Gary Cooper Biography. Famous people in English. Personajes famosos en inglés. Fotos.

Gary Cooper Biography.

Gary Cooper was born Frank James Cooper in Helena, Montana, one of two sons of an English farmer from Bedfordshire, who later became an American lawyer and judge, Charles Henry Cooper, and Kent-born Alice Cooper. His mother hoped for their two sons to receive a better education than that available in Montana and arranged for the boys to attend Dunstable Grammar School in Bedfordshire, England between 1910 and 1913.Upon the outbreak of World War I, Cooper’s mother brought her sons home and enrolled them in a Bozeman, Montana, high school.



When Cooper was 13, he injured his hip in a car accident. He returned to his parents’ ranch near Helena to recuperate by horseback riding at the recommendation of his doctor. Cooper studied at Iowa’s Grinnell College until the spring of 1924, but did not graduate. He had tried out, unsuccessfully, for the college’s drama club. He returned to Helena, managing the ranch and contributing cartoons to the local newspaper. In 1924, Cooper’s father left the Montana Supreme Court bench and moved with his wife to Los Angeles. Their son, unable to make a living as an editorial cartoonist in Helena, joined them, moving there that same year, reasoning that he “would rather starve where it was warm, than to starve and freeze too.”



Failing as a salesman of electric signs and theatrical curtains, as a promoter for a local photographer and as an applicant for newspaper work in Los Angeles, Cooper found work as an actor in 1925. He earned money as an “extra” in the motion picture industry, usually cast as a cowboy. He is known to have had an uncredited role in the 1925 Tom Mix Western, Dick Turpin. The following year, he had screen credit in a two-reeler, Lightnin’ Wins, with actress Eileen Sedgwick as his leading lady.

After the release of this short film, Cooper accepted a long-term contract with Paramount Pictures. He changed his name to Gary in 1925, following the advice of casting director Nan Collins, who felt it evoked the “rough, tough” nature of her native Gary, Indiana.



“Coop,” as he was called by his peers, went on to appear in over 100 films. Cooper broke through in a supporting role in Wings (1927), the only silent film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, following that with Nevada (1927) co-starring Thelma Todd and William Powell, based on the Zane Gray novel, which was remade in 1944 as an early Robert Mitchum vehicle, the only time Cooper and Mitchum played the same role. He became a major star with his first sound picture, The Virginian (1929) opposite Walter Huston as the villainous Trampas. The Spoilers appeared the following year with Betty Compson, which was remade in 1942 with Compson lookalike Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne in Cooper’s role. Cooper followed this action movie with his own Dietrich film entitled Morocco (1930) in which he played a Foreign Legionnaire. Devil and the Deep (1932) featured Cary Grant in a supporting role with Talullah Bankhead and Cooper in the leads alongside Charles Laughton. The following year, Cooper was the second lead in the sophisticated Ernst Lubitsch comedy production of Noël Coward’s Design for Living, billed under Fredric March in the kind of fast-talking role Cooper never played again after Cary Grant staked out the light comedy leading man field with his persona-changing The Awful Truth four years later. The screen adaptation of A Farewell to Arms (1932), directed by Frank Borzage, and the title role in Frank Capra’s Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) furthered Cooper’s box office appeal.



Cooper was producer David O. Selznick’s first choice for the role of Rhett Butler in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind. When Cooper turned down the role, he was passionately against it. He is quoted as saying, “Gone with the Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I’m glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling flat on his nose, not me”.Alfred Hitchcock wanted him to star in Foreign Correspondent (1940) and Saboteur (1942). Cooper later admitted he had made a “mistake” in turning down the director. For the former film, Hitchcock cast look-alike Joel McCrea instead.

Cooper cemented his cowboy credentials again in The Westerner (1940) opposite Walter Brennan as Judge Roy Bean and followed that immediately afterward with the lavish North West Mounted Police (1940), directed by Cecil B. DeMille and featuring Paulette Goddard.



In 1942, Cooper won his first Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as the title character in Sergeant York. Alvin York refused to authorize a movie about his life unless Cooper portrayed him. Meet John Doe was released earlier the same year, a smash hit under the direction of Frank Capra. Ingrid Bergman had just made Casablanca when she and Cooper collaborated on For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), based on a novel by Cooper’s close friend Ernest Hemingway. As a change of pace, he made a Western comedy lampooning his hesitant speech and mannerisms and his own image in general called Along Came Jones (1945) in which he relied on gunslinging Loretta Young to save him when the chips were down. Cooper also starred in the original version of the Ayn Rand novel The Fountainhead (1949) with Patricia Neal.

In 1953, Cooper won his second Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as Marshal Will Kane in High Noon, arguably considered his finest role. Ill with an ulcer, he wasn’t present to receive his Academy Award in February 1953. He asked John Wayne to accept it on his behalf, a bit of irony in light of Wayne’s stated distaste for the film.



Cooper continued to play the lead in films almost to the end of his life. Among his later box office hits were the stark Western adventure Garden of Evil (1954) with Susan Hayward and Richard Widmark; Vera Cruz (1954), an extremely influential Western in which he guns down villain Burt Lancaster in a showdown; his portrayal of a Quaker farmer during the American Civil War in William Wyler’s Friendly Persuasion (1956); and Anthony Mann’s Man of the West (1958), a hard-edged action Western with Lee J. Cobb. His final motion picture was a British film, The Naked Edge (1961), directed by Michael Anderson. Among his final projects was narrating an NBC documentary, The Real West, in which he helped clear up myths about famous Western figures.



On December 15, 1933, Cooper wed Veronica Balfe (May 27, 1913 – February 16, 2000), known as “Rocky.” Balfe was a New York Roman Catholic socialite who had briefly acted under the name of Sandra Shaw. She appeared in the film No Other Woman, but her most widely seen role was in King Kong, as the woman dropped by Kong. Her third and final film was Blood Money. Her father was governor of the New York Stock Exchange, and her uncle was motion-picture art director Cedric Gibbons. During the 1930s she also became the California state women’s skeet shooting champion. Cooper and Balfe had one child, Maria, now Maria Cooper Janis, married to classical pianist Byron Janis.

In April 1960, Cooper underwent surgery for prostate cancer after it had spread to his colon. It spread to his lungs and bones shortly thereafter.



Cooper was too ill to attend the Academy Awards ceremony in April 1961, so his close friend James Stewart accepted the honorary Oscar on his behalf. Stewart’s emotional speech hinted that something was seriously wrong, and the next day newspapers ran the headline, “Gary Cooper has cancer.” One month later, on May 13, 1961, six days after his 60th birthday, Cooper died.

Cooper was originally interred in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Culver City, California. In May 1974 his body was removed from the Grotto Section of Holy Cross Cemetery, when his widow Veronica remarried and moved to New York, and she had Cooper’s body relocated to Sacred Heart Cemetery, in Southampton, New York, on Long Island. Veronica “Rocky” Cooper-Converse died in 2000 and was buried near Cooper at Sacred Heart Cemetery.



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Gregory Peck Biography. Famous people in English. Personajes famosos en inglés. Fotos.

Gregory Peck biography:


Gregory Peck (April 5, 1916 – June 12, 2003) was an Oscar-winning American film actor. He was one of the most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1970s, and played important roles well into the 1990s. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Atticus Finch in the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won an Academy Award. He was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his lifetime humanitarian efforts.

In 1999, the American Film Institute named Peck among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time, ranking at No. 12.

Born Eldred Gregory Peck in La Jolla, California, Peck was the son of Bernice Ayres (a Missouri-born convert to Catholicism) and Gregory Peck (a chemist/pharmacist of Irish-Catholic maternal descent and English paternal ancestry). Gregory’s paternal grandmother, Catherine Ashe, was related to the Irish patriot Thomas Ashe, who took part in the Easter Rising less than three weeks after Peck’s birth and died while on a hunger strike in 1917. Despite their strict Catholic religion, Peck’s parents divorced when he was five and he was reared by his grandmother.



Peck was sent to a Roman Catholic military school in Los Angeles at the age of 10 and then attended San Diego High School. When he graduated, he enrolled at San Diego State University to improve his grades so that he could earn admission to his first-choice college, the University of California, Berkeley. For a short time, he took a job driving a truck for an oil company. In 1936, he enrolled as a pre-med student at UC Berkeley, majoring in English.

Since he was 6’3″ and very strong, he also decided to row on the university crew. He developed an interest in acting and was recruited by Edwin Duerr, director of the school’s Little Theater. He went on to appear in five plays during his senior year. Although his tuition fee was only $26 a year, Peck still struggled to pay, and had to work as a «hasher» (kitchen helper) for the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority in exchange for meals. Peck would later say about Berkeley that, «it was a very special experience for me and three of the greatest years of my life. It woke me up and made me a human being.» In 1997 he donated $25,000 to the Berkeley crew team in honor of his coach, Ky Ebright.



After graduating in 1939 from Berkeley with a BA degree in English, Peck dropped the name «Eldred» and headed to New York City to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse. He was often broke and sometimes slept in Central Park. He worked at the World’s Fair, as a Radio City Music Hall tour guide, and as a catalog model for Montgomery Ward.

He made his Broadway debut as the lead in Emlyn Williams’ The Morning Star in 1942. His second Broadway performance that year was in The Willow and I with Edward Pawley. Peck’s acting abilities were in high demand during World War II, since he was exempt from military service owing to a back injury suffered while receiving dance and movement lessons from Martha Graham as part of his acting training. Twentieth Century Fox claimed he had injured his back while rowing at university, but in Peck’s words, «In Hollywood, they didn’t think a dance class was macho enough, I guess. I’ve been trying to straighten out that story for years.»



Peck’s first film was Days of Glory, released in 1944. Though many critics initially dismissed Peck’s acting as wooden, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times, four of which came in his first five years of film acting: for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), and Twelve O’Clock High (1949).

Each of these early films introduced an aspect of Peck’s persona, establishing him, by the end of the 1940s, as the quintessential leading man. The Keys of the Kingdom emphasized his stately presence. As Penny Barker in The Yearling, he beamed good-humored warmth and affection toward the characters playing his son and wife, confounding critics who had been insisting he was a lifeless performer. Duel in the Sun (1946) showed his range as an actor in his first «against type» role as a cruel, libidinous gunslinger. Gentleman’s Agreement established his power in the «social conscience» genre in a film that took on the deep-seated but subtle anti-Semitism of mid-century corporate America. Twelve O’Clock High was the first of many successful war films in which Peck embodied the brave, effective, yet human fighting man.



His three biggest films of the 1950s were Roman Holiday (1953), in which he all but defined the tall, dark and handsome romantic lead, Moby Dick (1956), in which he tied the strong knot between classic American literature and film, and On the Beach (1959), a film that brought to life the potential terrors of global nuclear war. However, it was not until the early 1960s that Peck’s mastery of his craft would intersect with an equally masterful script.

Peck won the Academy Award for his fifth nomination, playing the role of Atticus Finch, a Depression-era lawyer and widowed father, in the film adaptation of the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Released in 1962 during the height of the US civil rights movement in the South, this movie and his role were Peck’s favorite. In 2003, Atticus Finch was named the top film hero of the past 100 years by the American Film Institute. His other popular films include The Guns of Navarone, the war film where he starred with David Niven and Anthony Quinn, and Roman Holiday, in which he appeared as a reporter alongside Audrey Hepburn in her Oscar-winning film debut. Peck and Hepburn were close friends until her death, and Peck even introduced her to her first husband, Mel Ferrer.



In 1947, while many Hollywood figures were being blacklisted for similar activities, he signed a letter deploring a House Un-American Activities Committee investigation of alleged communists in the film industry.

In 1949, Peck, Mel Ferrer and Dorothy McGuire founded The La Jolla Playhouse at his birthplace. This local community theater and landmark (now in a new home at the University of California, San Diego) still thrives today. It has attracted Hollywood film stars on hiatus both as performers and enthusiastic supporters since its inception.

He served as the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1967, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Film Institute from 1967 to 1969, Chairman of the Motion Picture and Television Relief Fund in 1971, and National Chairman of the American Cancer Society in 1966. He was a member of the National Council on the Arts from 1964 to 1966. President Richard Nixon placed Peck on his enemies list due to his liberal activism.



A lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party, Peck was suggested in 1970 as a possible Democratic candidate to run against Ronald Reagan for the office of Governor of California. Gregory Peck encouraged one of his sons, Carey Peck, to run for political office. Carey was defeated both times he tried for Congress, in 1978 and in 1980, by Republican Congressman Robert K. Dornan, both times by slim margins.

In an interview with the Irish media, Peck revealed that former President Lyndon Johnson had told him that, had he sought re-election, he intended to offer Peck the post of US ambassador to Ireland — a post Peck, due to his Irish ancestry, said he might well have taken, saying, «it would have been a great adventure.»

He was outspoken against the Vietnam War, while remaining supportive of his son, Stephen, who was fighting there. In 1972, Peck produced the film version of Daniel Berrigan’s play The Trial of the Catonsville Nine about the prosecution of a group of Vietnam protesters for civil disobedience. Despite his initial reluctance to portray the controversial General Douglas MacArthur on screen, he did so in 1977 and ended up with a great admiration for the man.



Though so well known and loved, he was not above all criticism. Pauline Kael described him as «competent but always a little boring.» Even those greatly admiring him would admit to a touch of stiffness in certain roles. Yet these qualities may have been a necessary trade-off for the iconic status he reached, and he may have known it.

A physically powerful man, he was known to do a majority of his own fight scenes, rarely using body or stunt doubles. In fact, Robert Mitchum, his on screen opponent in Cape Fear, often said that Peck once accidentally punched him for real during their final fight scene in the movie. He said that he felt the impact of the punch for days afterwards and said, «I don’t feel sorry for anyone dumb enough who picks a fight with him.»

Gregory Peck was married twice and had five children. He had three sons by his first wife, Greta Kukkonen, and a son and daughter by his second wife, Veronique Passani. Children with Kukkonen: Jonathan (b. 1944 – d. 1975), Stephen (b. 1945) and Carey Paul (b. 1949). Children with Veronique Passani: Tony (b. 1956) and Cecilia (b. 1958). In 1975, Peck’s 30 year-old son Jonathan, a television news reporter, committed suicide by gunshot.

Peck owned the thoroughbred steeplechase racehorse Different Class which raced in England. The horse was the favorite for the 1968 Grand National but finished third.



Gregory Peck was close friend with French president Chirac, who stated on his death, «Depuis de nombreuses années, il était pour moi un ami très cher.» meaning «For numerous years, he was a very dear friend of mine.»

He was of Armenian, British, Scottish, and Irish heritage.

In the 1980s Peck moved to television, where he starred in the mini-series The Blue and the Gray, playing Abraham Lincoln. He also starred in the TV film The Scarlet and The Black about a real-life Roman Catholic priest in the Vatican who smuggled Jews and other refugees away from the Nazis during World War II.

Peck retired from active film-making in 1991, having received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1989, and Crystal Globe award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema in 1996.

In 2000, Peck was made a Doctor of Letters by the National University of Ireland. He was a founding patron of the University College Dublin School of Film, where he persuaded Martin Scorsese to become an honorary patron.

Like Cary Grant before him, Peck spent the last few years of his life touring the world doing speaking engagements in which he would show clips from his movies, reminisce, and answer questions from the audience.

In early 2003, Gregory Peck was offered the role of Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He said he’d seriously consider it. He was looking forward to playing Grandpa Joe which he considered «the greatest swan song of them all,» but he died before he could accept.

On June 12, 2003, Peck died in his sleep from cardiorespiratory arrest and bronchial pneumonia at the age of 87 in Los Angeles. His wife of 48 years was at his side. Peck is buried in the mausoleum of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, California.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Gregory Peck has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6100 Hollywood Blvd. In November 2005, the star was stolen. It has been replaced with a new one.




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Alexander Graham Bell Biography. Famous people in English. Personajes famosos en inglés. Fotos.

Alexander Graham Bell Biography:

Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 3, 1847. He enrolled in the University of London to study anatomy and physiology, but his college time was cut short when his family moved to Canada in 1870. His parents had lost two children to tuberculosis, and they insisted that the best way to save their last child was to leave England.

When he was eleven, Bell invented a machine that could clean wheat. He later said that if he had understood electricity at all, he would have been too discouraged to invent the telephone. Everyone else «knew» it was impossible to send voice signals over a wire.



While trying to perfect a method for carrying multiple messages on a single wire, he heard the sound of a plucked spring along 60 feet of wire in a Boston electrical shop. Thomas A. Watson, one of Bell’s assistants, was trying to reactivate a telegraph transmitter. Hearing the sound, Bell believed that he could solve the problem of sending a human voice over a wire. He figured out how to transmit a simple current first, and received a patent for that invention on March 7, 1876. Five days later, he transmitted actual speech. Sitting in one room, he spoke into the phone to his assistant in another room, saying the now famous words: «Mr. Watson, come here. I need you.» The telephone patent is one of the most valuable patents ever issued.

Bell had other inventions as well — his own home had a precursor to modern day air conditioning, he contributed to aviation technology, and his last patent, at the age of 75, was for the fastest hydrofoil yet invented.



Bell was committed to the advancement of science and technology. As such he took over the presidency of a small, almost unheard-of, scientific society in 1898: the National Geographic Society. Bell and his son-in-law, Gilbert Grosvenor, took the society’s dry journal and added beautiful photographs and interesting writing — turning National Geographic into one of the world’s best-known magazines. He also is one of the founders of Science magazine.

Bell died on August 2, 1922. On the day of his burial, all telephone service in the US was stopped for one minute in his honor.


Alexander Melville Bell (1819-1905), who is Alexander Graham Bell’s father, was the international known teacher of discernible speech. The Bell family moved from Scotland to Canada in the year of 1870. In both Scotland and Canada, Alexander Graham had lessons, from his father, in the course of visible speech. In 1871, a school in Boston invited him to visit to train some of the teachers the visible speech, which his father had invented. Bell, by 1871 had improved his fathers’ speech system by working on it. Two years later in 1873, he became a professor at Boston University, he taught there until 1877. Little did anyone know that later on Alexander Graham Bell would make an invention that would change America, then the world.


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Clark Gable biography. Famous people in English. Personajes famosos en inglés. Fotos.


Clark Gable biography:

Clark Gable was an American film actor best known for his role as Rhett Butler in the epic ‘Gone with the Wind.’ One of the top most Hollywood stars in the 1930s and 1940s, he was often referred to as «The King of Hollywood» or just simply as «The King”. Having starred as a leading man in more than 60 motion pictures in a career spanning over three decades, he was the reel-life heartthrob of thousands of American women and a notorious womanizer in real-life. The son of an oil-well driller, Gable was a teenager when he decided that he wanted to become an actor instead of working on farms as his father wished. After struggling for a few years he finally found work in theater companies and began his career as a stage actor. A theater manager named Josephine Dillon became his mentor and helped him enter Hollywood where he started appearing in silent films.




Childhood & Early Life

William Clark Gable was born in Cadiz, Ohio, on February 1, 1901, to William Henry «Will» Gable and his wife Adeline. His father was an oil-well driller and farmer. His mother died when Clark was just a baby.

His father eventually remarried. His stepmother Jennie played the piano and gave lessons to Clark. She also raised him to be a well-dressed and well-groomed young man.

From a young age he was drawn towards language and persuaded his father to buy him a 72-volume set of ‘The World’s Greatest Literature.’

As a 17 year old he saw the play ‘The Bird of Paradise’ which inspired him to become an actor.





He struggled for a few years, working in odd jobs before he found work with second-class theater companies. Along with his acting career he also worked as a necktie salesman in the Meier & Frank department store. There he met Laura Hope, an actress who encouraged him in pursuing an acting career.

Still a struggling actor, he became acquainted with a theater manager in Portland named Josephine Dillon, who was 17 years his senior. Dillon became his mentor and helped him in grooming himself for a career in films. She guided him in developing a better body posture and trained him gain a better resonance and tone in his voice. After a period of rigorous training, she helped him enter Hollywood.

He began his film career with roles in silent films and continued appearing in stage performances until he gained a strong foothold in the film industry. By 1930, he was beginning to gain popularity as a stage actor which led to film offers.




His first leading role was in ‘Dance, Fools, Dance’, with Joan Crawford in 1931. From here it did not take him long to establish himself as a much sought-after actor. He followed it up with ‘Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise)’ with Greta Garbo, and ‘Possessed’ again with Joan Crawford, the same year.

His string of successes continued throughout the 1930s with movies like ‘It Happened One Night’ (1934) which won him an Academy award, and the epic film ‘Gone with the Wind’ (1939) which went on to be regarded as one of the best American films ever made.

Gable suffered a personal tragedy in the 1940s when his wife Carole Lombard was killed in an airplane crash in 1942. Following her death, he joined the U.S. Army Air Forces as his wife had suggested prior to her death that Gable enlist as part of the war effort.

He trained as an aerial gunner and flew five combat missions over Europe over the course of his military career. He also made a propaganda film for the Army.

After being discharged from the army in the mid-1940s, he returned to his film career. His fans were happy to see him back and flocked to the theaters to see him when the film ‘Adventure’ was released in 1945. But the film was panned critically and Gable’s career was never the same again.

He continued appearing in films throughout the 1940s and 1950s but had by now lost the charms of his younger days. Aging and weary, he could no longer weave the magic he was once capable of. The last film Gable appeared in was ‘The Misfits’, which was released in 1961, a few months after his death.




Personal Life & Legacy

Clark Gable was known to be a notorious womanizer. His first marriage was to his mentor Josephine Dillon who he married in 1924 and divorced in 1930. His second marriage to Maria Langham also ended in divorce.

In 1935, during the filming of ‘The Call of the Wild’, he impregnated the film’s lead actress, Loretta Young. She hid the pregnancy from the public eye, gave birth in secret, and later presented her biological daughter to the world as her adopted child.

Gable tied the knot for the third time with Carole Lombard in 1939. She died in 1942 leaving him aggrieved. Another short-term marriage followed—he wed Sylvia Ashley in 1949 and divorced her in 1952.

His final marriage was to Kay Williams in 1955. She was pregnant at the time of Gable’s death in 1960 and gave birth to a son, John Clark Gable, a few months later.

Clark Gable died on November 16, 1960, from an arterial blood clot, ten days after a severe heart attack. He was 59.




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Betsy Ross. Biography. Famous people in English. Personajes famosos en inglés. Fotos.


Betsy Ross Biography:

Betsy Ross (January 1, 1752 – January 30, 1836) was an American woman who is said to have sewn the first American flag. Three members of a secret committee from the Continental Congress came to call upon her. Those representatives, George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, asked her to sew the first flag. This meeting occurred in her home some time late in May 1777. George Washington was then commander of the Continental Army. Robert Morris, an owner of vast amounts of land, was perhaps the wealthiest citizen in the Colonies. Colonel George Ross was a respected Philadelphian and also the uncle of her late husband, John Ross.

Early years

Born Elizabeth («Betsy») Griscom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she was the eighth of 17 children of Samuel and Rebecca Griscom. Members of Ross’ family were devout Quakers. Her father was a master architect. Ross attended Friends schools, where she learned reading, writing and sewing. Although Ross is often referred to as a seamstress, she was actually a trained upholsterer. After completing her formal education at a school for Quaker children, Ross went on to apprentice to John Webster, a talented and popular Philadelphia upholsterer. She spent several years with Webster and learned to make and repair curtains, bedcovers, tablecloths, rugs, umbrellas and Venetian blinds, as well as working on other sewing projects.


First marriage

While she was working as an apprentice upholsterer, she fell in love with another apprentice, John Ross, who was the son of the rector at Christ Church Pennsylvania and a member of the Episcopal clergy. In those times the Quakers disapproved strongly of interdenominational marriages. However, like her mother and father, Betsy eloped with John Ross in 1773 across the Delaware River to New Jersey, where they were married by Benjamin Franklin’s son, William Franklin. The couple was subsequently disowned by Ross’ Quaker meeting.

The young couple returned to Philadelphia and opened their own upholstery business in 1774. Competition was stiff and business slow. Ross and John attended Christ Church and their pew was next to George Washington’s family pew. When the American Revolution began, John joined the militia. He was assigned to guard ammunition stores along the Delaware River. Unfortunately, the gunpowder he was guarding exploded and he eventually died on January 21, 1776.

Legend of sewing the first flag

In May of 1777, she received the above mentioned visit from George Washington, George Ross and Robert Morris of the Second Continental Congress. She was acquainted with Washington through their mutual worship at Christ Church and George Ross was John’s uncle. Although there is no record of any such committee, the three men supposedly announced they were a «Committee of Three» and showed her a suggested design that was drawn up by Washington in pencil. The design had six-pointed stars, and Ross, the family story goes, suggested five-pointed stars instead because she could make a five-pointed star in one snip. The flag was sewn by Ross in her parlor. The flag’s design was specified in the June 14, 1777 Flag Resolution of the Second Continental Congress, and flew for the first time on September 3, 1777.

No contemporary record of this meeting was made. No «Betsy Ross flag» of thirteen stars in a circle exists from 1776. Historians have found at least 17 other flag makers in Philadelphia at the time. The Betsy Ross story is based solely on oral affidavits from her daughter and other relatives and made public in 1870 by her grandson, William J. Canby. Canby presented these claims in a paper read before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. No primary sources of the time; letters, journals, diaries, newspaper articles, official records, or business records have surfaced since 1870 confirming or disproving the story. The only further supporting documentation that Betsy Ross was involved in federal flag design is the Pennsylvania State Navy Board commissioning her for work in making «ships colors & c.» in May 1777.

Some historians believe it was Francis Hopkinson and not Betsy Ross who designed the official «first flag» of the United States 13 red and white stripes with 13 stars in a circle on a field of blue. Hopkinson was a member of the Continental Congress, a heraldist, a designer of the Great Seal of the State of New Jersey, one of the designer of the Great Seal of the United States, which contains a blue shield with 13 diagonal red and white stripes and 13 five-pointed stars and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.


Later Life

After her husband John’s death, Ross joined the «Fighting Quakers» which, unlike traditional Quakers, supported the war effort. In June 1777, she married sea captain Joseph Ashburn at Old Swedes Church in Philadelphia.

Collateral evidence to the claim that Ross indeed provided significant design input in the flag is provided by reference to Ashburn’s family coat of arms. The Ashburn crest provides a stars and bars motif not unlike Old Glory itself.

As was their custom and by royal decree, British soldiers forcibly occupied the Ross’s house when they controlled the city in 1777.

The couple had two daughters together. Captain Ashburn was captured by the British while procuring supplies for the Continental Army and was sent to Old Mill Prison, where he died in March 1782, several months after the surrender of the British commander in the field, General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown.

In May 1783, Ross married John Claypoole, an old friend who had told her of Ashburn’s death. The couple had five daughters together.

In 1793 Ross’s mother, father, and sister died within days of each other from the yellow fever, left Ross to raise her young niece. John Claypool suffered a devastating stroke in 1800. He survived the stroke, but was bedridden and required constant nursing care for the next 17 years. In 1812, Ross and John’s young and newly widowed daughter, Clarissa, moved into their home along with her five young children and a sixth on the way.

When John Claypool died in 1817, both he and Ross were 65. Ross, however, lived until 1836 working at the upholstery business until she was 76. She died, then completely blind, at the age of 84.

Married three times, Ross was also buried in three different locations: the Free Quaker burial ground on South Fifth Street near Locust, Mt. Moriah (formerly Mt. Claypool) Cemetery, and now on Arch Street in the courtyard adjacent to the Betsy Ross House. Despite being one of the three most visited tourist sites in Philadelphia, the claim that Ross once lived at her current place of rest is a matter of dispute.



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Frank Sinatra Biography. Famous people in English. Personajes famosos en inglés. Fotos.


Frank Sinatra Biography

Francis Albert Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915, in an upstairs tenement at 415 Monroe Street in Hoboken, New Jersey.

He was the only child of Italian immigrants Antonino Martino «Marty» Sinatra (May 4, 1892 – January 24, 1969), the son of grape growers from Lercara Friddi, and Natalina «Dolly» Garaventa (December 26, 1896 – January 6, 1977), daughter of a lithographer from Genoa.




American legendary superstar of a singing career as well as TV and movies. He started as a copyboy at a local newspaper and organized his own band, «The Hoboken Four» that appeared on radio and small nightclub performances. He struck out on his own in the early ’40s and emerged as an idol of all bobby-soxer’s across America, soon becoming dubbed as «The Voice.»

His popularity declined in 1952 and he begged Columbia to sign him in a movie. He was cast in «From Here to Eternity» which won him an Oscar and launched him into a film career of over 63 films, some of which he co-produced. He has been honored with the «Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award» in 1971, in 1983 he was the recipient of the «Kennedy Center» honors for life achievement and in 1985 was awarded the «Medal of Freedom» by President Ronald Reagan, the highest civilian honor available.




Sinatra’s voice was in top form when he launched an enormously successful concert tour with Sammy Davis, Jr. and Lisa Minnelli in 1993. By this time, he had accumulated a fortune that he invested in a diversity of business ventures; everything from real estate and industry to gambling casinos and racetracks. Sinatra has often been criticized for association with underworld figures.




Labeled «ol’ blue-eyes,» Sinatra is one of the wealthiest men in the entertainment industry. He is noted for his volatility as well as his kind hearted philanthropy.

He has been married four times; first wife Nancy Barbato gave him three children and they divorced in 1951. He married Ava Gardner in 1951 just weeks after the finalization of his divorce from Nancy, and that marriage lasted until 1957. His third marriage was to Mia Farrow, 1966-1968, followed by his last marriage in 1976 to Barbara Marx, the widow of Zeppo Marx.




Sinatra has suffered with acute diverticulitis in 1986, a couple of skin cancers and other physical complaints as he grows older. A tribute was made to him on the 1998 Music Awards presentations in early 1998. Though he was no longer performing, the industry and the public expressed a great appreciation for one of the 20th century’s outstanding talents.

He died of a heart attack 5/16/1998.

Television Programme: Arena: Frank Sinatra. 1960s --- American singer and actor Frank Sinatra. Image by   John Bryson/Sygma/Corbis



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Vivien Leigh Biography. Famous people in English. Personajes famosos en inglés. Fotos.


Vivien Leigh (1913-1967) Biography

She was born Vivian Mary Hartley in Darjeeling, India on November 5th, 1913, the daughter of a British cavalry officer. She and her family moved to England when Vivian was 6 in 1920, and she attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Roehampton, South London where she made her first stage appearances in Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘The Tempest’. As a young girl she travelled round Europe with her father, being schooled wherever they happened to stay. They returned in 1931 and Vivian, having decided on a career as an actress, enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.




Shortly before actually beginning her studies Vivian got married to Leigh Holman, a barrister 13 years her senior. In October, 1933, she gave birth to a daughter, Suzanne and gave up her acting studies to look after the baby. Motherhood did not restrict her acting ambitions, however, and she enlisted the services of a theatrical agent . On his suggestion she changed her name, using her husband’s first name as her surname. Her first name, Vivian was changed when she signed a contract with director Alexander Korda in 1935 and he suggested the altered spelling Vivien.



She made a start in movies in Britain in 1935 in ‘The Village Squire ‘ and in the same year appeared in ‘Things Are Looking Up’, ‘Look Up and Laugh’ and ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’.

After meeting Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic she appeared with him on stage in ‘Hamlet’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and in 1937 they appeared on screen together in the well-received ‘Fire Over England’. Although both were married a romance developed. In 1938 Vivien went to New York to visit Olivier – and the course of Hollywood history was changed.


vivien leigh 1939 - by parrish. Scanned by Frederic. Reworked by Nick & jane for Dr. Macro's High Quality Movie Scans website: Enjoy!


The story of Vivien’s casting as Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone With the Wind’ in 1939 is a fairy tale, stepping in at virtually the last minute after producer David O. Selznick had poured $50,000 into a two-and-a-half year campaign to find the perfect actress.

Whilst in New York, Vivien and Olivier met Selznick, who invited her for a screen test. She was not exactly unknown in Hollywood – several of her earlier British films had been well received – but she was by no means a star, and it was a risk for Selznick to cast her – but he did. It helped that she was a perfect match for the character physically, and any problems of accent and style were carefully smoothed over in what is still an arresting and commanding performance which won her the Best Actress Award and made her world famous.



In 1940 both she and Olivier obtained divorces from their respective partners and they were married in August 1940 with Katharine Hepburn as maid of honor.

After ‘Gone with the Wind’ Hollywood tried hard to consolidate her Oscar-winning success with ‘Waterloo Bridge’ and ’21 days’, in 1940, in which she is equally radiant, yet she made only 5 movies between ‘Gone With the Wind’ in 1939 and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ in 1951. Most of them were in historical or classical roles such as Lady Hamilton, Cleopatra and Anna Karenina, and she also worked widely on the stage.



Then in 1951 came another extraordinary performance opoposite Marlon Brando in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. The movie was a sensational success, both with the critics and at the box-office, and she won a second Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as a BAFTA Award and a Best Actress New York Film Critics Circle Award.

The last part of her career was clouded by mental and physical illness. Her spiralling emotional problems hastened the end of her marriage to Olivier. She began a relationship with actor Jack Merivale in 1958 and two years later she and Olivier were divorced.




As her health deteriorated her movie roles became less and less. She was excellent in ‘The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone’ in 1961 and also in ‘Ship of Fools’ in 1965 but there were no more movies although she continued to work in the theatre and in 1963 won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in ‘Tovarich’. She was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and there were many emotional outbursts and much erratic behaviour and she got the reputation as being a a difficult person to work with.

Vivien Leigh died in her London apartment of tuberculosis in July 1967. She was 53. In tribute, the lights in London’s theater district were blacked out for an hour.




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Stephen Hawking Biography. Famous people in English. Personajes famosos en inglés. Fotos.


Early Life:

Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 in Oxford, England.

Both his parents had studied at Oxford.

When he was nine, Stephen got very poor grades in school and just managed to be an average student.

He was always interested in how stuff works and he took clocks and radios apart, but had trouble putting them back together.

Still, his nickname was Einstein.

Stephen was always interested in Math and Science.

He won a scholarship to study Physics at Oxford.

Then, he studied cosmology at Cambridge.




Fighting with ALS

When he was 21, Stephen started tripping, dropping items and his speech became unclear.

After a series of tests, doctors concluded that Stephen was suffering from ALS- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; a disease which paralyzed him and required a speech generating device to communicate.

He worked very hard to earn his Phd and today, even though he is on a wheelchair he can communicate with a touch pad computer and a voice synthesizer.

When he was 65, he took a zero gravity ride, which enabled him to leave his wheelchair, for the first time in 40 years.




Stephen Hawking Quotes

“It is a waste of time to be angry about my disability. One has to get on with life and I haven’t done badly. People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”

“I don’t think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I’m an optimist. We will reach out to the stars.”


President Barack Obama talks with Stephen Hawking in the Blue Room of the White House before a ceremony presenting him and 15 others the Presidential Medal of Freedom, August 12, 2009. The Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor.  (Official White House photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.


Famous Works

His most famous theory is that black holes can emit radiation; also known as Hawking radiation.

Hawking has received numerous awards but never won the Nobel Prize.

He received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 .

Stephen always enjoyed writing books. His best seller, ‘A Brief History in Time’ made terms like the Big Bang and black holes easy to understand.

Other famous Stephen Hawking books include: A Briefer History in Time, On the Shoulders of Giants and The Universe in a Nutshell.

Hawking has also co-written many books for children along with his daughter Lucy. His famous books for children include George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt and George and the Big Bang.

Stephen Hawking IQ- Estimated to be over 160.



Hawking Today

Stephen Hawking is Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge University.

He is a highly successful lecturer and author and has also authored several scientific lectures apart from his books.

Using the equalizer, he is capable of speaking just 15 letters per minute.

Since 2009 he has been completely paralyzed but he is still a living legend.





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Deborah Kerr Biography. Biografía. Famous people in English. Personajes famosos en inglés. Fotos.

Deborah Kerr Biography:

5602484 (900318) Deborah KERR, britische Schauspielerin, Portrait im halterlosen Abendkleid, undatiert ca. Mitte der 50er Jahre. [Nutzung nur mit Genehmigung und gegen Honorar, Beleg, Namensnennung und zu unseren AGB. Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung. Honorare an: KEYSTONE Pressedienst, HASPA, BLZ 20050550, Kto. 1235130877]

Deborah Kerr was born Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer in Helensburgh, near Glasgow on 30 September 1921. Her father, a naval architect died when she was 14 and she had a younger brother, Edward (Teddy) who became a journalist.

Her family moved to England when she was 5 and she began her schooling at the Northumberland House School in Clifton, near Bristol, where her artistic talent, particularly for singing and dancing, was first noticed. She went on to study ballet at the Hicks-Smale Drama School, run by her aunt, well-known British radio performer Phyllis Smale. Deborah was extremely talented and she won a scholarship to the Sadler’s Wells Theatre School to continue studying ballet in London. In 1938, aged 17, she made her stage debut as a member of the corps de ballet in «Prometheus,» but at 5’6″ she was too tall to be a top ballerina and instead she began to concentrate her talents on her other love, the stage.




She began playing small parts in London repertory theater and she appeared at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park, London which brought her to the attention of producer Gabriel Pascal who signed her up to play Jenny Hill in the 1940 movie adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Major Barbara’. The movie and Deborah received rave reviews and it was followed quickly with another Pascal movie, ‘Love on the Dole’, which came out in 1941 and which again brought accolades for Deborah’s work. She had become, very rapidly, one of the bright young stars of British cinema.




Deborah’s rapid rise continued with a series of films made during WWII. She co-starred with Robert Newton and James Mason in ‘Hatter’s Castle’ in 1942 and then showed her versatility in ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’ in 1943 playing three different parts. After the well-received ‘The Adventuress’ and ‘Love on the Dole’ she had more great success with ‘Perfect Strangers’ in 1945, ‘I See a Dark Stranger’ in 1946, and ‘Black Narcissus’ the following year, for which she won the New York Film Critics’ Actress of the Year Award.




She had been attracting attention in Hollywood for some time and she was invited to America to sign a contract with MGM. It was the right move at the right time for Deborah and she made her American debut in 1947 opposite Clark Gable in ‘The Hucksters’. Both this and her follow-up Hollywood movie ‘If Winter Comes’ with Walter Pigeon, started a frustrating period for Deborah when she seemed always to be typecast as a refined, but prim and proper English lady.


She played similar parts during the following years in movies such as ‘Edward, My Son’ in 1949, ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ in 1950 ‘Quo Vadis’ in 1951, and ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’ in 1952.

In 1953 Deborah was given the role of Karen Holmes, the alcoholic, adulterous wife in ‘From Here to Eternity’, which suited her to perfection and which allowed her to cast off her decorous, delicate image forever. She was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar and her kissing scene in the Hawaii surf with military officer Burt Lancaster has become part of Hollywood folklore, and is ranked as the twentieth most romantic scenes in The American Film Institute’s top 100 list.




She played a similar role of showing the hidden passion beneath romantic love in ‘The Proud and Profane’ and ‘Tea and Sympathy’in 1956 and that same year became a landmark for her with her portrayal of «Mrs. Anna» in ‘The King and I’ with Yul Brynner. Her performance was rewarded with another nomination for the Best Actress Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.

Her run of successes continued to the end of the decade. She made memorable performances in ‘An Affair to Remember’ with Cary Grant in 1957, ‘Separate Tables’ the following year, and ‘The Sundowners’ with Robert Mitchum in 1960, for which she received her final Academy Award nomination. ‘The Innocents’ in 1961 and ‘The Night of the Iguana’ in 1964 were also successful movies for Deborah and she showed her comic ability with starring roles in ‘The Grass is Greener’ in 1960 and Marriage on the Rocks’ in 1965. She also appeared in glamorous style in the spoof James Bond movie ‘Casino Royale’ in 1965.




Her final movie appearance was in ‘The Arrangement’ in 1969 which was poorly received, and after which she retired from films. She said she felt either too young or too old for every part she was offered and she was growing increasingly disenchanted with the growing levels of overt sex and violence on screen although she did continue her acting career on stage and on television.

In 1971 she appeared in ‘The Day After The Fair’ enjoying considerable success in London and a subsequent worldwide tour. Her appearance in Edward Albee’s ‘Seascape’ in 1975 produced poor reviews and the play only ran for one month but she had great success in 1977 with appearances in ‘Long Days Journey Into Night’ and ‘Candida’.

Deborah’s first film made specifically for television was ‘Three Roads To Rome’ in 1962, and she thereafter worked regularly in TV productions remaining active until the mid 1980’s.


In 1982 she played the role of Nurse Plimsoll in ‘Witness For The Prosecution’ and later successes included ‘A Woman Of Substance’ in 1983. She also defied ill-health and made a one-off return to movies playing a widow in ‘The Assam Garden’ 1985. After appearing in the television movie ‘Hold The Dream’ in 1986, she retired completely from acting.

Deborah’s personal life was lively and her personality was competely different to the repressed, strait-laced person she so often had to portray.


She is believed to have had affairs with several of her leading men including Burt Lancaster, Stewart Granger as well as director, Michael Powell. She married twice, firstly in 1945 to RAF fighter pilot Anthony Bartley. the marriage produced two daughters before ending in divorce in 1959. In 1960 she married author Peter Viertel, living with him on a large estate in the fashionable Alpine resort of Klosters, Switzerland. She also had a villa in Marbella, Southern Spain.

It was confirmed in 2001 that Deborah was suffering with Parkinson’s disease and had been confined to a wheelchair. She died on October 16, 2007 in Suffolk, England, aged 86.




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Maureen O’Hara. Biografía. Famous people in English. Personajes famosos en inglés.

Maureen O’Hara Biography:



Born in Ranelagh, Ireland, near Dublin, Maureen O’Hara was trained at the Abbey Theatre School and appeared on radio as a young girl before making her stage debut with the Abbey Players in the mid-’30s.

She went to London in 1938, and made her first important screen appearance that same year in the Charles Laughton/Erich Pommer-produced drama Jamaica Inn, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. She was brought to Hollywood with Laughton’s help and co-starred with him in the celebrated costume drama The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which established O’Hara as a major new leading lady.


Although she appeared in dramas such as How Green Was My Valley with Walter Pidgeon, The Fallen Sparrow opposite John Garfield, and This Land Is Mine with Laughton, it was in Hollywood’s swashbucklers that O’Hara became most popular and familiar. Beginning with The Black Swan opposite Tyrone Power in 1942, she always seemed to be fighting (or romancing) pirates, especially once Technicolor became standard for such films. Her red hair photographed exceptionally well, and, with her extraordinary good looks, she exuded a robust sexuality that made her one of the most popular actresses of the late ’40s and early ’50s.


O’Hara was also a good sport, willing to play scenes that demanded a lot of her physically, which directors and producers appreciated. The Spanish Main, Sinbad the Sailor, and Against All Flags (the latter starring Errol Flynn) were among her most popular action films of the ’40s. During this period, the actress also starred as young Natalie Wood’s beautiful, strong-willed mother in the classic holiday fantasy Miracle on 34th Street and as John Wayne’s estranged wife in the John Ford cavalry drama Rio Grande.


O’Hara became Wayne’s most popular leading lady, most notably in Ford’s The Quiet Man, but her career was interrupted during the late ’50s when she sued the scandal magazine Confidential. It picked up again in 1960, when she did one of her occasional offbeat projects, the satire Our Man in Havana, based on a Graham Greene novel and starring Alec Guinness. O’Hara moved into more distinctly maternal roles during the ’60s, playing the mother of Hayley Mills in Disney’s popular The Parent Trap.


She also starred with Wayne in the comedy Western McLintock!, and with James Stewart in the The Rare Breed, both directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. Following her last film with Wayne, Big Jake, and a 1973 television adaptation of John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony, O’Hara went into retirement, although returned to the screen in 1991 to play John Candy’s overbearing mother in the comedy Only the Lonely, and later appeared in a handful of TV movies. In 2014, she received an Honorary Academy Award, despite having never been nominated for one previously. O’Hara died the following year, at age 95.





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