Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn was born Antonio Rodolfo Oaxaca Quinn in Chihuahua, Mexico, during the Mexican Revolution. Anthony Quinn was born on 21 April, 1915 and died on 3 June, 2001.

Anthony Quinn was a 2-time Academy Award-winning Mexican-American actor, as well as a painter and writer.  Anthony Quinn starred in numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful films, including Zorba the Greek and Federico Fellini’s La strada. Anthony Quinn also appeared in Lawrence of Arabia, Viva Zapata!, Lust for Life, Barabbas, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Mohammad, Messenger of God, The Shoes of the Fisherman, and The Guns of Navarone.

Anthony Quinn’s mother, Manuela “Nellie” Oaxaca, was of Aztec ancestry. Anthony Quinn’s father, Francisco Quinn, was born in Mexico to an Irish father and a Mexican mother. Frank Quinn rode with Pancho Villa, but later moved to Los Angeles and became an assistant cameraman at a movie studio. In Anthony Quinn’s autobiography The Original Sin: A Self-Portrait by Anthony Quinn he denied being the son of an “Irish adventurer” and attributed that tale to Hollywood publicists.

When he was 6 years old, Anthony Quinn attended a Catholic church (even thinking he wanted to become a priest). At the age of 11, however, he joined the Pentecostals in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (the Pentecostal followers of Aimee Semple McPherson).

Anthony Quinn grew up first in El Paso, Texas, and later the Boyle Heights and the Echo Park areas of Los Angeles, California. Anthony Quinn attended Hammel St. Elementary School, Belvedere Junior High School, Polytechnic High School and finally Belmont High School but left before graduating. Tucson High School in Arizona years many later awarded him an honourary high school diploma.

As a young man Anthony Quinn boxed professionally to earn money, then studied art and architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright, both at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Arizona residence and his Wisconsin studio, Taliesin. The 2 very different men became friends. When Anthony Quinn mentioned he was drawn to acting, Frank Lloyd Wright encouraged him. Anthony Quinn said he had been offered $800 a week by a film studio and didn’t know what to do. Frank Lloyd Wright replied, “Take it, you’ll never make that much with me.”

After a short time performing on the stage, Anthony Quinn launched his film career performing character roles in the 1936 films Parole (his debut) and The Milky Way. Anthony Quinn played “ethnic” villains in Paramount films such as Dangerous to Know (1938) and Road to Morocco. By 1947, he had appeared in over 50 films and had played Indians, Mafia dons, Hawaiian chiefs, Filipino freedom-fighters, Chinese guerrillas, and Arab sheiks, but was still not a major star. Anthony Quinn returned to the theater, even playing Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway.

In 1947, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Anthony Quinn came back to Hollywood in the early 1950s, specialising in tough roles. Anthony Quinn was cast in a series of B-adventures such as Mask of the Avenger (1951). Anthony Quinn’s big break cane from playing opposite Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan’s Viva Zapata! (1952). Anthony Quinn’s supporting role as Zapata’s brother won Anthony Quinn an Oscar. Anthony Quinn was the 1st Mexican-American to win any Academy Award. Anthony Quinn appeared in several Italian films starting in 1953, turning in one of his best performances as a dim-witted, thuggish and volatile strongman in Federico Fellini’s La strada (1954) opposite Giulietta Masina. Anthony Quinn won his 2nd Oscar for Best Supporting Actor by portraying the painter Gauguin in Vincente Minnelli’s Van Gogh biopic, Lust for Life (1956). The award was remarkable as he was onscreen for only 8 minutes. The following year, he received a Oscar nomination for his part in George Cukor’s Wild Is the Wind. In The River’s Edge (1957), he played the husband of the former girlfriend (played by Debra Paget) of a killer (Ray Milland), who turns up with a stolen fortune and forces Anthony Quinn and Paget at gunpoint to guide him safely to Mexico. Anthony Quinn starred in The Savage Innocents 1959 (film) as Inuk, an Eskimo who finds himself caught between 2 clashing cultures.

Anthony Quinn as Wogan in the trailer for The Black Swan(1942)as the decade ended, Anthony Quinn allowed his age to show and began his transformation into a major character actor. Anthony Quinn’s physique filled out, his hair grayed, and his once smooth, swarthy face weathered became more rugged. Anthony Quinn’s demeanor made him a convincing Greek resistance fighter in The Guns of Navarone (1961), an ideal ex-boxer in Requiem for a Heavyweight, and a natural for the role of Auda ibu Tayi in Lawrence of Arabia (both 1962). That year he also played the title role in Barabbas, based on a novel by Pär Lagerkvist. The success of Zorba the Greek in 1964 was the high water mark of his career and resulted in another Oscar nomination. Other successes include La Vingt-cinquième heure (1967, The Twenty Fifth Hour), with Virna Lisi; The Magus (1968), with Michael Caine and Candice Bergen, and based on the novel by John Fowles; and The Shoes of the Fisherman, where he played a Russian pope. In 1969, he starred in The Secret of Santa Vittoria with Anna Magnani.

Anthony Quinn appeared on Broadway to great acclaim in Becket, as King Henry II to Laurence Olivier’s Thomas Becket in 1960. An erroneous story arose in later years that during the run, Anthony Quinn and Laurence Olivier switched roles and Anthony Quinn played Becket to Laurence Olivier’s King. In fact, Anthony Quinn left the production for a film, never having played Becket, and director Peter Glenville suggested a road tour with Laurence Olivier as Henry. Laurence Olivier happily acceded and Arthur Kennedy took on the role of Becket for the tour and brief return to Broadway.

In 1971, after the success of a TV movie named The City, where Anthony Quinn played Albuquerque Mayor Thomas Jefferson Alcala, he starred in the short-lived (1-season) television drama spin-off The Man in the City. Anthony Quinn’s subsequent television appearances were sporadic (among them Jesus of Nazareth).

In 1977, Anthony Quinn starred in the movie Mohammad, Messenger of God (aka The Message), about the origin of Islam, as Hamzah, a highly revered warrior instrumental in the early stages of Islam. In 1982, he starred in the Lion of the Desert, together with Irene Papas, Oliver Reed, Rod Steiger, and John Gielgud. Anthony Quinn played the real-life Bedouin leader Omar Mukhtar who fought Mussolini’s Italian troops in the deserts of Libya. The film, produced and directed by Moustapha Akkad, is now critically acclaimed, but performed poorly at the box office because of negative publicity in the West at the time of its release, stemming from its having been partially funded by Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi. In 1983, he reprised his most famous role, playing Zorba the Greek for 362 performances in a successful revival of the Kander and Ebb musical Zorba.

Anthony Quinn’s film career slowed during the 1990s, but Anthony Quinn nonetheless continued to work steadily, appearing in Revenge (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Last Action Hero (1993), and A Walk in the Clouds (1995). In 1994, he played Zeus in the five TV movies that led to the syndicated series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. (However, he did not continue in the actual series, and the role was eventually filled by several other actors).

Throughout his teenage years he won various art competitions in California and focused his studies at Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles on drafting. Later, Anthony Quinn studied briefly under Frank Lloyd Wright through the Taliesin Fellowship—an opportunity created by winning 1st prize in an architectural design contest. Through Frank Lloyd Wright’s recommendation, Anthony Quinn took acting lessons as a form of post-operative speech therapy, which led to an acting career that spanned over 6 decades.

Apart from art classes taken in Chicago during the 1950s, Anthony Quinn never attended art school; nonetheless, taking advantage of books, museums, and amassing a sizable collection, he managed to give himself an effective education in the language of modern art. Although Anthony Quinn remained mostly self-taught, intuitively seeking out and exploring new ideas, there is observable history in his work because he had assiduously studied the modernist masterpieces on view in the galleries of New York, Mexico City, Paris, and London. When filming on location around the world, Anthony Quinn was exposed to regional contemporary art styles exhibited at local galleries and studied art history in each area.

In an endless search for inspiration, he was influenced by his Mexican ancestry, decades of residency in Europe, and lengthy stays in Africa and the Middle East while filming in the 1970s and 1980s.

By the early 1980s, his work had caught the eyes of various gallery owners and was exhibited internationally, in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Mexico City. Anthony Quinn’s work is now represented in both public and private collections throughout the world.

Anthony Quinn wrote 2 memoirs, The Original Sin (1972) and One Man Tango (1997), a number of scripts, and a series of unpublished stories currently in the collection of his archive.

Anthony Quinn’s personal life was as volatile and passionate as the characters he played in films. anthony Quinn’s 1st wife was the adopted daughter of Cecil B. DeMille, the actress Katherine DeMille, whom he married in 1937. The couple had 5 children, they are Christopher (born 1939), Christina (born 1 December, 1941), Catalina (born 21 November, 1942), Duncan (born 4 August, 1945), and Valentina (born 26 December, 1952). One of their sons, Christopher, age 2, drowned in the swimming pool of next-door neighbor W.C. Fields. Anthony Quinn and DeMille were divorced in 1965.

The next year, he married costume designer Iolanda Quinn (Jolanda Addolori). They had 3 children they are Francesco (born 22 March, 1962), Danny (born 16 April, 1964), and Lorenzo (born 7 May, 1966). The union ended in 1997, after Anthony Quinn fathered a child with his secretary, Kathy Benvin. Anthony Quinn then married Benvin, with whom he had 2 children, Antonia (born 23 July, 1993) and Ryan Nicholas (born 5 July, 1996). Anthony Quinn and Kathy Benvin remained together until his death.

Anthony Quinn also fathered 3 other children out of wedlock: Alexander Anthony (born 30 December, 1976), Valentina, and Sean Quinn, a New Jersey real estate agent.

Anthony Quinn spent his last years in Bristol, Rhode Island. Anthony Quinn died aged 86 in Boston, Massachusetts from pneumonia and respiratory failure while suffering from throat cancer shortly after completing his role in his last film, Avenging Angelo (2002).

Anthony Quinn’s funeral was held in a Baptist church; late in life, he had joined the Foursquare evangelical Christian community. Anthony Quinn is buried in a family plot near Bristol.

On 5 January, 1982, the Belvedere County Public Library in East Los Angeles was renamed in honour of Anthony Quinn. The present library sits on the site of his family’s former home.

There is an Anthony Quinn Bay and Beach in Rhodes, Dodecanese, Greece, just 2.7 miles (4.3 km) south of the village of Faliraki (aka Falirakion or Falirákion).

The National Council of La Raza gives the Anthony Quinn Award for excellence in motion pictures as an ALMA Award.

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Series-Disabled Legend David Niven

James David Graham Niven was born on 1 March 1910 in London, England, UK and died on 29 July 1983 in Switzerland of motor neurone disease (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at the age of 73. Bitter, estranged, and plagued by depression, David Niven’s wife Hjördis showed up drunk at the funeral, having been persuaded to attend by family friend Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Hjördis added insult to injury by noting in her will that “under no circumstances” was she to be buried alongside her husband in the place left for her in the crypt in Switzerland.

David Niven was an English Academy Award-winning actor probably best known for his role as the punctuality-obsessed adventurer Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days (1956).

David Niven was the son of William Edward Graham Niven and the French/British Henrietta Julia Degacher who was born in Wales, was the daughter of army officer William Degacher (who changed his original name of Hitchcock to his mother’s maiden name of Degacher in 1874 and Julia Caroline, the daughter of Lieutenant General James Webber Smith. James was named David for his birth on St. David’s Day. Although he often claimed to have been born in Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland in 1909, it was only after his birth certificate was checked following his death that this was found to be incorrect.

David’s father was killed during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915 and his mother remarried Sir Thomas Comyn-Platt. In his biography, NIV: The Authorised Biography of David Niven, Graham Lord suggests that Comyn-Platt had been conducting an affair with David Niven’s mother for some time prior to her husband’s death, and that Sir Thomas may well have been David Niven’s biological father, a supposition not without some support from her children.

After attending Stowe as a boy, David Niven trained at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, which gave him the “officer and gentleman” bearing that was to be his trademark. Although he had done well at Sandhurst, David Niven did not enjoy his time in the regular Army, in part because he was not accepted for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on which he had set his heart. David served for 2 years in Malta and 2 years in Dover with the Highland Light Infantry. While on Malta, he became acquainted and friendly with Captain Roy Urquhart, who would later lead the British 1st Airborne Division in the ill-fated Operation Market-Garden.

David Niven grew tired of the peacetime Army and saw no opportunity for promotion or advancement. As he related in his memoirs, his ultimate decision to resign came after a lengthy lecture on machine guns, which was interfering with his plans for dinner with a particularly attractive young lady. At the end of the speech, the major general giving the lecture asked if there were any questions. Showing the typical rebelliousness of his early years, David Niven stated that he felt compelled to ask, “Could you tell me the time, sir? I have to catch a train.”

After being placed under close arrest for this act of insubordination, David Niven claims to have finished a bottle of whisky with the officer who was guarding him and, with the connivance of the latter, escaped from a 1st floor window. En route across the Atlantic, David Niven sent a telegram resigning his commission. David Niven relocated to New York, where he began an unsuccessful career in whisky sales and horse rodeo promotion in Atlantic City. After subsequent detours to Bermuda and Cuba, he finally arrived in Hollywood in the summer of 1934.

According to his autobiography, The Moon’s a Balloon, David Niven arrived in Hollywood to try to break into the movies by first finding work as an extra. David was given lodgings with the Belzer family, one of whose daughters – Gretchen – was already a major Hollywood star, under her stage name of Loretta Young. When he presented himself at the doors of Central Casting, he found out that he had to have a work permit, to allow him to reside and work in the U.S. Luckily for him, he was given the chance to do a screen test for director Edmund Goulding. Unfortunately, it was not long after this that he was paid a visit by the U.S. Immigration Service and told he had to apply for a Resident Alien Visa.

This meant that David Niven had to leave U.S. soil in the meantime, and again, according to his autobiography, he left for Mexico – specifically Mexicali – where he worked as a “gun-man”, cleaning and polishing the rifles of the visiting Americans who came there to hunt quail and various other game. After a lengthy wait for his birth certificate to be sent out from England, he successfully applied – and received – his Resident Alien Visa from the American Consulate. David then returned to the U.S. and was accepted by Central Casting as “Anglo-Saxon Type No. 2008.”

David Niven’s first work as an extra was as a Mexican in a Western. This inauspicious start notwithstanding, he then found himself an agent – Bill Hawks. After this, he was then signed up for a non-speaking part in MGM’s “Mutiny On The Bounty” (1935), starring Clark Gable as Fletcher Christian and Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh.

David Niven then landed a long-term contract as a supporting player with independent film producer Samuel Goldwyn, which firmly established his career and enabled him to become a leading man in many films. Given his privileged English upbringing, David Niven had no problems infiltrating what became known as the Hollywood Raj, a select group of British actors who had made Hollywood their home. Other members of the group, included Boris Karloff, Stan Laurel, Basil Rathbone, Ronald Colman and their self appointed leader C. Aubrey Smith. One of his 1st major roles was in The Charge of the Light Brigade in 1936, in which he starred alongside one of his closest friends Errol Flynn. A year later he starred as Capt. Fritz von Tarlenheim in 1937’s The Prisoner of Zenda with C Aubrey Smith and Ronald Colman. However, not wanting to be typecast as a ‘swashbuckler’ as Errol Flynn had been, David Niven also made films in a light hearted vein such as the 1939 RKO comedy Bachelor Mother with Ginger Rogers, and Raffles, in which he played a gentleman thief.

After the United Kingdom declared war in 1939, David Niven was one of the 1st British actors to return to England. David rejoined the British Army. 1st serving with the Rifle Brigade, David Niven was assigned to a motor training battalion. David Niven later interviewed for a position with the British Commandos, and was assigned to a training base at Inverailort House in the Western Highlands of Scotland. David Niven would later claim credit for introducing British hero Robert Laycock to the Commandos. Working with the Army Film Unit, he also took part in the deception campaign, using a minor actor M.E. Clifton James, a Montgomery lookalike, to convince the Germans that the D-Day landings would be made in the Mediterranean. Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by General Frederick E. Morgan and assigned as a liaison officer between the British Second Army and the First United States Army, David Niven took part in the Normandy landings, arriving several days after D-Day. David acted in 2 films during the war, both of strong propaganda value: The First of the Few (1942) and The Way Ahead (1944). During his war service, his batman was Private Peter Ustinov (with whom he would later co-star in Death on the Nile).

David Niven remained politely, but firmly, close-mouthed about the war, despite public interest in celebrities in combat and a reputation for telling good stories over and over again. David said once: “I will, however, tell you just one thing about the war, my first story and my last. I was asked by some American friends to search out the grave of their son near Bastogne. I found it where they told me I would, but it was among 27,000 others, and I told myself that here, David Niven, were 27,000 reasons why you should keep your mouth shut after the war.” David Niven also had special scorn for the newspaper columnists covering the war who typed out self-glorifying and excessively florid prose about their meagre wartime experiences. David Niven stated, “Anyone who says a bullet sings past, hums past, flies, pings, or whines past, has never heard one − they go crack.” One story has surfaced: about to lead his men into a battle with an expectation of heavy casualties, David Niven supposedly eased their nervousness by telling them, “It’s all very well for you chaps, but I’ll have to do this all over again in Hollywood with Errol Flynn!”

David Niven did, however, finally open up about his war experience in his 1971 autobiography, The Moon’s a Balloon, mentioning his private conversations with Winston Churchill, the bombings, and what it was like entering a nearly completely destroyed Germany with the occupation forces. David Niven stated that he first met Winston Churchill during a dinner party in February 1940 when Winston Churchill singled him out from the crowd and stated, “Young man, you did a fine thing to give up your film career to fight for your country. Mark you, had you not done so − it would have been despicable.”

In spite of a 6 year virtual absence from the screen, he came 2nd in the 1945 Popularity Poll of British film stars. On his return to Hollywood after the war, he was made a Legionnaire of the Legion of Merit, the highest American order that can be earned by a foreigner. This was presented to Lt. Col. David Niven by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

David Niven was actually a member of the specialist Phantom Signals Unit, and was responsible for reporting and locating enemy positions, bomb lines and also keeping rear Commanders up to date on changing battle lines. David Niven was posted at one time to Chilham in Kent. Dwight Eisenhower was so disappointed with communications difficulty on D-Day that he personally ordered a Phantom Unit to be attached to his headquarters.

David Niven resumed his career after the war, with films such as A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Around the World in 80 Days (1956) (as Phileas Fogg), The Guns Of Navarone (1961), and The Pink Panther (1963).

The same year as he hosted the show with Jack Lemmon and Bob Hope, David Niven won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Separate Tables (1958). David Niven had a long and complex relationship with Samuel Goldwyn, who had first given him his start, but whom David Niven believed had been treating him unfairly. Despite their long business history, David Niven and Samuel Goldwyn went through an 8 year estrangement in which David Niven was essentially blacklisted from the movie industry after demanding greater compensation for his work. After winning the Academy Award, David Niven received a telephone call from Samuel Goldwyn with the invitation that he should come to his home. David Niven claimed that he was in Samuel Goldwyn’s drawing room when he noticed a picture of him in uniform that he had sent to Samuel Goldwyn from England during World War II. David claimed that in happier times with Goldwyn, he had observed this same picture sitting on top of Samuel Goldwyn’s piano. Now years later, the picture was still in the exact same spot. David Niven claimed that as he was looking at the picture, Samuel Goldwyn’s wife, Francis, approached him and said, “Sam never took it down.”

David Niven had in fact been Ian Fleming’s preference for the part of James Bond, however EON Productions chose Sean Connery for their series. In 1967, he starred with Deborah Kerr and Barbara Bouchet in the James Bond satire, Casino Royale. In a documentary included with the U.S. DVD of the 1967 release of Casino Royale, Charles K. Feldman states that Ian Fleming had written the book with David Niven in mind, and therefore sent a copy of the book to David. David Niven is the only James Bond actor who is mentioned by name in the text of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bond visits an exclusive ski resort in Switzerland where he is told that David Niven is a frequent visitor and in You Only Live Twice, David Niven is referred to as the only real gentleman in Hollywood.

Late in life, he gained critical acclaim for his memoirs of his boyhood and acting career, The Moon’s a Balloon (1971) and Bring On the Empty Horses (1975). Although it has since come to light that despite David Niven’s frequent recounting of anecdotes about Hollywood in a manner that suggested that he had been personally involved at the time, in many cases he had not in fact been a witness to them and he was merely embroidering stories he had heard at third hand.

Perhaps one of David Niven’s finest moments came when he had to present the 46th Annual Oscars ceremony, and a naked man appeared behind him, running across the stage. Not to be outclassed or nonplussed even for a moment, David Niven came back with the one liner “Isn’t it fascinating to think, that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life, is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings!”

After a whirlwind 2 week romance in 1940, David Niven married Primula Susan Rollo (1918, London – 21 May 1946, Beverly Hills, California), the aristocratic daughter of a British lawyer. The couple had 2 sons, David Jr. and Jamie. Primula died at age 28, only 6 weeks after moving to America, of a fractured skull and brain lacerations from an accidental fall in the home of Tyrone Power. While playing hide and seek, she walked through a door believing it led to a closet. Instead, it led to a stone staircase to the basement. David Niven recalled this as the darkest period of his life, years afterwards thanking his friends for their patience and forbearance during this time. David later claimed to have been so grief stricken that he thought for a while that he’d gone mad. David eventually rallied and returned to film making.

David Niven met Hjördis Paulina Tersmeden (née Genberg, 1921–1997), a divorced Swedish fashion model and frustrated actress, in 1948. The moment of his meeting her was recounted by David Niven in what might be a classic example of his writing style:

I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life – tall, slim, auburn hair, uptilted nose, lovely mouth and the most enormous grey eyes I had ever seen. It really happened the way it does when written by the worst lady novelists…I goggled. I had difficulty swallowing and had champagne in my knees.

They married 10 days later.

In October 1951, while pheasant shooting with friends in New England, Hjördis was shot in the face, neck and chest by 2 of David Niven’s companions. While convalescing in the Blackstone Hotel in New York, David Niven and Hjördis were next door neighbours with Audrey Hepburn, who made her debut on Broadway that season. In 1960, while filming Please Don’t Eat the Daisies with Doris Day, David Niven and Hjördis separated for a few weeks, though they later reconciled.

They had 2 adopted daughters, Kristin and Fiona, one of whom has long been rumored to be David Niven’s child by another fashion model, Mona Gunnarson. The marriage was as tumultuous as David Niven’s previous marriage had been happy. Thwarted from pursuing an acting career, Hjördis was reported as having affairs with other men and became an alcoholic.

In February 1983, using a false name to avoid publicity, David Niven was hospitalised for 10 days for treatment, ostensibly for a digestive problem. Afterwards, he returned to his chalet at Chateau d’Oex in Switzerland, where his condition continued to decline. David refused to return to the hospital, and his family supported his decision.

According to Graham Lord, who wrote a biography on David Niven, called simply “Niv”, Lord writes that there have been reports that some have accused David Niven of being especially friendly to people who could have done him some good. Graham Lord also says that “the biggest wreath, worthy of a Mafia Godfather’s funeral, was delivered from the porters at London’s Heathrow Airport, along with a card that read: “To the finest gentleman who ever walked through these halls. David Niven made a porter feel like a king.”

David Niven died on the same day as Raymond Massey, his co-star in The Prisoner of Zenda and A Matter of Life and Death. David Niven had just completed work on Trail of the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther. David was incomprehensible at times during the filming of both movies, and his voice was dubbed over in post-production by impressionist Rich Little, a fact that David Niven later learned through a gossip column.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Marlee Matlin

Marlee Beth Matlin was born on 24 August, 1965 in Morton Grove, Illinois, USA. Marlee is an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning American actress who is deaf.

Marlee was born to Libby and Donald Matlin, an automobile dealer. Marlee lost all hearing in her right ear, and 80% of hearing in her left ear at the age of 18 months. Marlee was raised in a Jewish family in Morton Grove, Illinois, USA. Marlee graduated from John Hersey High School in nearby Arlington Heights and attended Harper College.

Marlee made her stage debut at the age of 7, as Dorothy in a children’s theatre version of The Wizard of Oz, and continued to appear with the same children’s theatre group throughout her childhood.

Marlee’s film debut, 1986’s Children of a Lesser God, brought her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama and an Academy Award for Best Actress. Marlee is one of the few actors to win an Oscar for their debut performance, and as of 2008, still holds the record for youngest winner in the Best Actress Oscar category. Marlee was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her work as the lead female role in the television series Reasonable Doubts (1991–1993) and was nominated for an Emmy Award for a guest appearance in Picket Fences. Marlee became a regular on the series during its final season.

Marlee later had recurring roles in The West Wing, and Blue’s Clues. Other television appearances include Seinfeld (“The Lip Reader”), The Outer Limits (“The Message”), ER, Desperate Housewives, CSI: NY and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Marlee was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for her guest appearances in Seinfield, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Practice.

In 2002, Marlee published her 1st novel, Deaf Child Crossing, which was loosely based on her own childhood.

In 2004, she starred in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know? as Amanda.

In 2006, Marlee was honored at AOL’s 2nd Annual Chief Everything Officer Awards. Marlee joined the cast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Sunday, 17 September, 2006. In the episode featuring a deaf boy with a blind father, grandmother and sisters, Marlee was the guest host. Marlee wrote and published a sequel to Deaf Child Crossing, titled Nobody’s Perfect, which was produced on stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in partnership with VSA arts in October 2007.

Also in 2006, she played a deaf parent in Desperate Housewives. Marlee also had a recurring role as Joy Turner’s (who made many jokes of Marlee’s deafness at her expense) public defender in My Name Is Earl and played the mother of one of the victims in an episode of CSI: NY. Marlee starred in the Baby Einstein videos Baby’s Favorite Places: First Words-Around Town and Baby Wordsworth: First Words Around the House, both of which were designed to introduce sign language as a form of non-verbal communication.

In 2006 Marlee was cast in season 4 of The L Word as Jodi Lerner, a gay deaf sculptor. Marlee appeared in season 4 (2007) and season 5 (2008) as the girl friend of the show’s main protagonist Bette Porter (played by Jennifer Beals). It is unclear if Marlee will continue in season 6, the show’s final season.

On 4 February, 2007, Marlee performed the Star Spangled Banner in American Sign Language at Super Bowl XLI in Miami, Florida. Marlee again starred in Baby Einstein in March 2007 with My First Signs, which introduced sign language using common words such as “mommy” and “milk.” Marlee also appeared on Hollywood Squares with Tom Bergeron as emcee. Though she could not hear and was not encouraged to use her own voice to speak, her personal interpreter Jack Jason (who also appeared with her during talk show and publicity appearances) accompanied her on the panel and she handled questions with his assistance – including offering some humorous quips (in ASL) in her own right.

In January 2008, she appeared on Nip/Tuck as a television executive.

On 18 February, 2008, it was announced that Marlee would participate as a competitor in the 6th season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Marlee’s dance partner was newcomer Fabian Sanchez. Marlee and Fabian were eliminated from the competition on 22 April, 2008.

On 13 July, 2008, Marlee participated in the Taco Bell All Star Legends and Celebrity Softball game as part of All-Star Weekend activities at Yankee Stadium. Marlee scored a run and had 2 RBI for the National League team.

Marlee is actively involved with a number of charitable organisations, including the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, VSA arts, and the Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet. Marlee was appointed by President Clinton in 1994 to the Corporation for National Service and served as chair of National Volunteer Week.

Marlee received an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from Gallaudet University in 1987. In October 2007, she was appointed to the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees.

Marlee has been close friends with actress Jennifer Beals since they met in an airport in the 1980s.

Marlee married law enforcement officer Kevin Grandalski on 29 August, 1993 (in Henry Winkler’s back yard). They have 4 children: Sara Rose, born on 19 January, 1996; Brandon Joseph, born on 12 September 2000; Tyler Daniel, born on 18 July, 2002; and Isabelle Jane, born on 26 December, 2003. Marlee lives in Los Angeles with her family.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Pete Townshend

Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend was born on 19 May 1945 in Chiswick, London. Pete Townshend is an award-winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and writer, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for The Who, as well as for his own solo career. Pete Townshend’s career with The Who spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the rock era, in addition to being “possibly the greatest live band ever.

Pete Townshend is the primary songwriter for the Who, writing well over 100 songs for the band’s 11 studio albums, including the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus dozens more that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, and tracks on rarities compilations such as Odds and Sods. Pete has also written over 100 songs for his solo albums and rarities compilations. Although known mainly for being a guitarist, he is also an accomplished singer and keyboard player, and has played many other instruments on his solo albums, and on some Who albums (such as banjo, accordion, synthesizer, piano, bass guitar, drums).

Pete has also written newspaper and magazine articles, book reviews, essays, books, and scripts.

Born into a musical family (his father Cliff Townshend was a professional saxophonist in The Squadronaires and his mother Betty a singer), Pete Townshend exhibited a fascination with music at an early age. Pete Townshend had early exposure to American Rock and Roll (his mother recounts that he repeatedly saw the 1956 film Rock Around the Clock and obtained his first guitar from his grandmother at the age of 12, which he described as a “Cheap Spanish thing”. Townshend’s biggest guitar influences include Link Wray, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and Hank Marvin of The Shadows. 

In 1961Pete Townshend enrolled at Ealing Art College, and a year later he and his school friend from Acton County Grammar School John Entwistle founded their first band, The Confederates, a Dixieland duet featuring Pete Townshend on banjo and Entwistle on horn. From this beginning they moved on to The Detours, a skiffle/rock and roll band fronted by then sheet-metal welder Roger Daltrey. In early 1964, due to another band having the same name, The Detours renamed themselves The Who. Drummer Doug Sandom was replaced by Keith Moon not long afterwards. The band (now comprising Daltrey on vocals and harmonica, Pete Townshend on guitar, Entwistle on bass, and Moon on drums) were soon taken on by a mod publicist (named Peter Meaden) who convinced them to change their name to The High Numbers to give the band more of a mod feel. After bringing out one single (“Zoot Suit”), they dropped Meaden and were signed on by two new managers, Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert. They dropped The High Numbers name and reverted to The Who.

Pete Townshend met Karen Astley (daughter of composer Ted Astley) while in art school and married her in 1968. The couple separated in 1994 and Pete Townshend announced they would divorce in 2000. They have 3 children Emma born in 1969, who is a singer/songwriter, Aminta born in 1971 and Joseph born in 1989. For many years Pete Townshend refused to confirm or deny rumors that he was bisexual. In a 2002 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, however, he explained that, although he engaged in some brief same-sex experimentation in the 1960s, he is hetrosexual. Pete Townshend currently lives with his long-time partner, musician Rachel Fuller, in Richmond, England. Pete Townshend also owns a house in Churt, Surrey, England.

Pete Townshend has woven a long history of involvement with various charities and other philanthropic efforts throughout his career, both as a solo artist and with The Who. Pete’s  first solo concert, for example, was a 1974 benefit show which was organized to raise funds for the Camden Square Community Play Center.

The earliest public example of Pete Townshend’s involvement with charitable causes is the relationship he established with the Richmond-based Meher Baba Association. In 1968, Pete Townshend donated the use of his former Wardour Street apartment to the Meher Baba Association. The following year, the association was moved to another Townshend-owned apartment, the Eccleston Square former residence of wife Karen.

Pete Townshend sat on a committee which oversaw the operation and finances of the center. “The committee sees to it that it is open a couple of days a week, and keeps the bills paid and the library full,” he wrote in a 1970 Rolling Stone article.

In 1969 and 1972 Pete Townshend produced 2 limited-release albums, Happy Birthday and I Am, for the London-based Baba association. This led to 1972’s Who Came First, a more widespread release, 15 percent of the revenue of which went to the Baba association. A further limited release, With Love, was released in 1976. A limited-edition boxed set of all 3 limited releases on CD, Avatar, was released in 2000, with all profits going to the Avatar Meher Baba Trust in India, which provided funds to a dispensary, school, hospital and pilgrimage center.

In July 1976, Pete Townshend opened Meher Baba Oceanic, a London activity centre for Baba followers which featured film dubbing and editing facilities, a cinema and a recording studio. In addition, the centre served as a regular meeting place for Baba followers. Pete Townshend offered very economical (reportedly £1 per night) lodging for American Baba followers who needed an overnight stay on their pilgrimages to India. “For a few years, I had toyed with the idea of opening a London house dedicated to Meher Baba,” he wrote in a 1977 Rolling Stone article. “In the 8 years I had followed him, I had donated only coppers to foundations set up around the world to carry out the Master’s wishes and decided it was about time I put myself on the line. The Who had set up a strong charitable trust of its own which appeased, to an extent, the feeling I had that Meher Baba would rather have seen me give to the poor than to the establishment of yet another so-called ‘spiritual center’.”

Pete Townshend also embarked on a project dedicated to the collection, restoration and maintenance of Meher Baba-related films. The project was known as MEFA, or Meher Baba European Film Archive.

Pete Townshend has been an active champion of children’s charities. The debut of Pete Townshend’s stage version of Tommy  took place at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse in July 1992. The show was earmarked as a benefit for the London-based Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Foundation, an organization which helps autistic and retarded children.

Pete Townshend performed at a 1995 benefit organized by Paul Simon at Madison Square Garden’s Paramount Theatre, for The Children’s Health Fund. The following year, Pete Townshend performed at a benefit for the Bridge School, a California facility for children with severe speech and physical impairments. In 1997, Pete Townshend established a relationship with Maryville Academy, a Chicago area children’s charity. Between 1997 and 2002, Pete Townshend played 5 benefit shows for Maryville Academy, raising at least $1,600,000. In addition, proceeds from the sales of his 1999 release Pete Townshend Live were also donated to Maryville Academy.

As a member of The Who, Pete Townshend has also performed a series of concerts, beginning in 2000, benefitting the Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK, raising several million pounds. In 2005, Pete Townshend performed at New York’s Gotham Hall for Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope, an annual children’s charity fundraiser.

The Who rocker Pete Townshend is losing his hearing, and fears the disability will end his songwriting career. Pete Townshend blames his hearing loss on a lifetime spent using headphones, experts say today’s iPod Generation is storing up trouble for the future by listening to music at high volumes.

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Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Mabel Albertson

Mabel Albertson was born on 24 July, 1901 in Lynn, Massachusetts, USA and died on 28 September, 1982 of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 81, in Santa Monica, California. Mabel Albertson’s remains were cremated and scattered in the Pacific Ocean.

Mabel was the older sister of Academy Award-winning actor Jack Albertson and one-time mother-in-law of Academy Award winning actress Cloris Leachman. Mabel is best known as “Phyllis Stephens”, Darrin’s interfering mother on the television sitcom Bewitched, who inevitably ended her stays at the Stephens’ home by saying, “Frank [her husband], take me home. I’ve got a sick headache.”

Mabel also played Donald Hollinger’s mother on That Girl, Howard Sprague’s mother on The Andy Griffith Show, Dick Preston’s mother on The New Dick Van Dyke Show, and Mrs. Van Hoskins, a wealthy woman whose,jewels are stolen, in the screwball comedy, What’s Up, Doc?

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend Henry Franklin Winkler

Henry Franklin Winkler was born on 30 October, 1945. Henry is a Golden Globe Award-winning American actor, director, producer and author. He is perhaps most famous for his role as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on the popular sitcom Happy Days (1974–1984). Winkler attended the McBurney School and received his bachelor’s degree from Emerson College in 1967 and his MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 1970. In 1978, Emerson gave Winkler an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Winkler has also received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Austin College. Having struggled throughout his school years with unidentified dyslexia Winkler, at age 31, finally understood what he’d been grappling with all his life, when making a documentary about dyslexia, Winkler himself found that he was dyslexic.

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