; also, the studio was hopeful that Novak would bring them the same box-office success Marilyn Monroe brought 20th Century-Fox. Novak's first role for the studio was in the film noir Pushover (1954), in which she received third billing below Fred MacMurray and Philip Carey. She then co-starred in the romantic comedy Phffft (1954) as Janis, a character who finds Robert Tracey (Jack Lemmon) "real cute". Both films were reasonably successful at the box office, and Novak received favorable reviews for her performances. In her third feature film, 5 Against the House (1955), a gritty crime drama, she received equal billing with Guy Madison. It was only a minor critical and box-office success.
She then played Madge Owens in the film version of Picnic (1955), from the William Inge play, co-starring William Holden and Rosalind Russell. Its director, Joshua Logan, felt that it would be more in character for Novak to have red hair; she agreed to wear a red wig during filming. Picnic was a resounding critical and box-office triumph, and Novak won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer. She was also nominated for BAFTA Film Award for Best Foreign Actress, but did not win. She appeared as a mystery guest on the game show What's My Line? on February 5, 1956, to promote the film's opening at the Radio City Music Hall. Director Otto Preminger then cast her in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), in which she played Frank Sinatra's sultry ex-girlfriend. In a cast which included Eleanor Parker, Novak received praise for being one of the film's bright spots, and the film was a box-office hit.

Novak's next project, The Eddy Duchin Story (1956), cast her as Marjorie Oelrichs, the wife of pianist Eddy Duchin, played by Tyrone Power. Because the two leads did not get along during filming, Novak nearly considered backing out of the production, but decided against it. At the time of its release, the film was a critical and box-office hit, with many suggesting that Novak's advertisements for No-Cal diet soda contributed positively to the film's success. Offered a choice for her next project, she selected the biopic Jeanne Eagels (1957), in which she portrayed the stage and silent-screen actress who was addicted to heroin. Co-starring Jeff Chandler, the film was a largely fictional account of Eagels' life. Eagels' family sued Columbia over the way Eagels had been depicted in the movie.[17]
After appearing in a series of successful movies, Novak became one of the biggest box-office draws of 1957 and 1958. Columbia then placed her in a film adaptation of Pal Joey (also 1957), based on the 1940 novel and Broadway play, both written by John O'Hara. Playing Linda English, a naive showgirl, she again co-starred opposite Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth. Released in October, the film received favorable reviews; Variety called the film "strong, funny entertainment," although Novak's performance has generated a mixed reaction, partly because of noticeable lack of on-screen charisma. The movie was a box-office hit and has been considered one of Novak's better performances.

marți, 16 aprilie 2019

David Croft, an English writer, producer and director. David Croft is particularly noted for producing and co-writing a string of popular BBC sitcoms with Jimmy Perry and Jeremy Lloyd including Dad's Army, Are You Being Served?, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Hi-de-Hi! and 'Allo 'Allo!

Major David John Croft, OBE (born David John Andrew Sharland; 7 September 1922 – 27 September 2011) was an English writer, producer and director. David Croft is particularly noted for producing and co-writing a string of popular BBC sitcoms with Jimmy Perry and Jeremy Lloyd including Dad's Army, Are You Being Served?, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Hi-de-Hi! and 'Allo 'Allo!

Croft began to co-write Are You Being Served? with Jeremy Lloyd. He was to continue both writing partnerships for the rest of his career in several hit series including It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Hi-de-Hi! (with Perry) and 'Allo 'Allo! (with Lloyd). He then started up You Rang, M'Lord?, a show that spoke of policies and unfairness in 1927. His last full series Oh, Doctor Beeching!, broadcast from 1995 to 1997, was co-written with Richard Spendlove. He created a television pilot in 2007, entitled Here Comes The Queen, with Jeremy Lloyd. This starred Wendy Richard and Les Dennis, but the show did not develop further.[12] Of these, It Ain't Half Hot Mum "was David’s and my favourite", Jimmy Perry told journalist Neil Clark in 2013.[13]
As a producer, Croft's regular practice was to signal the end of an episode with the caption "You Have Been Watching ...", followed by vignettes of the main cast.

miercuri, 13 martie 2019

Carmen Silvera, British comic actress that achieved mainstream fame in the 1980s with her starring role in the British television programme, 'Allo 'Allo! as Edith Artois

Carmen Dorothy Blanche Silvera (2 June 1922 – 3 August 2002) was a British comic actress. Born in Canada of Spanish descent, she moved to Coventry, England, with her family when she was a child.

She appeared on television regularly in the 1960s, and achieved mainstream fame in the 1980s with her starring role in the British television programme, 'Allo 'Allo! as Edith Artois. She appeared twice in Doctor Who, in the serials The Celestial Toymaker as Clara the Clown, Mrs. Wiggs, and the Queen of Hearts, and as Ruth in Invasion of the Dinosaurs.[3] In 1970 she appeared in the Dad's Army episode Mum's Army as Fiona Gray, the love-interest for Captain Mainwaring, a role especially written for her by David Croft. She also had roles in British sex comedies, such as Clinic Exclusive (1971), On the Game (1974), and Keep It Up Downstairs (1976).

Silvera's longest-running role came as Edith, the antagonistic wife of opportunistic cafe owner Rene Artois, throughout the history of the 'Allo 'Allo! series from 1982 to 1992.

sâmbătă, 9 martie 2019

Kim Hartman aka Private Helga Geerhart in the famous british television series 'Allo 'Allo!

Kim Lesley Hartman (born 11 January 1952) is an English actress, best known for her role as Private Helga Geerhart in the British television series 'Allo 'Allo!.

In addition to 'Allo 'Allo!, Hartman's television acting credits also include Casualty and The Brittas Empire, and her stage work includes the West End stage production of 'Allo 'Allo!. In 2005, she acted in Daisy Chain, an audio drama based on the television series Sapphire and Steel, In 2006 she played in the British film, Once Upon a Tyme. From 2005 to 2008, she played a science teacher, Ms. Hilda Rawlinson in the long-running children's series Grange Hill. In 2010, she took on the role of Elizabeth in the stage adaptation of the BBC situation comedy Keeping Up Appearances.

Kim presented on a travel programme shown on Travel Channel (UK) Cruising to the Northern Lights.

joi, 7 martie 2019

Carlos Sastre, Spanish professional road bicycle racer and champion of the 2008 Tour de France

Carlos Sastre Candil (born 22 April 1975 in Leganés, Madrid) is a Spanish professional road bicycle racer and champion of the 2008 Tour de France. Sastre rides for UCI Professional Continental team Geox-TMC. Through his consistently improved top 10 results in the Vuelta a España and good showings in the Tour de France, Sastre established himself as a strong and stable climbing specialist, and after working to improve his individual time trial skills, he has become a contender for the top GC spots in the Grand Tours.
When Sastre was young, professional cyclist Francisco Ignacio San Román lived in his parents's house during military service. Sastre was at first coached by his father, until he became an amateur.
Sastre signed his first professional contract in 1997 with ONCE. In his five years at ONCE he mostly served as a domestique and only managed a few wins, though he showed his strength in the mountains with several good results, most notably winning the mountain competition in the 2000 Vuelta a España.
In 2002 he switched to Team CSC, where he filled the role of captain in the Vuelta a España and, until 2005, had a free role in the Tour de France. This resulted in his winning the 13th stage of the 2003 Tour de France, which Sastre won with a pacifier in his mouth, as a greeting to his infant daughter. Sastre finished 2 minutes 32 seconds ahead of team captain Tyler Hamilton on the stage.
Before the 2004 season, Carlos Sastre and teammate Ivan Basso trained extensively to improve their individual time trial skills, making them better all-round riders. They went to Boston to train on MIT's wind tunnel. This helped Sastre improve his Vuelta a España performance, ranking 6th in the overall classification, as well as 8th in the 2004 Tour de France.

In the 2005 Tour de France he was a domestique for Ivan Basso, and 21st in the overall classification. However, as the captain of Team CSC's 2005 Vuelta a España campaign, Sastre finally reached the podium of a Grand Tour, finishing in third place behind Denis Menchov and initial winner Roberto Heras. Heras was later disqualified due to a positive EPO test, making Sastre the de facto second placed rider of the competition. After the Vuelta a España, he extended his contract with Team CSC for another year. In May 2006 he signed a new contract which expired after the 2008 season. Before the 2006 Giro d'Italia in May, Sastre decided to ride the Giro d'Italia to help Ivan Basso to win,indicating that he would ride all three Grand Tours; the Giro and Tour in support of Basso and the Vuelta as team captain. In the Giro, Sastre's pace on select mountain stages helped Basso win the overall classification. Sastre finished 43rd in the GC of the 2006 Giro.
Days before the 2006 Tour de France started in July, Team CSC suspended Ivan Basso as his name was brought up in the Operación Puerto doping case. This meant Sastre became the CSC team captain at the 2006 Tour. Even though his main focus for the season had been the 2006 Vuelta a España in September, this Tour was a great opportunity for Sastre to prove himself as a Tour GC contender. Through the mountain stages, Sastre proved himself the strongest mountain rider in the peloton, beating Floyd Landis by one minute and 59 seconds and Andreas Klöden by two and a half minutes on mountain climbs.  Sastre was placed well on stage 15, and came in 2nd on both stage 16 and 17, where he closed the gap to the then yellow jersey Óscar Pereiro. Before the penultimate stage of the Tour, the stage 19 individual time trial, Sastre was the second placed rider overall, trailing race leader Óscar Pereiro by 14 seconds. However, on the final time trial, which stretched 57 kilometres between Le Creusot and Montceau-les-Mines, Sastre finished 20th, losing several minutes to Pereiro, eventual overall winner Floyd Landis and Andreas Klöden, who took third place overall. Sastre thus finished the 2006 Tour in 4th place. Floyd Landis has since been stripped of this title, making Sastre 3rd in the 2006 Tour de France.
By completing the Vuelta, Sastre, who also rode the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2006, became one of a rare breed of riders to finish all three Grand Tours in one year.

Coming into the 2008 Tour de France, Sastre was considered one of the favorites to win the race along with Australian Cadel Evans of Team Silence-Lotto, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde of Caisse d'Epargne and Russian Denis Menchov of Rabobank. He also faced competition within his own team from brothers Andy and Fränk Schleck, despite officially being the leader of Team CSC Saxo Bank.
Sastre had a quiet, understated opening to the tour. After a lacklustere opening time-trial, he remained relatively restrained in the opening mountain stages in the Pyrenees and opted to stay defensive and follow the wheel of his main rivals. This allowed his CSC teammate Fränk Schleck to claim the yellow jersey at the finish to stage 15 at Prato Nevoso. However, on the crucial 17th stage, Sastre showed his class and mountain climbing prowess, attacking at the bottom of the final climb of the day, Alpe d'Huez, finishing 2 minutes and 15 seconds ahead of Evans,claiming both the stage win and the yellow jersey.Sastre, knowing that a slender lead over a strong time-trialist like Evans may not have been enough to secure overall victory going into the penultimate stage, sought to gain an advantage of at least a couple of minutes over his closest rivals.
Following his victorious Stage 17 attack, Sastre took a lead of 1 minute and 24 seconds over teammate Fränk Schleck into the final time trial, although, more crucially, he had a further 10 seconds advantage over Evans, a man considered to be a more accomplished time trialist,who was widely expected to overcome the deficit and leapfrog Sastre into first place. However, Sastre managed to hold onto his lead in the time trial, finishing the Tour with a 58 second lead.
Sastre's victory capped an exceptional 2008 tour for Team CSC Saxo Bank, as they also won the young rider classification with Andy Schleck, the overall team classification, as well as 2 stages, the latter being won by Sastre, on l'Alpe d'Huez.
His victory was however criticized by Lance Armstrong, who said the 2008 Tour was a joke. Armstrong later apologized for this to Sastre.
Sastre and CSC could not agree on a new contract, so Sastre left the team at the end of the year. 
Sastre joined the new Cervélo TestTeam for the 2009 season. He won the high mountain Stage 16 of the 2009 Giro d'Italia, which had been called the Giro's queen stage, after seven hours and twelve minutes. His decisive attack saw him break free from a group of general classification contenders to get to the summit of Monte Petrano just under half a minute faster than the group he left.After seeming off his form in Stage 17 of that race, Sastre rebounded with another solo ride to victory in Stage 19 to Mount Vesuvius.  He then completed the Giro with a solid ride in the final time-trial around Rome to hold off Ivan Basso and take 4th place and another top ten placing in a Grand Tour.