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Film and Television Actress Kerry Washington
Category: Celebrity Pick
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Born in New York City on January 31, 1977, actress Kerry Washington started performing during her school years. She earned a degree in performance studies from George Washington University. After making her film debut in 2000's Our Song, Washington starred in such films as Save the Last Dance and Bad Company. She earned wide acclaim for her work in Ray (2004) and The Last King of Scotland. In 2012, she began her run on the TV drama Scandal.

The daughter of a real estate broker and an education professor, actress Kerry Washington was born in New York City on January 31, 1977, and grew up in the South Bronx. She started out with ballet lessons as a young child, but her first career ambition involved a certain large mammal. "I wanted to work with Shamu at Sea World," Washington told Giant. "I thought that was the best job in the world, to care for and feed dancing whales."

Washington attended the Spence School in Manhattan, a prestigious private school. In addition to appearing in school productions, she was a member of a theater group that tackled social issues. Washington soon won a theater scholarship to George Washington University, where she earned a degree in performance studies.

While she made her film debut in Our Song in 2000, Washington had one of her first career breakthroughs the following year. She won over audiences with her role in Save the Last Dance (2001), starring Julia Stiles. Soon after the release of this popular teen drama, Washington moved on to comedy. She appeared in the humorous action film Bad Company (2004), starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins.

Washington's career really took flight in 2004; she took on several major movie roles that year, including Della Rae Robinson, the wife of blind singer and musician Ray Charles, in the biopic Ray. Washington received strong reviews for her performance, and her co-star, Jamie Foxx, won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Charles. That same year, she starred opposite Anthony Mackie in Spike Lee's dramatic comedy She Hate Me.

The versatile actress tried her hand at the comic book action genre with 2005's Fantastic Four, starring Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. The following year, Washington once again showed off her skills as a dramatic actress in The Last King of Scotland. She won raves for her nuanced turn as the wife of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin—played by Forrest Whitaker—in the film. Around this time, Washington also had a recurring role on the hit television series Boston Legal.

In 2007, Washington reteamed with Chris Rock for I Think I Love My Wife. She played a vixen who gets involved with a married man (Rock) in the film. The part gave Washington the opportunity to branch out from the many devoted wife roles she had tackled in the past. She went on to explore interracial relationships with Lakeview Terrace (2008), in which she plays an African-American woman married to a white man (Patrick Wilson). The couple is harassed by an African-American cop (Samuel L. Jackson) in this thriller.

With For Colored Girls (2010), Washington worked with an impressive ensemble of actresses, including Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Janet Jackson and Thandie Newton. The film, directed and written by Tyler Perry, was an adaptation of a play by Ntozake Shange. In 2012, Washington moved to the small screen to star on the dramatic political series Scandal. She plays a "fixer," a person who cleans up scandals and other messes for her clients, on the show.

That same year, Washington reunited with Ray co-star Jamie Foxx for Quentin Tarantino's western Django Unchained (2012). She plays Broomhilda von Shaft, a slave married to Foxx's character, Django. In the film, the pair is separated, and Django teams up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to find her.

Source: Biography.com

 

Star Trek is a phenomenal classic Science fiction television series Tags: Star trek classic science fiction television series word life production feature blog

Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry and currently under the ownership of CBS and Paramount. Star Trek: The Original Series and its live action TV spin-off shows, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise as well as the Star Trek film series make up the main canon. There has also been Star Trek: The Animated Series.

Westerns such as Wagon Train, along with the Horatio Hornblower novels and Gulliver's Travels, inspired Roddenberry when he created the first Star Trek. It followed the interstellar adventures of James T. Kirk and the crew of an exploration vessel of a 23rd-century galactic "United Federation of Planets" — the Starship Enterprise. This first series now referred to as "The Original Series", debuted in 1966 and ran for three seasons on NBC. These adventures continued in the short-lived Star Trek: The Animated Series and six feature films. Four spin-off television series were eventually produced: Star Trek: The Next Generation, followed the crew of a new Starship Enterprise set a century after the original series; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, set contemporaneously with The Next Generation; and Star Trek: Enterprise, set before the original series, in the early days of human interstellar travel. Four additional The Next Generation feature films were produced. In 2009, the film franchise underwent a relaunch with a prequel to the original series set in an alternate timeline titled simply Star Trek. This film featured a new cast portraying younger versions of the crew from the original Enterprise A sequel to this film, Star Trek Into Darkness, premiered on May 16, 2013.

Star Trek has been a cult phenomenon for decades.[1] Fans of the franchise are called Trekkies or Trekkers. The franchise spans a wide range of spin-offs including games, figurines, novels, toys, and comics. Star Trek had a themed attraction in Las Vegas which opened in 1998 and closed in September 2008. At least two museum exhibits of props travel the world. The series has its own full-fledged constructed language, Klingon. Several parodies have been made of Star Trek. Its fans, despite the end of Star Trek episodes on TV, have produced several fan productions to fill that void.

Star Trek is noted for its influence on the world outside of science fiction. It has been cited as an inspiration for several technological inventions such as the cell phone. Moreover, the show is noted for its progressive civil rights stances. The original series included one of television's first multiracial casts, and the first televised inter-racial kiss. Star Trek references can be found throughout popular culture from movies such as the submarine thriller Crimson Tide to the cartoon series South Park.

As early as 1964, Gene Roddenberry drafted a proposal for the science fiction series that would become Star Trek. Although he publicly marketed it as a Western in outer space—a so-called "Wagon Train to the Stars" (like the popular Western TV series)he privately told friends that he was modeling it on Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, intending each episode to act on two levels: as a suspenseful adventure story and as a morality tale.

Most Star Trek stories depict the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in Starfleet, the space-borne humanitarian and peacekeeping armada of the United Federation of Planets. The protagonists have altruistic values, and must apply these ideals to difficult dilemmas. Many of the conflicts and political dimensions of Star Trek represent allegories of contemporary cultural realities. Star Trek: The Original Series addressed issues of the 1960s, just as later spin-offs have reflected issues of their respective decades. Issues depicted in the various series include war and peace, the value of personal loyalty, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, economics, racism, religion, human rights, sexism, feminism, and the role of technology. Roddenberry stated: "[By creating] a new world with new rules, I could make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on Star Trek: we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network."

Roddenberry intended the show to have a highly progressive political agenda reflective of the emerging counter-culture of the youth movement, though he was not fully forthcoming to the networks about this. He wanted Star Trek to show humanity what it might develop into, if only it would learn from the lessons of the past, most specifically by ending violence. An extreme example is the alien species, the Vulcans, who had a very violent past but learned to control their emotions. Roddenberry also gave Star Trek an anti-war message and depicted the United Federation of Planets as an ideal, optimistic version of the United Nations. His efforts were opposed by the network because of concerns over marketability, e.g., they opposed Roddenberry's insistence that the Enterprise have a racially diverse crew.

As early as 1964, Gene Roddenberry drafted a proposal for the science fiction series that would become Star Trek. Although he publicly marketed it as a Western in outer space—a so-called "Wagon Train to the Stars" (like the popular Western TV series)—he privately told friends that he was modeling it on Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, intending each episode to act on two levels: as a suspenseful adventure story and as a morality tale.

 Most Star Trek stories depict the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in Starfleet, the space-borne humanitarian and peacekeeping armada of the United Federation of Planets. The protagonists have altruistic values, and must apply these ideals to difficult dilemmas. Many of the conflicts and political dimensions of Star Trek represent allegories of contemporary cultural realities. Star Trek: The Original Series addressed issues of the 1960s, just as later spin-offs have reflected issues of their respective decades. Issues depicted in the various series include war and peace, the value of personal loyalty, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, economics, racism, religion, human rights, sexism, feminism, and the role of technology.[5] Roddenberry stated: "[By creating] a new world with new rules, I could make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on Star Trek: we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network."

Roddenberry intended the show to have a highly progressive political agenda reflective of the emerging counter-culture of the youth movement, though he was not fully forthcoming to the networks about this. He wanted Star Trek to show humanity what it might develop into, if only it would learn from the lessons of the past, most specifically by ending violence. An extreme example is the alien species, the Vulcans, who had a very violent past but learned to control their emotions. Roddenberry also gave Star Trek an anti-war message and depicted the United Federation of Planets as an ideal, optimistic version of the United Nations. His efforts were opposed by the network because of concerns over marketability, e.g., they opposed Roddenberry's insistence that the Enterprise have a racially diverse crew.

Since 1967, hundreds of original novels, short stories, and television and movie adaptations have been published. The very first original Star Trek novel was Mission to Horatius by Mack Reynolds, which was published in hardcover by Whitman Books in 1968.

The first publisher of Star Trek fiction aimed at adult readers was Bantam Books. In 1970, James Blish wrote the first original Star Trek novel published by Bantam, Spock Must Die!. Pocket Books is currently the publisher of Star Trek novels.

Prolific Star Trek novelists include Peter David, Diane Carey, Keith R. A. DeCandido, J. M. Dillard, Diane Duane, Michael Jan Friedman, and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Several actors and writers from the television series have also written books: William Shatner, and John de Lancie, Andrew J. Robinson, J. G. Hertzler, and Armin Shimerman have written or co-written books featuring their respective characters. Voyager producer Jeri Taylor wrote two novels featuring back story for Voyager characters, and screen authors David Gerrold, D. C. Fontana, and Melinda Snodgrass have penned books, as well.

Comics

Star Trek-based comics have been published almost continuously since 1967 by several companies including: Marvel, DC, Malibu, Wildstorm, and Gold Key. Tokyopop currently is publishing an anthology of Next Generation-based stories presented in the style of Japanese manga. As of 2006, IDW Publishing secured publishing rights to Star Trek comics and published a prequel to the 2009 film, Star Trek: Countdown. In 2012 they published Volume I of Star Trek - The Newspaper Strip featuring the work of Thomas Warkentin.

Games

The Star Trek franchise has numerous games in many different formats. Beginning in 1967 with a board game based on the original series and continuing through 2009 with online and DVD games, Star Trek games continue to be popular among fans.

Video games of the series are Star Trek: Legacy and Star Trek: Conquest. An MMORPG based on Star Trek called Star Trek Online was developed by Cryptic Studios and published by Perfect World. It is set in the TNG universe approximately 30 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. The most recent video game, set in the new J. J. Abrams universe, was titled Star Trek.

On June 8, 2010, Wiz Kids Games, which is owned by NECA, announced that they are developing a Star Trek collectible miniatures game using the HeroClix game system.

Cultural impact

Prototype space shuttle Enterprise named after the fictional starship with Star Trek television cast members and creator Gene Roddenberry.

The Star Trek media franchise is a multi-billion dollar industry, currently owned by CBS. Gene Roddenberry sold Star Trek to NBC as a classic adventure drama; he pitched the show as "Wagon Train to the Stars" and as Horatio Hornblower in Space.[58] The opening line, "to boldly go where no man has gone before," was taken almost verbatim from a US White House booklet on space produced after the Sputnik flight in 1957. The central trio of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy was modeled on classical mythological storytelling.

Star Trek and its spin-offs have proven highly popular in syndication and are currently shown on TV stations worldwide. The show's cultural impact goes far beyond its longevity and profitability. Star Trek conventions have become popular among its fans, who call themselves "trekkies" or "trekkers". An entire subculture has grown up around the show which was documented in the film Trekkies. Star Trek was the highest-ranked cult show by TV Guide. The franchise has also garnered many comparisons of the Star Wars franchise being rivals in the science fiction genre with many fans and scholars.

The Star Trek franchise inspired some designers of technologies, such as the Palm PDA and the handheld mobile phone. Michael Jones, Chief technologist of Google Earth, has cited the tricorder's mapping capability as one inspiration in the development of Keyhole/Google Earth. It also brought teleportation to popular attention with its depiction of "matter-energy transport", with phrases such as famous misquoted "Beam me up, Scotty" entering the vernacular. In 1976, following a letter-writing campaign, NASA named its prototype space shuttle Enterprise, after the fictional starship. Later, the introductory sequence to Star Trek: Enterprise included footage of this shuttle which, along with images of a naval sailing vessel called the Enterprise, depicted the advancement of human transportation technology.

Beyond Star Trek's fictional innovations, its contributions to TV history included a multicultural and multiracial cast. While more common in subsequent years, in the 1960s it was controversial to feature an Enterprise crew that included a Japanese helmsman, a Russian navigator, a black female communications officer, and a Vulcan-Terran first officer. Captain Kirk's and Lt. Uhura's kiss, in the episode Plato's Stepchildren, was also daring, and is often mis-cited as being American television's first scripted, interracial kiss, even though several other interracial kisses predated this one.

Parodies

Early TV comedy sketch parodies of Star Trek included a famous sketch on Saturday Night Live titled "The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise", with John Belushi as Kirk, Chevy Chase as Spock and Dan Aykroyd as McCoy. In the 1980s, Saturday Night Live did a sketch with William Shatner reprising his Captain Kirk role in The Restaurant Enterprise, preceded by a sketch in which he played himself at a Trek convention angrily telling fans to "Get a Life", a phrase that has become part of Trek folklore. In Living Color continued the tradition in a sketch where Captain Kirk is played by a fellow Canadian Jim Carrey.

A feature-length film that indirectly parodies Star Trek is Galaxy Quest. This film is based on the premise that aliens monitoring the broadcast of an Earth-based TV series called Galaxy Quest, modeled heavily on Star Trek, believe that what they are seeing is real. Many Star Trek actors have been quoted saying that Galaxy Quest was a brilliant parody.

Star Trek has been blended with Gilbert and Sullivan at least twice. The North Toronto Players presented a Star Trek adaptation of Gilbert & Sullivan titled H.M.S. Starship Pinafore: The Next Generation in 1991 and an adaptation by Jon Mullich of Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore that sets the operetta in the world of Star Trek has played in Los Angeles and was attended by series luminaries Nichelle Nichols, D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold. A similar blend of Gilbert and Sullivan and Star Trek was presented as a benefit concert in San Francisco by the Lamplighters in 2009. The show was titled Star Drek: The Generation After That. It presented an original story with Gilbert and Sullivan melodies.

The new Doctor Who series has had several references to Star Trek. In The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances Rose introduces the Doctor to Captain Jack as Doctor Spock and uses the phrase "Give me some Spock" when she wants an explanation. In The Impossible Astronaut a woman meets an alien and asks if it's some sort of Star Trek mask.

 

Both The Simpsons and Futurama television series and others have had many individual episodes parodying Star Trek or with Trek allusions. An entire series of films and novels from Finland titled Star Wreck also parodies Star Trek.

Star Trek has been parodied in several non-English movies, including the German Traumschiff Surprise - Periode 1 which features a gay version of The Original Series bridge crew and a Turkish film that spoofs that same series' episode "The Man Trap" in one of the series of films based on the character Turist Ömer.

Notable fan fiction

Main article: Star Trek fan productions

The online fan-produced Star Trek: Phase II series is permitted by CBS and Paramount Pictures since no profit is being made from it. The son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Eugene Roddenberry Jr., has served as consulting producer, and several members the original series cast have given it their support.[83] Both actors and writers involved with official Star Trek have contributed. Actress Denise Crosby has played the grandmother of her Next Generation character, and both George Takei and Walter Koenig have played older versions of the same characters they played on Star Trek. The second episode, entitled "To Serve All My Days", was written by original series writer D.C. Fontana and other former Trek writers have contributed their talent.

The episode "World Enough and Time" was nominated for the prestigious Hugo award, competing against episodes of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Battlestar Galactica.

As with other material available only online in the form of "webisodes", the Internet Movie Database lists this as a television series.

Awards and honors

Of the various science fiction awards for drama, only the Hugo Award dates back as far as the original series. In 1968, all five nominees for a Hugo Award were individual episodes of Star Trek, as were three of the five nominees in 1967.[Note 12] The only Star Trek series to not get even a Hugo nomination are the animated series and Voyager, though only the original series and Next Generation ever won the award. No Star Trek featured film has ever won a Hugo, though a few were nominated. In 2008, the fan made episode of Star Trek: New Voyages entitled "World Enough and Time" was nominated for the Hugo for Best Short Drama.[88]

The two Star Trek series to win multiple Saturn awards during their run were The Next Generation (twice winning for best television series) and Voyager (twice winning for best actress - Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan).[Note 13] The original series retroactively won a Saturn Award for best DVD release. Several Star Trek films have won Saturns including categories such as best actor, actress, director, costume design, and special effects. However, Star Trek has never won a Saturn for best make-up.[89]

As for non science fiction specific awards, the Star Trek series has won 31 Emmy Awards.[90] The eleventh Star Trek film won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Makeup, the franchise's first Academy Award.[91]

Corporate ownership

At Star Trek's creation, Norway Productions, Roddenberry's production company, shared ownership with Desilu Productions and, after Gulf+Western acquired Desilu in 1967, with Paramount Pictures, the conglomerate's film studio. Paramount did not want to own the unsuccessful show; net profit was to be shared between Norway, Desilu/Paramount, Shatner, and NBC but Star Trek lost money, and the studio did not expect to syndicate it. In 1970 Paramount offered to sell all rights to Star Trek to Roddenberry, but he could not afford the $150,000 ($902,000 today) price.[92]:218,220

In 1989 Gulf+Western renamed itself as Paramount Communications, and in 1994 merged with Viacom. 218 In 2005 Viacom divided into CBS Corporation, whose CBS Television Studios subsidiary retained the Star Trek brand, and Viacom, whose Paramount Pictures subsidiary retained the Star Trek film library and rights to make additional films, along with video distribution rights to the TV series on behalf of CBS.

Source: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek

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