Critic Reviews of "The Cannonball Run"
VarietyMay 05, 2008
Full of terribly inside showbiz jokes and populated by what could be called Burt and Hal's Rat Pack, film takes place in that redneck never-never land where most of the guys are beer-guzzling good ole boys and all the gals are fabulously built tootsies.
Time OutFebruary 09, 2006
The last five minutes, when they show out-takes of flubbed lines, etc, are hysterical. The rest is strictly for those willing to pay for a series of TV chat show performances.
Chicago Sun-TimesOctober 23, 2004
The Cannonball Run is an abdication of artistic responsibility at the lowest possible level of ambition. In other words, they didn't even care enough to make a good lousy movie.
New York TimesAugust 30, 2004
Inoffensive and sometimes funny.
Common Sense MediaMay 19, 2015
Stunts, stereotypes, and silliness in beer-fueled car race.
EmanuelLevy.ComJuly 30, 2011
Harmless entertainment at its most commercial and least artistic, offering some fun spotting the stars in cameos
Empire MagazineMay 05, 2008
Nonsense but fun nevertheless with a crazy ensemble cast of celebrities of the era.
TV GuideJanuary 09, 2007
This wholly derivative car-chase movie provides a flimsy excuse for good ol' boy Burt Reynolds to cavort on-screen with a cast that's chock-full of familiar faces.
FulvueDrive-in.comFebruary 18, 2006
Amiable, lightweight fun. Captain Chaos saves the day.
ÜberCinéAugust 14, 2005
My review at the time of release heralded this as, 'Wow! Whatta movie!' -- I am now officially amending that to: 'Wow! Amusing junk!'
Film ThreatMay 06, 2005
It doesn't get any better or BIGGER than this
Capital Times (Madison, WI)April 28, 2005
If it wasn't for the blooper reel at the end, this would get no stars.
Gallery of "The Cannonball Run"
Soundtracks of "The Cannonball Run"
Actors of "The Cannonball Run"
Burt ReynoldsBirth date: 11 February 1936, Lansing, Michigan, USADescription: Enduring, strong-featured, and genial star of US cinema, Burt Reynolds started off in TV westerns in the 1960s and then carved his name into 1970/1980s popular culture as a male sex symbol (posing nearly naked for "Cosmopolitan" magazine) and on-screen as both a rugged action figure and then as a wisecracking, Southern-type "good olé' boy."Burton Leon Reynolds was born in Lansing, Michigan. He is the son of Fern H. (Miller) and Burton Milo Reynolds, who was in the army and later served as chief of police. His family moved to Florida, where he excelled as an athlete and played with Florida State University. He became an All Star Southern Conference halfback (and was earmarked by the Baltimore Colts) before a knee injury and a car accident ended his football career. Midway through college he dropped out and headed to New York with aspirations of becoming an actor. There he worked in restaurants and clubs while pulling the odd TV spot or theatre role.He was spotted in a New York City production of "Mister Roberts," signed to a TV contract, and eventually had recurring roles in such shows as Gunsmoke (1955), Riverboat (1959) and his own series, Hawk (1966).Reynolds continued to appear in undemanding western roles, often playing an Indian halfbreed, in films such as Navajo Joe (1966), 100 Rifles (1969) and Sam Whiskey (1969). However, it was his tough-guy performance as macho Lewis Medlock in the John Boorman backwoods nightmare Deliverance (1972) that really stamped him as a bona-fide star. Reynolds' popularity continued to soar with his appearance as a no-nonsense private investigator in Shamus (1973) and in the Woody Allen comedy Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972). Building further on his image as a Southern boy who outsmarts the local lawmen, Reynolds packed fans into theaters to see him in White Lightning (1973), The Longest Yard (1974), W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975) and Gator (1976).At this time, ex-stuntman and longtime Reynolds buddy Hal Needham came to him with a "road film" script. It turned out to be the incredibly popular Smokey and the Bandit (1977) with Sally Field and Jerry Reed, which took in over $100 million at the box office. That film's success was followed by Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) and Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983). Reynolds also appeared alongside Kris Kristofferson in the hit football film Semi-Tough (1977), with friend Dom DeLuise in the black comedy The End (1978) (which Reynolds directed), in the stunt-laden buddy film Hooper (1978) and then in the self-indulgent, star-packed road race flick The Cannonball Run (1981).The early 1980s started off well with a strong performance in the violent cop film Sharky's Machine (1981), which he also directed, and he starred with Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) and with fellow macho superstar Clint Eastwood in the coolly received City Heat (1984). However, other projects such as Stroker Ace (1983), Stick (1985) and Paternity (1981) failed to catch fire with fans and Reynolds quickly found himself falling out of popularity with movie audiences. In the late 1980s he appeared in only a handful of films, mostly below average, before his old friend television came to the rescue and he shone again in two very popular TV shows, B.L. Stryker (1989) and Evening Shade (1990), for which he won an Emmy.He was back on screen, but still the roles weren't grabbing the public's attention, until his terrific performance as a drunken politician in the otherwise woeful Striptease (1996) and then another tremendous showing as a manipulative porn director in Boogie Nights (1997), which scored him a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Like the phoenix from the ashes, Reynolds had resurrected his popularity and, in the process, had gathered a new generation of young fans, many of whom had been unfamiliar with his 1970s film roles. He put in entertaining work in Pups (1999), Mystery, Alaska (1999), Driven (2001) and Time of the Wolf (2002). Definitely one of Hollywood's most resilient stars, Reynolds has continually surprised all with his ability to weather both personal and career hurdles and his 40-plus years in front of the cameras is testament to his staying ability, his acting talent and his appeal to film audiences.
Roger MooreBirth date: 14 October 1927, Stockwell, London, England, UKDescription: Roger Moore will perhaps always be remembered as the man who replaced Sean Connery in the James Bond series, arguably something he never lived down. Roger George Moore was born on October 14, 1927 in Stockwell, London, England, the son of Lillian (Pope) and George Alfred Moore, a policeman. He first wanted to be an artist, but got into films full time after becoming an extra in the late 1940s. Moore also served in the British military during the Second World War. He came to the United States in 1953. Suave, extremely handsome, and an excellent actor, he received a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His initial foray met with mixed success, with movies like Diane (1956) and Interrupted Melody (1955), as well as The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954).Moore went into television in the 1950s on series such as Ivanhoe (1958) and The Alaskans (1959), but probably received the most recognition from Maverick (1957), as cousin Beau. He received his big breakthrough, at least internationally, as The Saint (1962). The series made him a superstar and he became very successful thereafter. Moore ended his run as the Saint, and was one of the premier stars of the world, but he was not catching on in America. In an attempt to change this, he agreed to star with Tony Curtis on ITC's The Persuaders! (1971), but although hugely popular in Europe, it did not catch on in the United States and was canceled. Just prior to making the series, he starred in The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970), which proved there was far more to Moore than the light-hearted roles he had previously accepted.He was next offered and accepted the role of James Bond, and once audiences got used to the change of style from Connery's portrayal, they also accepted him. Live and Let Die (1973), his first Bond movie, grossed more outside of America than Diamonds Are Forever (1971); Connery's last outing as James Bond. He went on to star in another six Bond films, before bowing out after A View to a Kill (1985). He was age 57 at the time the film was made and was looking a little too old for Bond - it was possibly one film too many. In between times, there had been more success with appearances in films such as That Lucky Touch (1975), Shout at the Devil (1976), The Wild Geese (1978), Escape to Athena (1979) and North Sea Hijack (1980).Despite his fame from the Bond films and many others, the United States never completely took to him until he starred in The Cannonball Run (1981) alongside Burt Reynolds, a success there. After relinquishing his role as Bond, his work load tended to diminish a little, though he did star in the American box office flop Feuer, Eis & Dynamit (1990), as well as the comedy Bullseye! (1990), with Michael Caine. He did the overlooked comedy Bed & Breakfast (1991), as well as the television movie The Man Who Wouldn't Die (1994), and then the major Jean-Claude Van Damme flop The Quest (1996). Moore then took second rate roles such as Spice World (1997), and the American television series The Dream Team (1999). Although his film work may have slowed down, he is still very much in the public eye, be it appearing on television chat shows or hosting documentaries.Roger Moore was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on December 31, 1998 in the New Years Honours for services to UNICEF, and was promoted to Knight Commander of the same order on June 14, 2003 in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to the charities UNICEF and Kiwanis International.
Farrah FawcettBirth date: 2 February 1947, Corpus Christi, Texas, USADescription: Farrah Fawcett is a true Hollywood success story. A native of Texas, she was the daughter of Pauline Alice (Evans), a homemaker, and James Fawcett, an oil field contractor. She was a natural athlete, something that her father encouraged, and she attended a high school with a strong arts program. She attended University of Texas in Austin, graduating with a degree in Microbiology, but only wanted to be an actress.Winning a campus beauty contest got her noticed by an agent, who encouraged her to pursue acting. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles and her healthy, all-American blond beauty was immediately noticed. She quickly got roles in various television commercials for such products as Ultra-Brite toothpaste, and Wella Balsam shampoo, and also made appearances in some TV series. In 1968, she met another Southerner, actor Lee Majors, star of the popular TV series The Big Valley (1965), on a blind date set up by their publicists. He became very taken with her and also used his own standing to promote her career. In 1969, she made her film debut in Un homme qui me plaît (1969). The next year, she appeared in the film adaptation of the Gore Vidal bestselling novel Myra Breckinridge (1970). The shooting was very unpleasant, with much feuding on the set, and Farrah was embarrassed by the finished film, which was a major failure. But Farrah was undamaged and continued to win roles. In 1973, she and Majors married, and the following year, she won a recurring role in the crime series Harry O (1973). She had her first taste of major success when she won a supporting role in the science fiction film Logan's Run (1976). She came to the attention to the highly successful producer Aaron Spelling, who was impressed by her beauty and vivacious personality. That won her a role in the TV series Charlie's Angels (1976). She played a private investigator who works for a wealthy and mysterious businessman, along with two other glamorous female detectives, played by Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith. The show immediately became the most popular series on television, earning record ratings and a huge audience. All three actresses became very popular, but Farrah became by far the best known. She won People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Performer in a New TV program in 1977. Her lush, free-wheeling, wavy blond hair also became a phenomenon, with millions of women begging their hairstylists to give them "The Farrah," as her hairstyle was called. Fawcett was also a savvy businesswoman, and she received 10% profit from the proceeds of her famous poster in a red swimsuit. It sold millions and she became the "It Girl" of the 1970s.Fawcett was America's sweetheart and found herself on every celebrity magazine and pursued by photographers and fans. While she enjoyed the success and got along well with her co-stars (both of whom were also of Southern origin), she found the material lightweight. Also, the long hours she worked were beginning to take a toll on her marriage to Majors, who found himself eclipsed by her popularity. So the following year, when the show was at its peak, she left to pursue a movie career. Charlie's Angels producers sued her, and the studios shied away from her, and she lost out on the lead role in the hit feature film Foul Play (1978) to Goldie Hawn. Eventually, she and the Charlie's Angels producers reached a settlement, where she would make guest appearances on the series. As a result of the negative publicity and some poor script choices, her career briefly hit a slow spot. In addition, she and Majors separated in 1979. She had starring roles in Somebody Killed Her Husband (1978), Sunburn (1979), and Saturn 3 (1980) (which she did a topless scene in), but all three failed financially. She appeared in the Burt Reynolds chase comedy The Cannonball Run (1981), which was successful financially, but it was met not only with bad reviews but also with bad publicity when Farrah's stunt double Heidi Von Beltz was involved in a stunt that went horribly wrong and left her a quadriplegic. Farrah's feature film career came to a halt, and she and Majors were drifting apart. In 1981, she met Ryan O'Neal, a friend of her husband's, and they began became friends and spent a great deal of time together. He also encouraged her to go back to television and she received good reviews in the well-received miniseries "Murder in Texas" (1981). In 1982, she filed for divorce, which Majors readily agreed to. Soon, she and O'Neal were a couple and moved in together. She set on sights on becoming a serious dramatic actress. She took over for Susan Sarandon in the stage play "Extremities" where she played a rape victim who turns the tables on her rapist. That, in turn, led her to her major comeback when she starred in the searing story of a battered wife in The Burning Bed (1984), based on a true story. It garnered a very large audience, and critics gave her the best reviews she had ever received for her heartfelt performance. She was nominated for both an Emmy and Golden Globe and also became involved in helping organizations for battered women. The following year, she and O'Neal became the parents of a son, 'Redmond O'Neal'. She tried to continue her momentum with a starring role in the feature film adaptation of Extremities (1986), and while she garnered a Golden Globe nomination, the film, itself, was not a hit.She continued to seek out serious roles, appearing mainly on television. She scored success again in Small Sacrifices (1989), again based on a true crime. Portraying an unhappy woman who is so obsessed with the man she loves that she shoots her children to make herself available and disguises it as a carjacking, Farrah again won rave reviews and helped draw a large audience, and was nominated for an Emmy again. Shortly afterwards, she and O'Neal co-starred in Good Sports (1991), playing a couple who co-star in a sports news program, but O'Neil's performance was lambasted and only 9 episodes were aired. In 1995, she surprised her fans by posing for "Playboy" at the age of 48, it became the magazine's best-selling issue of that decade.Her relationship with O'Neal was deteriorating, however, and in 1997, they broke up. The breakup took a toll, and she posed for Playboy again at the age of 50. To promote it, she appeared on Late Show with David Letterman (1993) and gave a rambling interview, sparking rumors of drug use. That same year, however, she made another comeback in The Apostle (1997), playing the neglected wife of a Pentacostal preacher, played by Robert Duvall. Both stars were praised and the film became a surprise hit. She also began dating James Orr, who had directed her earlier in the feature film Man of the House (1995). An incident occurred between them in 1998, and Farrah suffered injuries. The scandal drew nationwide headlines, especially after the tabloids published photos of Farrah with her injuries. The authorities compelled Fawcett to testify against Orr in court, and he was found guilty of assault and given a minimum sentence. Embarrassed, she lowered her profile and her career lost momentum, but she continued to work in television and films. She and O'Neal also started seeing each other again when he was diagnosed with leukemia. The new millennium brought her highs and lows. In 2000, she acted with Richard Gere in Robert Altman's film Dr. T & the Women (2000). Her son Redmond has had problems with drug abuse and has been in and out of jail. In 2001, she lost her only sister to cancer. In 2004, she received her third Emmy nomination for her performance in The Guardian (2003), and she starred in her own reality show titled "Chasing Farrah" in 2005 along with Ryan O'Neal, but that ended after only 7 episodes. That same year, she was devastated when her beloved mother died. In 2006, producer Aaron Spelling died, and she famously reunited with her Charlie's Angels co-stars Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith at the Emmys in a tribute to him. She looked tan and healthy, but soon, she was diagnosed with anal cancer. She asked her friend Alana Stewart to accompany her and videotape her during her doctor's visits. Those video journals resulted in the documentary "Farrah's Story," co-executive produced by Fawcett. It aired in 2009, and viewers were shocked to see Farrah with a shaved head and in a continuous state of pain. Ryan O'Neal and Alana Stewart were constantly by her side, and her Charlie's Angels co-stars Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith also visited her, marking the final time that all three original angels appeared together on television. The documentary became a ratings success, and it earned a Emmy nomination as Outstanding Nonfiction Special. On June 25, 2009 Farrah lost her battle with cancer and passed away at aged 62. She left the bulk of her estate to her only son Redmond, and her trust fund allowed for the creation of The Farrah Fawcett Foundation, which provides funding for cancer research and prevention. Alana Stewart is the president of the Foundation and Jaclyn Smith's husband Dr. Brad Allen is one of the Board of Directors. Ryan O'Neal and Farrah's nephew Greg Walls are also on the Advisory Board, keeping alive her legacy.
Dom DeLuiseBirth date: 1 August 1933, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USADescription: As might be said for the late and great comedians Harvey Korman and Madeline Kahn, it seems that Mel Brooks was the only director on the planet who knew how to best utilize this funnyman's talents on film. Brooks once quipped that, whenever he hired Dom DeLuise for one of his films, he would instinctively add another two days to the schedule because of the constant laughter Dom provided on the set -- especially when the camera started rolling.The lovable, butterball comedian was a mainstay on 1960s and '70s TV variety as a "second banana" or comedy relief player. While his harsher critics believed his schtick was better served in smaller doses, Dom nevertheless went on to find some range in a few moving, more restrained projects. Those few glimpses behind all the mirth and merriment revealed a dramatic actor waiting to be unleashed. As they say, behind every clown's smile, one can find a few tears.He was born Dominick DeLuise on August 1, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, to parents John, a sanitation engineer, and Vicenza (DeStefano) DeLuise, both Italian immigrants. A natural class clown, it helped Dom fit in at school, and he started drawing belly laughs fairly young on stage. His very first school play had him portraying an inert copper penny! He later attended New York's High School of Performing Arts, but when it came to college, he decided to major in biology at Tufts University near Boston. He never got the idea of being a comedian out of his head, however, and the obsession eventually won out.Dom's formative years as an actor were spent apprenticing at the Cleveland Playhouse in which he gamely played roles in everything from "Guys and Dolls" and "Stalag 17" to "The School for Scandal" and "Hamlet." He earned his first professional paycheck playing Bernie the dog in a production called "Bernie's Last Wish." Dom also got a taste of the camera in Cleveland appearing on the local TV kiddie's show "Tip Top Clubhouse."Back in NYC, he took over the lead role of Tinker the toymaker in another children's local program, Tinker's Workshop (1954), for one season in 1958. He also started making noise on the off-Broadway scene. Appearing in the plays "The Jackass" and "All in Love," he became part of the featured ensemble of the 1961 musical revue "An Evening with Harry Stoones," which included 19-year-old Barbra Streisand. More outlandish musical roles came his way in the early 1960s with "Little Mary Sunshine" (as Corporal Billy Jester) and "The Student Gypsy, or the Prince of Liederkrantz" (his Broadway debut as Muffin T. Raggamuffin). While appearing in the light-hearted summer stock spoof "Summer & Smirk" in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Dom met fellow performer Carol Arthur (née Carol Arata). They married on November 23, 1965. Their three sons, Peter DeLuise, Michael DeLuise and David DeLuise all got into the show business act. In 1971, Dom returned successfully to Broadway in a perfectly-suited Neil Simon vehicle, "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers."Dom was first noticed on the smaller screen creating the sketch character of Dominick the Great, a magician who tries in vain to mask his ineptness with feigned dignity on Garry Moore's popular show. The rolypoly comedian truly thrived in this TV variety atmosphere and soon began popping up all over the place (The Hollywood Palace (1964), The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967), The Jackie Gleason Show (1966)). Balding, blushing, dimpled and moon-faced (comparisons of a ripe tomato were not off the mark), he was readily equipped with a beaming, clench-toothed smile that became his trademark. At his best, looking embarrassed or agitated, the laughs usually came at his own expense whether playing a panic-stricken klutz or squirming Nervous Nelly type. Dom took the magician character to the ensemble comedy show The Entertainers (1964), which also showcased Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart, and found more regular employment as a bumbling private eye in puppeteer Shari Lewis' daytime children's program and as a foil for Dean Martin on the entertainer's regular and summer replacement shows. Dom again repeated his Dominick the Great character on Martin's show and received great reception. He later found himself part of Martin's "in-crowd" of comedians on his "celebrity roasts."Dom's obvious comic genius was more apparent and succeeded better in tandem with others than it did on its own. Hosting duties for his very first comedy/variety program The Dom DeLuise Show (1968), which featured wife Carol as part of the regular roster, lasted only one summer. The sitcom Lotsa Luck (1973), which showcased Dom as bachelor Stanley Belmont having to contend with a live-in mother (a harping Kathleen Freeman) and sister (an ungainly Beverly Sanders), was canceled after its first season. He gave it a rest for awhile before trying once again with the sketch-like sitcom The Dom DeLuise Show (1987), but it, too, quickly faded. Another brief stint was as host of a revamped Candid Camera (1991).While Dom made an unlikely film debut as a high-strung flier in the gripping nuclear drama Fail-Safe (1964) starring Henry Fonda, it was in zany, irreverent comedy that he found his true calling. Appearing in support of others such as Sid Caesar and Mary Tyler Moore, respectively, in the so-so comedies The Busy Body (1967) and What's So Bad About Feeling Good? (1968), he proved a delight as an inept, dim-witted spy in the Doris Day caper The Glass Bottom Boat (1966).Mel Brooks first cast Dom as the miserly Father Fyodor in his film The Twelve Chairs (1970), and found plenty of room for the comedian after that -- as campy director Buddy Bizarre in Blazing Saddles (1974), the silly-ass director's assistant in Silent Movie (1976), Emperor Nero in History of the World: Part I (1981), the voice of the cheese-oozing Pizza the Hutt in the "Star Wars" parody Spaceballs (1987), and as Sherwood Forest's very own puffy-cheeked Godfather, Don Giovanni, in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993).A very close friend of action star Burt Reynolds, Dom romped through a number of Reynolds' freewheeling films as well, including Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982). One of his finest scene-stealing film roles, in fact, was as Reynolds' schizo pal in The End (1978). Dom went on to direct a number of stage productions for his close friend at the Burt Reynolds Theatre in Jupiter, Florida -- among them "Butterflies Are Free," "Same Time, Next Year" (starring Burt and Carol Burnett), "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (starring son Peter), and the musical "Jump" (featuring wife Carol). Still another comic buddy, Gene Wilder, handed Dom the roles of the indulgent opera star in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975) and perturbed movie mogul Adolf Zitz in The World's Greatest Lover (1977). Dom later joined Wilder once again, along with Wilder's wife Gilda Radner, in the unfunny comedy Haunted Honeymoon (1986), a lame, creaky-house spoof that even Dom in full drag could not salvage.Change-of-pace roles were few in the offering. One occurred for Dom as the compulsive-eating protagonist in Fatso (1980). Directed by and co-starring Brooks' wife Anne Bancroft, Dom managed to draw both comedy and pathos. Obesity was also a chronic, real-life problem for the comedian and, at one point in 1999, it was reported that he had tipped the scales at 325 lbs. On a positive note, this passion for food actually fed into a more lucrative sideline -- as a respected chef and culinary author ("Eat This" and "Eat This Too") in which he appeared all over the tube cooking and demonstrating his favorite recipes. He also wrote children's books on the sly.Dom tackled broad comedy films with great abandon -- a wallflower he was not -- but it was a hit-and-miss affair. Some of his biggest misses were the Mae West disaster Sextette (1978), the Dudley Moore showcase Wholly Moses! (1980) (although Dom was arguably the best thing in it), Loose Cannons (1990), in which he appeared as portly pornographer Harry "The Hippo" Gutterman, Driving Me Crazy (1991), which filmed far away in Germany, and Il silenzio dei prosciutti (1994) [aka The Silence of the Hams], a parody on the horror genre in which he played Dr. Animal Cannibal Pizza.Films could also be a family affair. True to life, Dom played a sympathetic kiddie show host in the moving TV-movie Happy (1983). Also the executive producer, he was joined by wife Carol and all three sons in the cast. In addition, Dom offered a cameo in Between the Sheets (2003), a film that was written by Peter, was directed, edited and executive-produced by Michael, and featured roles for the rest of the family.Dom's voiceover skills did not go by untapped either, which included the animated feature films The Secret of NIMH (1982), An American Tail (1986) and All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989), plus all of their offshoots. The heavily-bearded DeLuise even displayed scene-stealing antics on the operatic scene, once playing the speaking part of Frosch the Jailer in the operetta "Die Fledermaus" at the Metropolitan Opera.Suffering from various physical ailments in later years, some of which were exacerbated by his chronic obesity and diabetes, Dom's health declined, and he died in 2009 at age 75. His wife and three children survived him, as did three grandchildren.
Dean MartinBirth date: 7 June 1917, Steubenville, Ohio, USADescription: If there had to be an image for cool, the man to fit it would be Dean Martin.Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio, to Angela (Barra) and Gaetano Alfonso Crocetti, a barber. His father was an Italian immigrant, and his mother was of Italian descent. He spoke only Italian until age five. Martin came up the hard way, with such jobs as a boxer (named Kid Crochet), a steel mill worker, a gas station worker and a card shark.In 1946, he got his first ticket to stardom, as he teamed up with another hard worker who was also trying to hit it big in Hollywood: Jerry Lewis. Films such as At War with the Army (1950) sent the team toward superstardom. The duo were to become one of Hollywood's truly great teams. They lasted 11 years together, and starred in 16 movies. They were unstoppable, but personality conflicts broke up the team. Even without Lewis, Martin was a true superstar.Few thought that Martin would go on to achieve solo success, but he did, winning critical acclaim for his role in The Young Lions (1958) with Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift, and Some Came Running (1958), with Shirley MacLaine and Frank Sinatra. Movies such as Rio Bravo (1959) brought him international fame. One of his best remembered films is in Ocean's Eleven (1960), in which he played Sam Harmon alongside the other members of the legendary Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. Martin proved potent at the box office throughout the 1960s, with films such as Bells Are Ringing (1960) and Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964), again with Rat Pack pals Sammy Davis Jr. and Sinatra. During much of the 1960s and 1970s, Martin's movie persona of a boozing playboy prompted a series of films as secret agent Matt Helm and his own television variety show. Airport (1970) followed, featuring Martin as a pilot. He also played a phony priest in The Cannonball Run (1981).In 1965, Martin explored a new method for entertaining his fans: Television. That year he hosted one of the most successful TV series in history: The Dean Martin Show (1965), which lasted until 1973. In 1965 it won a Golden Globe Award. In 1973 he renamed it "The Dean Martin Comedy Hour", and from 1974 to 1984 it was renamed again, this time "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts". It became one of the most successful TV series in history, skewering such greats as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, James Stewart, George Burns' Milton Berle, Don Rickles Phyllis Diller, and Joe Namath.His last public role was a return to the stage, for a cross-country concert tour with Davis and Sinatra. He spoke affectionately of his fellow Rat Packers. "The satisfaction that I get out of working with these two bums is that we have more laughs than the audience has", Martin said.After the 1980s, Martin took it easy--that is, until his son, Dean Paul Martin died in a plane crash in 1987. Devastated by the loss, from which he never recovered, he walked out on a reunion tour with Sinatra and Davis. Martin spent his final years in solitude. He died on Christmas Day, 1995.
Sammy Davis Jr.Birth date: 8 December 1925, Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USADescription: Sammy Davis Jr. was often billed as the "greatest living entertainer in the world".He was born in Harlem, Manhattan, the son of dancer Elvera Davis (née Sanchez) and vaudeville star Sammy Davis Sr.. His father was African-American and his mother was of Puerto Rican ancestry. Davis Jr. was known as someone who could do it all--sing, dance, play instruments, act, do stand-up--and he was known for his self-deprecating humor; he once heard someone complaining about discrimination, and he said, "You got it easy. I'm a short, ugly, one-eyed, black Jew. What do you think it's like for me?" (he had converted to Judaism).A short stint in the army opened his eyes to the evils of racism--a slight man, he was often beaten up by bigger white soldiers and given the dirtiest and most dangerous assignments by white officers simply because he was black--and he helped break down racial barriers in show business in the 1950s and 1960s, especially in Las Vegas, where he often performed; when he started there in the early 1950s, he was not allowed to stay in the hotels he played in, as they refused to take blacks as customers. He also stirred up a large amount of controversy in the 1960s by openly dating, and ultimately marrying, blonde, blue-eyed, Swedish-born actress May Britt.He starred in the Broadway musical "Golden Boy" in the 1960s. Initially a success, internal tensions, production problems and bad reviews--many of them directed at Davis for playing a role originally written for a white man--resulted in its closing fairly quickly. His film and nightclub career were in full swing, however, and he became even more famous as one of the "Rat Pack", a group of free-wheeling entertainers that included Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.A chain smoker, Davis died from throat cancer at the age of 64. When he died, he was in debt. To pay for Davis' funeral, most of his memorabilia was sold off.
Jack ElamBirth date: 13 November 1920, Miami, Arizona, USADescription: Colorful American character actor equally adept at vicious killers or grizzled sidekicks. As a child he worked in the cotton fields. He attended Santa Monica Junior College in California and subsequently became an accountant and, at one time, manager of the Bel Air Hotel. Elam got his first movie job by trading his accounting services for a role. In short time he became one of the most memorable supporting players in Hollywood, thanks not only to his near-demented screen persona but also to an out-of-kilter left eye, sightless from a childhood fight. He appeared with great aplomb in Westerns and gangster films alike, and in later years played to wonderful effect in comedic roles.
Adrienne BarbeauBirth date: 11 June 1945, Sacramento, California, USADescription: Adrienne Jo Barbeau is an American actress and author best known for her roles on the TV series Maude (1972) and in horror films, especially those directed by John Carpenter, with whom she was once married. She was born on June 11, 1945 in Sacramento, California, the daughter of an executive for Mobil Oil. Early on in her career, she starred in Someone's Watching Me! (1978), The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981) and Swamp Thing (1982), all John Carpenter-related projects. She has collaborated with George A. Romero on occasion, such as the Stephen King-scripted Creepshow (1982) and Due occhi diabolici (1990). Her work with other horror directors includes the Wes Craven comic book monster movie Swamp Thing (1982). During the 1990s, she became best known for providing the voice of Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series (1992).
Terry BradshawBirth date: 2 September 1948, Shreveport, Louisiana, USADescription: Tall, charismatic ex-star quarterback for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers football team. During the 1970s, Bradshaw led the Steelers to four Super Bowl wins over six seasons, and was noted Super Bowl MVP on two occasions. After retiring in 1983, he became a key media commentator on NFL football, and has worked for both the CBS and FOX networks.Has cropped up in minor roles in three Burt Reynolds movies, Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) and The Cannonball Run (1981).
Jackie ChanBirth date: 7 April 1954, Victoria Peak, Hong KongDescription: Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success via his early beginnings in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry.Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak on April 7, 1954, to Charles and Lee-Lee Chan, and the family emigrated to Canberra, Australia, in early 1960. The young Jackie was less than successful scholastically, so his father sent him back to Hong Kong to attend the rigorous China Drama Academy, one of the Peking Opera schools. Chan excelled at acrobatics, singing and martial arts and eventually became a member of the "Seven Little Fortunes" performing troupe and began lifelong friendships with fellow martial artists / actors Sammo Kam-Bo Hung and Biao Yuen. Chan journeyed back and forth to visit his parents and work in Canberra, but eventually he made his way back to Hong Kong as his permanent home. In the early 1970s Chan commenced his movie career and interestingly appeared in very minor roles in two films starring then rising martial arts superstar Bruce Lee: Jing wu men (1972), aka "Fist of Fury" aka "The Chinese Connection", and the Warner Bros. production Enter the Dragon (1973). Not long after Lee's untimely death Chan was often cast in films cashing in on the success of Bruce Lee by utilizing words like "fist", "fury" or "dragon" in their US release titles.Chan's own film career was off and running and he swiftly appeared in many low-budget martial arts films that were churned out at a rapid fire pace by Hong Kong studios eager to satisfy the early 1970s boom in martial-arts cinema. He starred in Shao Lin mu ren xiang (1976) (aka "Shaolin Wooden Men"), Jian hua yan yu jiang nan (1977) (aka "To Kill With Intrigue"), Yi zhao ban shi chuang jiang hu (1978) (aka "Half A Loaf of Kung Fu") and Fei du juan yun shan (1978) (aka "Magnificent Bodyguards"), which all fared reasonably well at the cinemas. However, he scored a major breakthrough with the hit Zui quan (1978) (aka "Drunken Master"), which has become a cult favorite among martial arts film fans. Not too long after this, Chan made his directorial debut with Shi di chu ma (1980) (aka "The Young Master") and then "Enter the Dragon" producer Robert Clouse lured Jackie to the US for a film planned to break Jackie into the lucrative US market. Battle Creek Brawl (1980) (aka "Battle Creek Brawl") featured Jackie competing in a "toughest street fighter" contest set in 1940s Texas; however, Jackie was unhappy with the end result, and it failed to fire with US audiences. In a further attempt to get his name known in the US, Jackie was cast alongside Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore and Dean Martin in the Hal Needham-directed car chase flick The Cannonball Run (1981). Regrettably, Jackie was cast as a Japanese race driver and his martial arts skills are only shown in one small sequence near the film's conclusion. Stateside success was still a few years away for Jackie Chan!Undeterred, he returned to the Orient to do what he did best--make jaw-dropping action films loaded with amazing stunt work. Chan and his legendary stunt team were unparalleled in their ability to execute the most incredible fight scenes and action sequences, and the next decade would see some of their best work. Chan paired with the dynamic Sammo Hung Kam-Bo to star in Qi mou miao ji: Wu fu xing (1983) (aka "Winners & Sinners"), 'A' gai wak (1983) (aka "Project "A"), Kuai can che (1984) (aka "Wheels On Meals"), Fuk sing go jiu (1985) (aka "Winners & Sinners 2"), Xia ri fu xing (1985) (aka "My Lucky Stars 2", aka "Winners & Sinners 3"(. Chan then journeyed back to the US for another shot at that market, starring alongside Danny Aiello in The Protector (1985),) filmed in Hong Kong and New York. However, as with previous attempts, Jackie felt the US director--in this case, James Glickenhaus--failed to understand his audience appeal and the film played to lukewarm reviews and box-office receipts. Jackie did, however, decide to "harden" up his on-screen image somewhat and his next film, Ging chaat goo si (1985) (aka "Police Story") was a definite departure from previously light-hearted martial arts fare, and his fans loved the final product!This was quickly followed up with the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)-influenced Lung hing foo dai (1986) (aka "The Armour of God"), during filming of which Jackie mistimed a leap from a wall to a tree on location in Yugoslavia and fell many quite a few feet onto his head, causing a skull fracture. It was another in a long line of injuries that Chan has suffered as a result of doing his own stunt work, and he was soon back in front of the cameras. 'A' gai wak 2 (1987) (aka "Project A: Part 2"), Ging chaat goo si juk jaap (1988) (aka "Police Story 2"), Qi ji (1989) (aka "Mr. Canton and Lady Rose)", Fei ying gai wak (1991) (aka "Armour of God 2") and Ging chaat goo si III: Chiu kup ging chaat (1992) (aka "Police Story 3") were all sizable hits for Jackie, escalating his status to phenomenal heights in Asia, and to his loyal fan base around the globe. US success was now just around the corner for the the hard-working Jackie Chan, and it arrived in the form of the action film Hung fan kui (1995) (aka "Rumble In The Bronx", though it was actually filmed in Canada) that successfully blended humor and action to make a winning formula in US theaters.Jackie did not waste any time and went to work on Ging chaat goo si 4: Ji gaan daan yam mo (1996) (aka "Police Story 4"), Yat goh ho yan (1997) (aka "Mr. Nice Guy"), Ngo si seoi (1998) (aka "Who Am I"), which all met with positive results at the international box office. Jackie then went to work in the his biggest-budget US production, starring alongside fast-talking comedian Chris Tucker in the action / comedy Rush Hour (1998). The film was a bigger hit than "Rumble In the Bronx" and firmly established Jackie as a bona fide star in the US. Jackie then paired up with rising talent Owen Wilson to star in Shanghai Noon (2000) and its sequel, Shanghai Knights (2003), and re-teamed with Tucker in Rush Hour 2 (2001), as well as starring in The Tuxedo (2002), The Medallion (2003) and the delightful Around the World in 80 Days (2004). Not one to forget his loyal fan base, Jackie returned to more gritty and traditional fare with San ging chaat goo si (2004) (aka "New Police Story") and San wa (2005) (aka "The Myth"). The multi-talented Chan (he's also a major recording star in Asia) shows no sign of slowing down and has long since moved out of the shadow of Bruce Lee, to whom he was usually compared early in his career.Chan is truly one of the international film industry's true maverick actor / director / stuntman / producer combinations - he has done it the hard way, and always his way to achieve his dreams and goals to be an international cinematic star. Off screen he has been directly involved in many philanthropic ventures providing financial assistance to schools and universities around the world. He is a UNICEF GoodWill Ambassador, and he has campaigned against animal abuse and pollution and assisted with disaster relief efforts to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami victims.
Bert ConvyBirth date: 23 July 1933, St. Louis, Missouri, USADescription: Bert Convy was born on July 23, 1933 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Bernard Whalen Convy. He was an actor, known for Super Password (1984), Tattletales (1974) and Match Game 73 (1973). He was married to Catherine Hall and Anne Anderson. He died on July 15, 1991 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Jamie FarrBirth date: 1 July 1934, Toledo, Ohio, USADescription: Jamie Farr was born on July 1, 1934 in Toledo, Ohio, USA as Jameel Joseph Farah. He is an actor, known for M*A*S*H (1972), Port Charles (1997) and Scrooged (1988). He has been married to Joy Ann Richards since February 16, 1963. They have two children.
Peter FondaBirth date: 23 February 1940, New York City, New York, USADescription: Peter Henry Fonda was born in New York City, to legendary screen star Henry Fonda and New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw. He is the brother of actress Jane Fonda and the father of actress Bridget Fonda. His ancestry includes Dutch, English, Scottish, and distant French and Italian.Fonda made his professional stage debut on Broadway in 1961 in Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole, for which he received rave reviews from the New York Critics, and won the Daniel Blum Theater World Award and the New York Critics Circle Award for Best New Actor. He began his feature film career in 1963, playing the romantic lead in Tammy and the Doctor and joined the ensemble cast of the World War II saga The Victors. Shortly thereafter, Fonda began what would become a famous association with Roger Corman, starring in Wild Angels, as the ultra-cool, iron-fisted leader of a violent biker gang, opposite Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern, and Diane Ladd. Fonda also starred in Corman's 1967 psychedelic film The Trip, also starring Dern and Susan Strasberg.Fonda's next project was the seminal 1969 anti-establishment film Easy Rider which he produced and co-scripted, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.Fonda's acting credits also include the feature films Outlaw Blues, an expose of the country music business; Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry; Race with the Devil; Robert Rossen's Lilith; Split Image; Robert Wise's Two People; and the cult films Love and a .45 and Nadja. He appeared in Grace of My Heart, directed by Alison Anders, and John Carpenter's Escape from L.A., starring Kurt Russell. He also made a cameo appearance in Bodies, Heat & Motion, which starred his daughter Bridget.Fonda wowed audiences and won critical acclaim for his portrayal of Ulee Jackson, the taciturn beekeeper in the 1997 film Ulee's Gold, earning him both a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and the New York Film Critics Award, as well as an Oscar nomination. Following this, he published his autobiography, Don't Tell Dad, and was then seen in the NBC movie The Tempest, for which he had been nominated for another Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Mini-Series. Fonda then appeared with Helen Mirren in the Showtime telefilm The Passion of Ayn Rand, where he won the Golden Globe for outstanding supporting actor in a mini-series or movie made for television and was nominated for both an Emmy and SAG Award.Fonda co-starred in Steven Soderbergh's 1997 film The Limey, which also starred Terrence Stamp and Lesley Ann Warren. Following this he appeared in Thomas and the Magic Railroad for director Britt Allcroft, starring Alec Baldwin.Fonda directed his first feature film, The Hired Hand, in 1971. A critically acclaimed western in which he also starred, the film debuted with a restored version at the 2001 Venice Film Festival; it then screened at the Toronto Film Festival before reopening in theaters in 2003. Other directing credits include the science fiction feature Idaho Transfer, starring Keith Carradine and Wanda Nevada in which he starred as a gambler who wins Brooke Shields in a poker game.Fonda co-starred in HBO's The Laramie Project, based on the true story of openly gay college student Matthew Shepard, killed in an act of senseless violence and cruelty, which attracted national attention. Fonda starred in The Maldonado Miracle directed by Salma Hayek for Showtime Networks, and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for his role. Fonda also starred opposite Kris Kristofferson in Wooly Boys, which was released in March 2004, and the television drama Back When We Were Grownups, opposite Blythe Danner and Faye Dunaway. Fonda was seen in Soderbergh's Ocean's Twelve and can be seen in Mark Steven Johnson's Ghost Rider, opposite Nicolas Cage.Fonda's other projects include director Ron Maxwell's Civil War-era drama Copperhead, alongside actors Billy Campbell and Angus MacFadyen and The Ultimate Gift directed by Michael Landon Jr. Up next, Fonda can be seen in John McNaughton's The Harvest with Samantha Morton and Michael Shannon.
George FurthBirth date: 14 December 1932, Chicago, Illinois, USADescription: George Furth was born on December 14, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as George Schweinfurth. He was an actor and writer, known for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Blazing Saddles (1974) and The Man with Two Brains (1983). He died on August 11, 2008 in Santa Monica, California, USA.
Michael HuiBirth date: 3 September 1942, Guangzhou, ChinaDescription: Michael Hui was born in Guangzhou, China on September 3, 1942. He went to La Salle College, and then earned his degree in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He came to the Hong Kong entertainment industry running the comedic "Hui Brothers Show." Shortly afterward, in went into films in the early 1970s. He would often star with his brothers Ricky Hui and Samuel Hui in his comedies, usually movies about pitting their wits against the odds to earn instant money. Hui in these series of films was often referred to as "Mr. Boo" by the Japanese market. By the 1980s through the 1990s, Hui has continued acting and producing his own comedies, most of his movies being centered on the quest for wealth. His satirical comedies, deadpan delivery, character-driven storyline and his charming wit makes him one of the most popular actors and comedians in Hong Kong. In 2006, he became host of Hong Kong's version of "Deal or no Deal."
Bianca JaggerBirth date: 2 May 1945, Managua, NicaraguaDescription: Bianca Jagger was born Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias, May 2, 1945 in Managua, Nicaragua, to a successful import-export merchant father and housewife mother. Bianca received a scholarship to study at the Paris Institute of Political Studies in France. Under the influence of Mohandas K. Gandhi's eastern philosophy, she traveled extensively in India. She became romantically linked to Mick Jagger in September 1970. In 1971, Bianca gave birth to their daughter Jade.
Molly PiconBirth date: 28 February 1898, New York City, New York, USADescription: The little "yente" with the big, expressive talent, New York-born Yiddish icon Molly Picon entertained theater, radio, TV and film audiences for over seven decades (from age 6) with her song-and-dance routines while helping to popularize the Yiddish culture into the American mainstream as well as overseas. Raised in Philadelphia, she was performing from age 5 but broke into the big time with a vaudeville act called "The Four Seasons" in 1919, eventually making a comedy name for herself in the Second Avenue Theatres on the Lower East Side back in New York. The indefatigable Picon was a real live wire and played very broad, confident, dominant characters on stage, which ended up making it hard for her to be taken seriously in dramatic pieces. In film she is best remembered for her Yiddish-language showcases of the 30s, notably in Yidl mitn fidl (1936) (1936), the story of a traveling musician who dresses as a boy to avoid unwarranted male advances. She was cast as a Yiddish Cinderella, a dutiful but unappreciated daughter who cares for her father and his large family, in Mamele (1938), the last Jewish film made in Poland. During one musical vignette, Picon portrays her character's grandmother in several stages of life. In the 1940s, Picon started to include English-speaking plays as well and as she grew into matronly roles, became synonymous as the typical well-meaning but overbearing and coddling "Jewish mama." Such amusing, unflappable film roles would be found in Come Blow Your Horn (1963) (1963) (as an interfering Italian mother) and Fiddler on the Roof (1971) (1971) as Yente the matchmaker. Her long association with husband and corroborator, Yiddish stage star Jacob Kalich, was a fruitful one. He became her mentor, the author of many of her popular plays and the manager of her career. Married in 1919, he died in 1975 but she continued performing albeit sporadically. Picon suffered from Alzheimer's disease in her later years and died at age 93. Vicariously known as the "Jewish Charlie Chaplin" and "Jewish Helen Hayes", she was a patriot and humanitarian at heart, with an energy, creativity and ability to entertain that couldn't help but make her one of entertainment's most beloved citizens.
Jimmy 'The Greek' SnyderBirth date: 9 September 1918, Steubenville, Ohio, USADescription: Jimmy 'The Greek' Snyder was born on September 9, 1918 in Steubenville, Ohio, USA as Dimetrios Georgos Synodinos. He was an actor, known for 1980 NFC Championship Game (1981), 1982 NFC Championship Game (1982) and 1983 NFC Championship Game (1983). He died on April 21, 1996 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Mel TillisBirth date: 8 August 1932, Tampa, Florida, USADescription: Mel Tillis was born on August 8, 1932 in Tampa, Florida, USA as Lonnie Melvin Tillis. He was previously married to Doris Tillis.
Rick AvilesBirth date: 14 October 1952, New York City, New York, USADescription: Rick Aviles was born on October 14, 1952 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard Anthony Aviles. He was an actor, known for Waterworld (1995), Ghost (1990) and Carlito's Way (1993). He died on March 17, 1995 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Warren BerlingerBirth date: 31 August 1937, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USADescription: Warren Berlinger was born on August 31, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He is an actor, known for The Long Goodbye (1973), The World According to Garp (1982) and That Thing You Do! (1996). He was previously married to Betty Lou Keim.
Tara BuckmanBirth date: 1 October 1956, Los Angeles, California, USADescription: Tara Buckman was born on October 1, 1956 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She is known for her work on The Cannonball Run (1981), Days of Our Lives (1965) and Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984).
John FiedlerBirth date: 3 February 1925, Platteville, Wisconsin, USADescription: Typical of busy character actors, Fiedler made his face (and voice) recognizable to millions. Many know the bald-pated Fiedler as therapy patient "Mr. Peterson" on The Bob Newhart Show (1972); others might first recognize him for the 1968 movie, The Odd Couple (1968), and spin-off TV show, The Odd Couple (1970), or perhaps even from the Broadway play that preceded them. Even kids would know that helium-high voice from animated Disney features like Robin Hood (1973), The Fox and the Hound (1981) and the "Winnie the Pooh" stories, in which he voiced "Piglet". The son of an Irish-German beer salesman, Fiedler knew he wanted to be an actor from his childhood days, when he had a full head of reddish-yellow hair. He made his first professional appearances onstage, branched out into live TV in New York and, then, during the 20 years he lived in Hollywood (1960-80), he turned up in many movies and an ever greater number of popular TV shows.
Norman GrabowskiBirth date: 5 February 1933, Irvington, New Jersey, USADescription: Norman Grabowski was born on February 5, 1933 to Anthony & Mary Grabowski in Irvington, New Jersey, as Norman David Grabowski. He was an actor, best known for his roles in Blackbeard's Ghost (1968), The Towering Inferno (1974), Hooper (1978) and The Cannonball Run (1981). He died on October 12, 2012 in Cassville, Missouri.
Joe KleckoBirth date: 15 October 1953, Chester, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Klecko earned NFL All-Pro honors at an unprecedented three posistions - Defensive End, Defensive Tackle and Nose Guard. Was always considered one of the strongest men in the NFL during his playing days. Now operates a health club/gym in northern New Jersey
Grayce SpenceBirth date: 20 October 1929, USADescription: Grayce Spence was born on October 20, 1929 in the USA. She is an actress, known for Warm Springs (2005), The Cannonball Run (1981) and Leave of Absence (1994).
Robert TessierBirth date: 2 June 1934, Lowell, Massachusetts, USADescription: Actor and stuntman Robert Tessier was born of Algonquian Indian descent on June 2, 1934 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He specialized in tough, menacing villains throughout American cinema of the 1970s and 1980s. Tessier had served time in the United States Armed Forces seeing action in Korea as a paratrooper and earning both a Silver Star and a Purple Heart, and in addition was an accomplished motorcycle rider and circus stunt performer.His movie breakthrough came at age 33, in the low budget Tom Laughlin biker movie The Born Losers (1967). With his menacing looks, Tessier was never short of on screen work, often turning up in several movies a year playing gang leaders, bikers and other murderous thugs. He appeared alongside 'Burt Reynolds' on three occasions in The Longest Yard (1974), Hooper (1978) and The Cannonball Run (1981). Alternately, he was equally busy on television appearing in popular series including Starsky and Hutch (1975), Magnum, P.I. (1980), The Fall Guy (1981) and The A-Team (1983). Undoubtedly, Tessier's most well remembered role was that of grinning, head-butting street fighter Jim Henry in the Charles Bronson film Hard Times (1975).Tessier formed "Stunts Unlimited" with fellow noted stunt performers Hal Needham, Glenn R. Wilder and Ronnie Rondell Jr.. Robert Tessier passed away aged 56 from cancer on October 11, 1990.
Alfie WiseBirth date: 17 November 1943, Altoona, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Alfie Wise was born on November 17, 1943 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA. He is an actor, known for Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Rad (1986) and The Cannonball Run (1981).
Johnny YuneBirth date: 17 November 1943, Altoona, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Johnny Yune was born as Jon Yune. He is an actor and writer, known for They Call Me Bruce? (1982), They Still Call Me Bruce (1987) and The Cannonball Run (1981).
Lois HamiltonBirth date: 14 October 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Lois Hamilton (Areno) personified a new wave of actresses who built careers on both beauty and brains. Lois attend Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennslyvannia, and the University of Florence in Florence, Italy, where she received degrees in Psychology and Fine Arts. As a top Ford model in the late 1970s, Lois graced the covers and pages of countless magazines, such as "Cosmopolitan", "Fortune", "Mademoiselle", "Italian Vogue", "Prevue", "Neue Revue Illustrierte", "Newsweek", "Paris Match", "Hello", "Redbook", "Ladies' Home Journal", "Glamour", "Time", and many others. Some of her ad campaigns included Chanel, Clarol, Halston, Pucci and Hermes, and she appeared in over 150 commercials worldwide. She was one of the pioneers who made the successful transition from model to actress. When she came to Los Angeles her career immediately took off and she found herself splashed all over the television and movie screens. Within a year she landed more TV stints than any other actress at ICM. She worked with such luminaries as Ivan Reitman, Neil Simon, Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford, Ned Beatty, Burt Reynolds, John Candy, John Larroquette, Dom DeLuise, Roger Moore, Bill Murray, Jane Fonda, Dean Martin, Carl Reiner, David Carradine, Sammy Davis Jr., Steve Guttenberg, Howard W. Koch, Albert S. Ruddy, Hal Needham, and Thomas R. Bond II to name a few. She was one of the privileged few to be photographed by George Hurrell Sr. before his death. When she wasn't involved in a feature film or television project, she took to the skies--she was a licensed private pilot. She logged over 600 hours and was an accomplished aerobatic pilot flying her 1936 German biplane. In addition, Lois was also a titled Italian baroness with a family that lays claim to the most noble of ancestries dating back to 11th-century Naples. Not one to be typecast as just another pretty face, and in keeping with her artistic talents, she was also an accomplished sculptress, painter and writer. She exhibited her bronze sculptures and oil paintings in many one-woman shows in Los Angeles. An author as well, she penned her first novel, "Move Over Tarzan," a woman's guide on how to be as assertive as the most aggressive, successful man using a woman's femininity. Lois Hamilton was definitely a woman ahead of her time.
Simone BurtonBirth date: 14 October 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Simone Burton is known for her work on The Cannonball Run (1981) and Superstition (1982).
Finele CarpenterBirth date: 14 October 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Finele Carpenter is an actress, known for The Cannonball Run (1981).
Susan McDonaldBirth date: 14 October 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Susan McDonald is known for her work on The Cannonball Run (1981), Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story (1987) and King of the Mountain (1981).
Janet WoytakBirth date: 14 October 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Janet Woytak is an actress, known for The Cannonball Run (1981).
Ben RogersBirth date: 14 October 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Ben Rogers is an actor, known for The Cannonball Run (1981).
James C. LewisBirth date: 14 October 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USADescription: James C. Lewis is known for his work on Unbreakable (2000), The Last of the Mohicans (1992) and Predators (2010).
Fred SmithBirth date: 14 October 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Fred Smith is known for his work on Casino (1995), The Cannonball Run (1981) and Love and Death (1975).
Roy TatumBirth date: 14 October 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USADescription: Originally from Flomaton, Alabama, Roy was recruited by Auburn University for his skills in football. Roy first gained notoriety due to his uncanny resemblance to Burt Reynolds. He 'dropped in' on several TV talk shows where the audience believed he was Reynolds. This eventually led to a part-time acting career. Though he usually played bit parts in several movies, Roy did star in one movie, 'Don't Change My World' in 1983.
Dudley RemusBirth date: 19 August 1934, Michigan, USADescription: Dudley Remus was born on August 19, 1934 in Michigan, USA. He is an actor, known for The Cannonball Run (1981), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) and Gator (1976).
Hal CarterBirth date: 19 August 1934, Michigan, USADescription: Hal Carter is an actor, known for The Cannonball Run (1981), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) and Dark Rider (1991).
Brock YatesBirth date: 21 October 1933, Buffalo, New York, USADescription: Brock Yates was born on October 21, 1933 in Buffalo, New York, USA. He was a writer and producer, known for The Cannonball Run (1981), Cannonball Run II (1984) and Smokey and the Bandit II (1980). He was married to Pamela. He died on October 5, 2016 in the USA.
Kathleen M. SheaBirth date: 21 October 1933, Buffalo, New York, USADescription: Kathleen M. Shea is known for her work on Heat (1995), The Insider (1999) and Ali (2001).
Nancy AustinBirth date: 19 July 1934, Deerfield, Maryland, USADescription: Nancy Austin was born on July 19, 1934 in Deerfield, Maryland, USA. She was an actress, known for The Cannonball Run (1981), Young Americans (1967) and The Jimmie Rodgers Show (1959). She died on March 10, 1995 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Vickie ReigleBirth date: 19 July 1934, Deerfield, Maryland, USADescription: Vickie Reigle is known for her work on The Cannonball Run (1981) and Blue Sky (1994).
Bob StennerBirth date: 19 July 1934, Deerfield, Maryland, USADescription: Bob Stenner is an actor, known for The Cannonball Run (1981) and Fever Pitch (1985).
Ken SquierBirth date: 10 April 1935, Waterbury, Vermont, USADescription: Squier joined CBS Sports in 1972 and has been the principal announcer for the network's coverage of the Daytona 500 for nearly 20 years. He's also provided winter sports play-by-play for CBS-TV and helped found radio's Motor Racing Network in 1969. He's owner/president of Radio Vermont, which operates four central Vermont radio stations (WDEV-AM, Waterbury; WDEV-FM, Warren; WLVB-FM, Morrisville; and WCVT-FM, Stowe), and lives in Stowe, Vt.
Samir KamounBirth date: 10 April 1935, Waterbury, Vermont, USADescription: Samir Kamoun is an actor, known for The Cannonball Run (1981), Megaforce (1982) and Ashland (2009).
John MegnaBirth date: 9 November 1952, Queens, New York, USADescription: John Megna was born on November 9, 1952 in Queens, New York, USA as John Anthony Ingolia. He was an actor, known for To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) and The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976). He died on September 5, 1995 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Linda McClureBirth date: 6 September 1947, Santa Monica, California, USADescription: Linda McClure was born on September 6, 1947 in Santa Monica, California, USA as Linda Carol McClure. She is an actress, known for Smokey and the Bandit (1977), The Cannonball Run (1981) and Hooper (1978).
Laura Lizer SommersBirth date: 6 September 1947, Santa Monica, California, USADescription: Laura Lizer Sommers is an actress, known for Smokey and the Bandit (1977), The Cannonball Run (1981) and The Villain (1979).
Richard LoseeBirth date: 6 September 1947, Santa Monica, California, USADescription: Richard Losee is an actor and producer, known for Masque (2012), Goldrunner (1980) and The Cannonball Run (1981).
Directors of "The Cannonball Run"
Hal NeedhamBirth date: 6 March 1931, Memphis, Tennessee, USADescription: As the highest paid stuntman in the world, Hal Needham broke 56 bones, his back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth. His career has...
Creators of "The Cannonball Run"
Brock YatesBirth date: 21 October 1933, Buffalo, New York, USADescription: Brock Yates was born on October 21, 1933 in Buffalo, New York, USA. He was a writer and producer, known for The Cannonball Run (1981), Cannonball R...