Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Sam Neil

Sam Neill, DCNZM, OBE was born Nigel John Dermot Neill on 14 September 1947 in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Sam Neil is a New Zealand film and television actor.

Sam Neil has had a number of high-profile roles including: the lead in Reilly, Ace of Spies, the adult Damien in Omen III: The Final Conflict, Merlin in the miniseries Merlin, the executive officer, Capt 2nd Class Vasily Borodin in The Hunt for Red October and paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III.

Most recently he played Cardinal Wolsey in the Peace Arch Entertainment production for Showtime, The Tudors.

Sam Neil is the 2nd son of Dermot Neill, a Harrow and Sandhurst-educated army officer and 3rd generation New Zealander, and his English wife, Priscilla. At the time of Sam Neill’s birth, his father was stationed in Northern Ireland, serving with the Irish Guards. The family were the owners of Neill and Co., the largest liquor retailers in New Zealand.

Sam Neill returned with his family to New Zealand in 1954, where he attended the Anglican boys’ boarding school Christ’s College, in Christchurch. Sam Neil then went on to study English literature at the University of Canterbury, where he got his first exposure to acting. While at Canterbury University he resided at College House, where he held the position of Chief Castigator and Crime Crusher (CCACC). Sam Neil then moved to Wellington to continue his tertiary education at the Victoria University, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.

Sam Neil first took to calling himself “Sam”, in school in New Zealand where there were other Nigels, and the phrases “a real Nigel” and “Nigel No-mates” were commonly used to refer to a sad loner.

After working at the New Zealand National Film Unit as a director and actor, Sam Neil was cast as the lead in the New Zealand film Sleeping Dogs. Following this he appeared in the Australian classic, My Brilliant Career (1979), opposite Judy Davis. This appearance led to his being selected to play Damien Thorn in Omen III: The Final Conflict in 1981, one of the sequels to The Omen. In the late-1970s his mentor was the notable British actor James Mason.

After Roger Moore made his last James Bond movie in 1985, Sam Neil was seriously considered for the role in The Living Daylights. Sam Neil impressed people with his screen test and was the preferred choice of director John Glen. However, Cubby Broccoli was not as impressed by Sam Neil, and the role eventually went to Timothy Dalton instead. Since then, Sam Neil has played heroes and villains in a succession of film and television dramas and comedies. In the UK, he became well-known in the early-1980s, starring in dramas such as Ivanhoe and notably in the title role of Reilly, Ace of Spies.

Sam Neil is known for his leading and co-starring roles in major films including Dead Calm (1989), La révolution française (1989) playing the famous Lafayette, The Hunt for Red October (1990), Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), The Piano (1993), Jurassic Park (1993), Sirens (1994), Event Horizon (1997), The Dish (2000), and Jurassic Park 3 (2001). In Hunt for Red October, Neill uttered the film’s most memorable line: “I would like to have seen Montana,” as the dying Vasily Borodin.

The film Cinema of Unease: A Personal Journey by Sam Neil(1995)was written and directed by Sam Neill and Judy Rymer. In it Neil narrated his personal recollection of New Zealand film history. Sam Neil was asked to play the role of Elrond in The Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson, but turned it down because of his contractual obligations to another film, namely, Jurassic Park III (2001). Sam Neil hosted and narrated a series of 2002 documentaries for BBC entitled Space (Hyperspace in the United States).

In 2006, Sam Neil also lent his voice to a series of radio ads for 5th 3rd Bank in the midwestern U.S.

Sam Neil also appeared in Merlin (1998), a film based on the legend of King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake, portraying the legendary wizard. Sam Neil also reprised his role as Merlin in the film’s not-so-well received sequel, Merlin’s Apprentice
(2006), in which Merlin learns he fathered a son with the Lady of the Lake.

Sm Neil is currently starring in the historical drama The Tudors, playing Cardinal Wolsey, on the Showtime Network. “I have to say I really enjoyed making The Tudors”, Neil said. “It was 6 months with a character that I found immensely intriguing, with a cast that I liked very much and with a story I found very compelling. It has elements that are hard to beat — revenge and betrayal, lust and treason, all the things that make for good stories.”

Sam Neil has said that he has not yet been asked to reprise his role as Dr. Alan Grant in the possible 2009 movie, Jurassic Park IV.

Sam Neil resides in Sydney, Australia and has 1 son, Tim (born in 1983), by New Zealand actress Lisa Harrow, and 1 daughter, Elena (born in 1990), by makeup artist Noriko Watanabe, whom he married in 1989. Sam Neil also has a stepdaughter, Maiko Spencer, (born 1981) who is from Noriko Watanabe’s 1st marriage. Sam Neil is a supporter of the Australian Speak Easy Association and the British Stammering Association (BSA). Sam Neill also supports the Australian Labour Party, Greenpeace, Oxfam, and the World Wildlife Fund. Sam Neil is a patron of the National Performance Conference. Sam Neil also donated a pair of jeans to the Jeans for Genes auction; they were painted by artist Merv Moriarty and auctioned off in August 1998.

Sam Neil’s hobby is running a vineyard, the 2 Paddocks winery in Central Otago on New Zealand’s South Island. “I’d like the vineyard to support me but I’m afraid it is the other way round. It is not a very economic business”, says Sam Neil. “It is a ridiculously time and money-consuming business. I would not do it if it was not so satisfying and fun — and it gets me pissed once in awhile.”

Sam Neill is friends with New Zealand musicians Neil Finn and Tim Finn (of Crowded House and Split Enz) and with Australian musician Jimmy Barnes.

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Series-Disabled Legend Dennis Day

Dennis Day was born on 21 May, 1916 in New York City, New York, USA and died on 22 June, 1988 of Lou Gehrig’s disease at the age of 72 in Los Angeles, California, USA. Dennis Day is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery. Dennis Day’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6646 Hollywood Boulevard.

Born Owen Patrick Eugene McNulty, was an Irish-American singer, radio and television personality.

Dennis Day was born and raised in New York City, the son of Irish immigrants. Dennis Day’s father was a stationary engineer. Dennis Day graduated from St. Patrick’s Cathedral High School, and attended Manhattan College, where he sang in the glee club.

Dennis Day appeared for the 1st time on Jack Benny’s radio show on 8 October, 1939, taking the place of another famed tenor, Kenny Baker. Dennis Day remained associated with Benny’s radio and television programs until Benny’s death in 1974. Dennis Day was introduced (with actress Verna Felton playing his mother) as a young (19 year old), naive boy singer — a character he kept through his whole career. Dennis Day’s
1st song was “Goodnight My Beautiful”.

Besides singing, Dennis Day was an excellent mimic. Dennis Day did many imitations on the Benny programme of various noted celebrities of the era, such as Ronald Colman, Jimmy Durante, and Jimmy Stewart.

Sam Berman’s caricature of Dennis Day for 1947 NBC promotional bookFrom 1944 through 1946, he served in the US Navy as a Lieutenant. On his return to civilian life, he continued to work with Benny while also starring his own show, A Day in the Life of Dennis Day (1946-1952). Dennis Day’s having 2 programmes in comparison to Benny’s 1was the subject of numerous jokes and gags on Benny’s show, usually revolving around Dennis Day rubbing Benny’s, and sometimes other cast members and guest stars’ noses in that fact.

Dennis Day’s TV series, The Dennis Day Show (aka The RCA Victor Show) was telecast from 1952 to 1954. Between 1952 and 1978, he made numerous TV appearances as a singer, actor and voice for animation (such as the Walt Disney feature Melody Time, voicing multiple characters).

In 1948,Dennis Day married Peggy Almquist; the marriage lasted until his death in 1988. The couple had 10 children. 1 of his brothers was wed to actress/singer Ann Blyth.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Sir William McMahon

Sir William “Billy” McMahon, GCMG, CH was born on 23 February 1908 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and died on 31 March 1988 of cancer in Sydney, Australia aged 80. Sir William McMahon was an Australian Liberal politician and the 20th Prime Minister of Australia.

Sir William McMahon’s father was a lawyer. Sir William McMahon was of Irish ancestry.

Sir William McMahon was educated at Sydney Grammar School and at the University of Sydney, where he graduated in law. Sir William McMahon practised in Sydney with “Allen, Allen and Hemsley”, the oldest law firm in Australia. In 1940 he joined the Army, but because of a hearing loss he was confined to staff work. After World War II he travelled in Europe and completed an economics degree.

Sir William McMahon was elected to the House of Representatives for the Sydney seat of Lowe in 1949, one of the flood of new Liberal MPs known as the “forty-niners”. Sir William McMahon was capable and ambitious, and in 1951 Prime Minister Robert Menzies made him Minister for Air and Minister for the Navy. Over the next 15 years he held the portfolios of Social Services, Commerce and Agriculture and Labour and National Service. In 1966, when Harold Holt became Prime Minister, Sir William McMahon succeeded him as Treasurer and as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.

Despite his steady advance, Sir William McMahon remained unpopular with his colleagues. Sir William McMahon was highly capable, but seen as too ambitious and a schemer. Sir William McMahon had never married, and there were frequent rumours that he was homosexual. However, in 1965, aged 57, he married Sonia Rachel Hopkins who was (born in August 1932), with whom he had 3 children: Melinda, Julian McMahon (the actor and model) and Debra.

When Harold Holt drowned in December 1967, Sir William McMahon was assumed to be his automatic successor. But John McEwen, interim Prime Minister and leader of the Country Party, announced that he and his party would not serve in a government led by Sir William McMahon. John McEwen did not state his reasons publicly, but privately he told Sir William McMahon he did not trust him. There was also John McEwen’s personal dislike of Sir William McMahon for the reasons suggested in the previous paragraph, but also John McEwen, an arch-protectionist, correctly suspected that Sir William McMahon favoured policies of free trade and deregulation.

Sir William McMahon therefore withdrew, and John Gorton won the party room ballot. Sir William McMahon became Foreign Minister and waited for his chance at a comeback. Sir William McMahon stood as a candidate for the Liberal Party leadership (and therefore Prime Minister, as the Liberal/Country Party coalition held a majority in the House of Representatives) after the 1969 election but was defeated by John Gorton. In January 1971 John McEwen retired as Country Party leader and his successor, Doug Anthony, did not continue the veto against Sir William McMahon. In March 1971 the Defence Minister, Malcolm Fraser, resigned from Cabinet and denounced John Gorton, who then called a party meeting. When the confidence vote in John Gorton was tied, he resigned, and Sir William McMahon was elected leader.

Sir William McMahon found being Prime Minister an unenjoyable experience. The Vietnam War and conscription had become very unpopular. Sir William McMahon was unable to match the performance of Labor leader, Gough Whitlam, who campaigned on radical new policies such as universal health insurance. Sir William McMahon was undermined by plotting from John Gorton’s supporters. Sir William McMahon attacked Gough Whitlam over his policy of recognising the People’s Republic of China, then had to back down when President Nixon announced his visit to China.

Sir William McMahon reputation for economic management was undermined by high inflation. Sir William McMahon voice and appearance came across badly on television, and he was no match in parliamentary debates for Gough Whitlam, a witty and powerful orator. The press further weakened Sir William McMahon’s popularity.

Sir William McMahon lost his nerve, and in the December 1972 election campaign he was outperformed by Gough Whitlam and subjected to further humiliation in the press. When Gough Whitlam won the election Sir William McMahon resigned the Liberal leadership.

Sir William McMahon had been a minister continuously for 21 years and 6 months, a record in the Australian Parliament. Only Sir George Pearce and John McEwen had longer overall ministerial service, but their terms were not continuous.

Sir William McMahon served in the Shadow Cabinet under his successor, Billy Snedden, but was dropped after the 1974 election. In 1977, he was knighted. Sir William McMahon stayed in Parliament as a backbencher until his resignation in 1982, by which time he was the longest-serving member of the House.

Honours:

Bust of William McMahon by sculptor Victor Greenhalgh located in the Prime Minister’s Avenue in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens William McMahon was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1966, a Companion of Honour in the New Years Day Honours of 1972 and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 1977.

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Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Jack Lord

Jack Lord was born on 30 December, 1920 and died on 21 January, 1998.  Jack O’Brien was an American television, film, and Broadway actor. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Jack Lord was the son of Irish-American parents. Jack’s father, William Lawrence Ryan was a steamship company executive. Jack’s first work on Broadway was in Traveling Lady with Kim Stanley. Jack was then cast as a replacement for Ben Gazarra in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  Jack Lord died of congestive heart failure at his home on January 21, 1998 in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the age of 77.  Jack left an estate of $40 million, and being a philanthropist in his lifetime, the entire estate went to various Hawaiian charities upon his wife Marie’s death in 2005. Portions of their estate were auctioned on eBay in March 2007.

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Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth was born on 17 October, 1918 and died on 14 May, 1987. Margarita Carmen Cansino, better known as Rita Hayworth, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Spanish flamenco dancer Eduardo Cansino (Sr.) and English/Irish-American Ziegfeld girl Volga Hayworth. After about 1960, Rita suffered from extremely early onset of Alzheimer’s disease, which was not diagnosed until 1980. Rita continued to act in films until the early 1970s and made a well-publicised 1971 appearance on The Carol Burnett Show. Both of her brothers died within a week of each other in March 1974, saddening her greatly, and causing her to drink even more heavily than before. Rita Hayworth public diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in 1980 was a big step in destigmatizing the degenerative disease.

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Cerebral Palsy Series-Disabled Legend Chris Nolan

Christopher Nolan is an Irish author. He moved to Dublin for an education.He was educated at the Central Remedial Clinic School, Mount Temple Comprehensive School and at Trinity College, Dublin. He was born with cerebral palsy, from birth complications, and writes using a special computer. He had been deprived of oxygen for two hours when he was born, but his mother believed he could understand what was going on and used to teach him at home. Eventually, they discovered a drug that allowed him to move one muscle in his neck so they attached this unicorn device to his forehead and he learned to type. Nolan has never spoken or signed a word in his life, yet his poetry has been compared to that of Joyce, Keats, and Yeats. At fifteen, his first book Dam-Burst of Dreams is accepted for publication.

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Cerebral Palsy Series-Disabled Legend Christy Brown

Christy Brown was born on 5 June, 1932 and he died on 6 September, 1981. Christy was an Irish author, painter and poet. The Academy Asard winning film My Left Foot profiled his life. Christy Brown had cerebral palsy and was incapable for years of deliberate movement or speech. Doctors considered him to be mentally disabled as well. However, his mother continued to speak to him, work with him, and try to teach him until he famously snatched a piece of chalk from his sister with his left foot to make a mark on the floor. He was about five years old and only his left foot responded to his will. His mother then taught him the alphabet and he laboriously copied each letter, holding chalk between his toes. He learned to spell out words and finally to read.

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