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#1 Movie of All-Time
#1 Movie Character
Stanley Martin Lieber
December 28, 1922
In collaboration with several artists, most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, and many other fictional characters.
He was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995. Lee received a National Medal of Arts in 2008.
In his youth he worked such part-time jobs as writing obituaries for a news service and press releases for the National Tuberculosis Center.
Lee became an assistant in 1939 at the new Timely Comics division of pulp magazine and comic-book publisher Martin Goodman's company."In those days [the artists] dipped the pen in ink, [so] I had to make sure the inkwells were filled", Lee recalled in 2009. "I went down and got them their lunch, I did proofreading, I erased the pencils from the finished pages for them".
Stanley Lieber made his comic-book debut with the text filler "Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge" in Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941), using the pseudonym Stan Lee. He graduated from writing filler to actual comics with a backup feature, "'Headline' Hunter, Foreign Correspondent", two issues later. Lee's first superhero co-creation was the Destroyer, in Mystic Comics #6 (August 1941). Other characters he created during this period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comics include Jack Frost, debuting in USA Comics #1 (August 1941), and Father Time, debuting in Captain America Comics #6 (August 1941).
Lee entered the United States Army in early 1942 and served in the US in the Signal Corps, repairing telegraph poles and other communications equipment. He was later transferred to the Training Film Division, where he worked writing manuals, training films, and slogans, and occasionally cartooning. His military classification, he says, was "playwright"; he adds that only nine men in the US Army were given that title.
In the late 1950s, DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz revived the superhero archetype and experienced a significant success with its updated version of the Flash, and later with super-team the Justice League of America. In response, publisher Martin Goodman assigned Lee to create a new superhero team. Lee's wife urged him to experiment with stories he preferred, since he was planning on changing careers and had nothing to lose.
Lee acted on that advice, giving his superheroes a flawed humanity, a change from the ideal archetypes that were typically written for preteens. Before this, most superheroes were idealistically perfect people with no serious, lasting problems. Lee introduced complex, naturalistic characters who could have bad tempers, fits of melancholy, and vanity; they bickered amongst themselves, worried about paying their bills and impressing girlfriends, got bored or even were sometimes physically ill.
The first superhero group Lee and artist Jack Kirby created was the Fantastic Four. The team's immediate popularity led Lee and Marvel's illustrators to produce a cavalcade of new titles. With Kirby primarily, Lee created the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and the X-Men; with Bill Everett, Daredevil; and with Steve Ditko, Doctor Strange and Marvel's most successful character, Spider-Man, all of whom lived in a thoroughly shared universe. Lee and Kirby gathered several of their newly created characters together into the team title The Avengers and would revive characters from the 1940s such as the Sub-Mariner, Captain America, and Ka-Zar.
Throughout the 1960s, Lee scripted, art-directed and edited most of Marvel's series, moderated the letters pages, wrote a monthly column called "Stan's Soapbox", and wrote endless promotional copy, often signing off with his trademark motto, "Excelsior!".
Samuel Shepard Rogers II
November 5, 1943
Sam worked on a ranch as a teenager.
Most of his initial writing was for the stage; after winning six Obie Awards between 1966-1968, Shepard emerged as a viable screenwriter with Robert Frank's Me and My Brother (1968) and Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point (1970).
Shepard's early science fiction play The Unseen Hand (1969) would influence Richard O'Brien's stage musical The Rocky Horror Show.
Shepard began his acting career in earnest when he was cast as the handsome land baron in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978). This led to other important films and roles, including the role of "Cal", Ellen Burnstyn's love interest in the film "Resurrection" (1980) and most notably his portrayal of Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983), earning him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
By 1986, one of his plays, Fool for Love, was being made into a film directed by Robert Altman, in which Shepard played the lead role; his play A Lie of the Mind was Off-Broadway with an all-star cast including Harvey Keitel and Geraldine Page; he was living with Jessica Lange; and he was working steadily as a film actor—all of which put him on the cover of Newsweek magazine.
A revival of A Lie of the Mind in New York was staged at the same time as his 2010 play, Ages of the Moon, also opened there. Reflecting on the two plays, Shepard said that the older, longer play feels to him "awkward ...[, a]ll of the characters are in a fractured place, broken into pieces, and the pieces don’t really fit together," while the newer play "is like a Porsche. ... It’s sleek, it does exactly what you want it to do, and it can speed up but also shows off great brakes." The revival and new play also coincided with the publication of the collection Day out of Days: Stories (book title echoing a film-making term), also by Shepard. The book includes "short stories, poems and narrative sketches ... that developed from dozens of leather-bound notebooks [Shepard] has carried with him over the years."
Was the drummer for late 1960s bands "Lothar and the Hand People" and "The Holy Modal Rounders"
Has twice been nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as author of a Best Play nominee: in 1996 for "Buried Child" and in 2000 for "True West."
Collaborated with Bob Dylan in writing the song "Brownsville Girl," which appeared on Dylan's 1986 album "Knocked Out Loaded."
You Were Never Here
Out of the Furnace
August: Osage County
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Black Hawk Down
Snow Falling On Cedars
The Pelican Brief
The Right Stuff
Sydney Irwin Pollack
July 1, 1934
Sydney Pollack was born to a family of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine.
Pollack studied acting with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse from 1952 to 1954, working on a lumber truck between terms. After two years' army service until 1958, he returned to the Playhouse at Meisner’s invitation to become his assistant.
Pollack found initial success in television in the 1960s by directing episodes of series such as The Fugitive and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
One of a select group of non- and/or former actors awarded membership in The Actors Studio.
During his career, he directed 12 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Jane Fonda, Gig Young, Susannah York, Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman, Melinda Dillon, Jessica Lange, Dustin Hoffman, Teri Garr, Meryl Streep, Klaus Maria Brandauer and Holly Hunter. Only Young and Lange won Oscars for their performances in one of Pollack's films.
In 2000, Sydney Pollack was honored with the John Huston Award from the Directors Guild of America as a "defender of artists' rights."
In 2000, co-founder, with Anthony Minghella, of "Mirage Enterprises" to produce films. Kate Winslet dedicated her first Oscar win to Sydney Pollack and his partner in Mirage Enterprises, Anthony Minghella, following their deaths.
Pollack died the next day of stomach cancer, at his home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family. His body was cremated, and his ashes were scattered along the runway at the Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles.
Out of Africa
Absence of Malice
Three Days of the Condor
The Way We Were
This Property Is Condemned
The Slender Thread