|Thursday, January 10th Sessions:|
|4:15 a.m. Bus Departure||9:00 a.m.||9:45 a.m.||10:30 a.m.||11:30 a.m.|
Attend Academy Awards®
"Pretty Little Liars"
Paul Lee, ABC
|12:15 p.m.||12:45 p.m.||1:30 p.m.||2:15 p.m.||3:00 p.m.|
"The Neighbors" Pie Break
|4:00 p.m.||4:45 p.m.||6:00 - 9:00 p.m.|
"Body of Proof"
All-Star Cocktail Reception
Red Carpet Photos
Seth MacFarlane will host "The 85th Annual Academy Awards®," telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. This will be MacFarlane's first appearance on Oscar's stage. "The 85th Annual Academy Awards" will be broadcast live on Oscar® SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013 on the ABC Television Network.
"We are thrilled to have Seth MacFarlane host the Oscars. His performing skills blend perfectly with our ideas for making the show entertaining and fresh," said Zadan and Meron. "He will be the consummate host, and we are so happy to be working with him."
"It's truly an overwhelming privilege to be asked to host the Oscars," said MacFarlane. "My thoughts upon hearing the news were, one, I will do my utmost to live up to the high standards set forth by my predecessors; and two, I hope they don't find out I hosted the Charlie Sheen roast."
"Seth is unbelievably talented," said Academy President Hawk Koch. "We couldn't be happier with the creative team we've assembled. With Craig, Neil and now Seth, we're off to a great start."
MacFarlane made his feature directorial debut this summer with the box office success "Ted." He also co-wrote and produced the film, and voiced the title character. "Ted" has brought in over $420 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of the year.
MacFarlane is the creative force behind the television series "Family Guy" and co-creator of "American Dad!" and "The Cleveland Show." In September he hosted "Saturday Night Live" for the first time, for the show's 38th season premiere. An accomplished live performer, he has played to sold-out audiences at London's Royal Albert Hall and New York's Carnegie Hall. In 2011 MacFarlane released his debut album, "Music Is Better than Words," which earned two Grammy® nominations. He also has earned 13 Emmy® nominations and won two for his work on "Family Guy."
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®. Don Mischer will direct the telecast for the third consecutive time. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.
ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world's preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards - in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners - the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.
More information is available at www.abcmedianet.com. Follow us on Twitter @ABC_Publicity.
CRAIG ZADAN AND NEIL MERON
Acclaimed motion picture, television and theater producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 85th Academy Awards, Academy president Hawk Koch announced today. This will be the duo's first involvement with the Oscars. The 85th Academy Awards will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013 on the ABC Television Network.
"Craig and Neil are forward thinkers who bring a unique perspective to the Oscar show," Koch said. "Their enormous collective talent, coupled with their love of film, serves our show perfectly."
"We are very excited to collaborate with Hawk and everyone at the Academy to produce this year's Oscars," said Zadan and Meron. "We hope to utilize our experience in producing features, TV and theater to bring something fresh and special to this incredible awards show. When we filmed 'The Bucket List,' we made our own personal bucket list, and producing the Oscars was No. 1. It's truly a great honor."
"Craig and Neil have great talent relationships and bring an infectious energy to the production," said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson." They are creative producers in the best sense of the word."
Zadan and Meron served as executive producers on the 2002 Best Picture winner, "Chicago," which won Oscars in six of the 13 categories in which it was nominated. Their credits also include the features "Footloose" (2011), "Hairspray" and "The Bucket List." Zadan also produced the original "Footloose" (1984).
Zadan and Meron's work in television includes the series "Smash" and such movies as "A Raisin in the Sun" and the upcoming "Steel Magnolias." For Broadway, they recently produced the Tony Award®-winning revivals of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Promises, Promises."
Their work has amassed 73 Emmy® nominations, 12 Tony nominations and seven Grammy® nominations.
The 85th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre(tm) at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
MacFarlane made his feature directorial debut this summer with the box office success "Ted." He also co-wrote and produced the film, and voiced the title character. "Ted" has brought in over $420 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of the year.
MacFarlane is the creative force behind the television series "Family Guy" and co-creator of "American Dad!" and "The Cleveland Show." In September he hosted "Saturday Night Live" for the first time, for the show's 38th season premiere. An accomplished live performer, he has played to sold-out audiences at London's Royal Albert Hall and New York's Carnegie Hall. In 2011 MacFarlane released his debut album, "Music Is Better than Words," which earned two Grammy® nominations. He also has earned 13 Emmy®nominations and won two for his work on "Family Guy."
Michelle Simms (Tony Award®–winning actor Sutton Foster) had a promising career as a classically–trained professional dancer but was drawn to the lights of Las Vegas. Now, with a dead–end job as a 30–something showgirl, she’s found the excitement of Sin City has lost its appeal, and her persistent suitor, Hubbell Flowers (Alan Ruck, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”), is gaining it. With promises of a cushy life in his coastal town of Paradise, CA., Hubbell convinces Michelle to marry him and move away. Once in Paradise, Michelle discovers that Hubbell forgot to mention that he lives with his mother, the strong–headed, imperious Fanny Flowers (Kelly Bishop, “Gilmore Girls”), who is not pleased that Hubbell has run off and married a stranger.
A former dancer herself, Fanny runs the local dance studio, which Michelle comes upon and ends up bonding with some of Fanny’s dance students: sweet “Boo” (Kaitlyn Jenkins), who would give anything to be a “bunhead” but struggles against her body type; rebellious Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles), who possesses the classic ballet dancer’s body and talent but –– distracted by family issues at home –– doesn’t seem to have her heart in dancing; shapely Ginny (Bailey Buntain), who is not yet comfortable in her own skin; and fun–loving Melanie (Emma Dumont), who is ready for whatever life throws at her. Michelle’s budding relationship with these girls helps her adapt to small town living and her uneasy role as a new daughter–in–law.
“Bunheads” is executive produced by Amy Sherman–Palladino. The series stars Sutton Foster, Kaitlyn Jenkins, Julia Goldani Telles, Bailey Buntain and Emma Dumont with guest star Kelly Bishop.
Part of the Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in over 97 million homes. ABC Family features programming reflecting today’s families, entertaining and connecting with adults through relatable programming about today’s relationships – told with a mix of diversity, passion, humor and heart. ABC Family’s programming is a combination of network defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals. Emmy® Award–winning ABCFamily.com provides a variety of interactive entertainment and community features, from rich, fan–centric programming – including blogs, viewing parties, webisodes, full episodes of the network’s hit programming, along with sneak peek exclusive previews and behind–the–scenes clips. ABC Family is also the destination for annual Holiday events with “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas.” ABC Family. A New Kind of Family.
Michelle Simms on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
Sutton Foster is an award-winning actor, singer and dancer, born in Georgia and raised in Michigan. Before starring in "Bunheads," she appeared on Broadway in "Grease!," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Annie" and "Les Misérables," prior to her big break and Tony Award-winning performance in "Thoroughly Modern Millie." Sutton has also originated roles in the Broadway productions of "Little Women," "The Drowsy Chaperone," "Young Frankenstein" and "Shrek the Musical." In 2011 she starred in the revival of "Anything Goes," a role that earned her the 2011 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Astaire and Broadway.com Audience Favorite Awards. She has also performed solo shows all across the county and has released two solo albums - "Wish" and "Sutton Foster Live at the Cafe Carlyle."
Sutton was first seen on television on "Star Search" at age 15, and has also appeared in "Johnny and the Sprites," "Law & Order: SVU," "Royal Pains" and "Flight of the Conchords."
Bettina "Boo" Jordan on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
Kaitlyn Jenkins, a native Californian, is an accomplished dancer who is now enjoying her first major television role as 'Boo' in "Bunheads." The daughter of a professional ballet dancer, Jenkins discovered her love of performing early and began taking dance classes when she was three. While she specializes in ballet, pointe and contemporary dance, she can perform a broad range of styles, including modern, tap, jazz and ballroom. Her extensive training includes time with the American Ballet Theatre in New York, the Boston Ballet, Katsbaan, The Jillana School and the Anaheim Ballet. Jenkins has danced a number of full length ballets, including "The Nutcracker," "A Midsummer Night?s Dream" and "Alice in Wonderland," and has also danced excerpts from "Romeo and Juliet," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Swan Lake." She is a proud graduate of the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California, where she attended the Music and Theatre conservatory.
In her free time Jenkins enjoys singing, going to the beach, working out at the gym and spending time with friends. She loves animals and has a cat and two dogs.
JULIA GOLDANI TELLES
Sasha Torres on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
A Hollywood newcomer, Julia Goldani Telles started dancing in Brazil when she was five years old and continued her training in Los Angeles and New York. She has been featured in numerous ballets, including "Sleeping Beauty," "The Nutcracker," "Don Quixote" and "Swan Lake." A temporary injury prompted her to look into acting and, soon after, Goldani Telles landed the role of the rebellious Sasha Torres in "Bunheads."
Ginny Thompson on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
A newcomer to Hollywood prior to "Bunheads," Bailey Buntain landed the role of Ginny Thompson shortly after graduating from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York.
Buntain's recent credits include a guest turn as Jenna Taylor, opposite Eden Sher, on the popular ABC show "The Middle," in addition to appearing on stage in the musicals "Hello, Dolly!," "The Music Man," and as a featured dancer for the annual "Broadway on Broadway" benefit concert.
A native of Sacramento, California, Buntain trained extensively as a classical actor, singer and dancer. Not many people know she is also well-versed in both baton twirling and the trapeze!
Melanie Segal on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
Entertaining has always been a big part of Emma Dumont's life. She grew up in Seattle and began performing in community theatre at the age of six. A trained ballerina who has studied at the Joffrey Ballet School and the American Ballet Theatre School, Dumont also attended Orange County High School of the Arts in the Music and Theater Conservatory (as did co-star Kaitlyn Jenkins).
In addition to playing the fun-loving Melanie on "Bunheads," Dumont can currently be seen in "Nobody Walks," alongside Rosemarie Dewitt, John Krasinski and Olivia Thirlby, which premiered at Sundance. Other credits include the LA Film Festival favorite "Dear Lemon Lima," opposite Melissa Leo, the independent dramedy "True Adolescents," starring Mark Duplass and Melissa Leo, and a lead role in Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan's NBC pilot, "METRO," alongside Noah Emmerich and Jimmy Smits.
In addition to acting, Dumont enjoys playing the viola, roller derby and building robots.
Fanny Flowers on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
Kelly Bishop is best known for her role as Emily Gilmore, Lorelai's mother, on "Gilmore Girls." She is also no stranger to the world of dance. Bishop grew up in Colorado, where she trained to be a ballet dancer. She started her career as a dancer at NYC's Radio City Music Hall, and followed that up with a breakout, Tony Award-winning performance as Sheila in "A Chorus Line." She's been in numerous Broadway productions, including "Six Degrees of Separation," "Proposals," "The Last Night of Ballyhoo," "Bus Stop" and, most recently, "Anything Goes" with her "Bunheads" co-star, Sutton Foster.
In addition to her work on the stage, Bishop has appeared in "Dirty Dancing," "Wonder Boys," "The Thorns," "Murphy Brown," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Mercy."
The girls are ready to kick some "A." No longer just wanting to sit by and wait for "A’s" latest cruel attack, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer take matters into their own hands and try to finally put a stop to their tormentor. As relationships are put to the test, new and old secrets are revealed and the stakes are raised higher than ever before as the Liars come closer to the truth - will all of their sacrifices be worth it in the end? "Pretty Little Liars" won three Teen Choice Awards in 2011 for Choice Summer TV Series, Choice Summer TV Actress – Lucy Hale and Choice Summer TV Actor – Ian Harding. The show also won the "TV You Betta Watch" Award for 2011’s NewNowNext Awards as well as the "Cast to Watch" for 2011’s The Young Hollywood Awards.
Spencer Hastings on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Troian Bellisario portrays Spencer Hastings, a straight-A student and overachiever from a family that only expects the best. With the pressure bearing down on her from her family, Spencer feels like she must live up to the high standards set by her perfect sister, Melissa.
Bellisario recently wrote, produced and starred in the short film "Exiles," and also starred in the short "WIGS." She was seen in the theatrical motion picture "Last Rites," as well as the independent films "Peep World," "Consent" and "Billboard Dad." On stage she appeared in "Farragut North" and "Equivocation" at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. With The Casitas Group, a theatre company of which she is a founding member, Bellisario appeared in an exclusive engagement of Martin McDonagh's "The Pillowman," as well as a Sam Shepard double feature "Fool for Love" and "True West." She has also performed in university theatre productions of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," "The Suicide," "All's Well That Ends Well" and "Machinal." Bellisario's other television credits include a recurring role on the television series "NCIS," and she has guest starred on "First Monday," "JAG" and "Quantum Leap," among others.
Bellisario lives in Los Angeles, where she graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Theatre, earning a bachelor of fine arts in acting. She enjoys dance, writing and playing the guitar.
Hanna Marin on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Ashley Benson stars as Hanna Marin, who became the school's new "it" girl after Alison disappeared. But being at the top of the social ladder took a back seat when "A" started to play games. Now Hanna must re-evaluate her life after her best friend and fellow social climber Mona was revealed to be her tormentor.
Born and raised in California, Benson developed a passion for theater at the age of three, began acting when she was nine – working mostly in commercials – and then quickly made the transition into film and television. Most recently in television she was a series regular on ABC's "Eastwick," playing Rebecca Romijn's daughter, and she starred in the Lifetime Television movie "Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal." Additional television credits include appearances on "The District," "The West Wing," "Scrubs" and "The O.C." Previously Benson spent three years on NBC's "Days of Our Lives," playing Abigail Deveraux.
Benson made her feature film debut in "13 Going on 30," starring Jennifer Garner. She was also the lead in "Bring It On: In It to Win It," as the fresh-faced captain of the West High cheerleading team. In 2009, she was seen in the independent film "Bart Got a Room," opposite William H. Macy.
Benson lives in the Los Angeles area with Olive, her Maltese Shih Tzu. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, singing, the beach, the movies and watching the Los Angeles Lakers — she's a huge fan.
Caleb Rivers on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Tyler Blackburn stars as Caleb Rivers, the bad boy with a soft side that has swept Hanna off her feet. Known for his computer hacking skills, Caleb is the perfect boyfriend who sees through Hanna's tough exterior and is there for her during her darkest times – even if that means opening himself up as a target for "A."
Blackburn recently starred in Alloy Entertainment's web series "Wendy," in which he sang his own songs, including the theme song, "Save Me." He also starred as Jesse Pratt in the independent film "Peach Plum Pear," which debuted at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.
A native of Burbank, California, Blackburn started his acting career at the age of 17. Prior to his role on "Pretty Little Liars," he had a major recurring role on the daytime drama "Days of Our Lives" as Ian, the love interest of Stephanie, played by Shelley Hennig. Other television credits include guest appearances on "Cold Case," "Gigantic" and "Unfabulous."
Blackburn currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
HOLLY MARIE COMBS
Ella Montgomery on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Holly Marie Combs portrays Ella Montgomery, Aria's mother, who tries her best to keep her family together through her husband Byron's affair, her daughter's relationship with former high school teacher Ezra Fitz and her son's battle with depression.
Combs is known worldwide for her role as Piper Halliwell on the long-running and popular series "Charmed," where she was also a producer for four seasons. After taking time off to raise her young family, she starred in the television production "Mistresses" before joining the cast of "Pretty Little Liars."
Combs was born in San Diego, California, and moved with her family to New York when she was eight years old. There she attended the Professional Children's School and, following in her mother's footsteps as an aspiring actress, began her career working in television commercials and print advertisements at age 10. She won her first movie role at age 13, playing the daughter of Don Johnson and Susan Sarandon in the feature film "Sweet Hearts Dance."
At 18 Combs got her big break, starring for four seasons in the critically acclaimed television drama "Picket Fences." Her role as teenager Kimberly Brock won her critical acclaim and a Young Actors Award.
Combs has starred in an impressive range of telefilms, portraying a variety of characters, including the daughter of a murdered heiress in the fact-based "Daughters," killer Diane Zamora in "Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder," and a rape victim in "Sins of Silence." Feature film work includes "Born on the Fourth of July," "Chain of Desire" and "Simple Men." She also appeared as herself in Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's Eleven," opposite George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
Aria Montgomery on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Lucy Hale stars as Aria Montgomery, the artsy chameleon who is an old soul stuck in high school. She is deeply in love with Ezra, her former high school English teacher, but being with the one she loves is easier said than done – especially when that love is tearing her family apart and destroying Ezra's career.
Hale recently starred in the critically acclaimed series "Privileged" and in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2," opposite Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera and Amber Tamblyn. Filming of the latter took her to locations including the Greek island of Santorini, New York and Connecticut.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Hale realized a passion for music at an early age and began voice lessons in earnest at the age of nine. In addition to her home schooling, she enrolled in Independent Education acting classes and began to combine her talents for both singing and acting. She appeared on "American Juniors," finishing in the top five and becoming a member of the band that was formed at the show's conclusion. Her positive experience on the program inspired her to seriously pursue a career in entertainment.
Hale could recently be seen in the telefilm "Sorority Wars," alongside Courteney Thorne-Smith, and in guest-starring roles in the series "Private Practice" and "CSI: Miami." Other television credits include an impressive list of popular shows, including "How I Met Your Mother," "The O.C.," "Drake & Josh" and "American Family." Hale also starred in the recent incarnation of "The Bionic Woman" as Becca Sommers, the sister of Jamie Sommers. She resides in Southern California.
Ezra Fitz on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Ian Harding portrays Ezra Fitz, the boyfriend and former English teacher of Aria Montgomery, who has had to give up everything for the woman he loves. No longer able to teach in Rosewood, Ezra must decide what to do with his life now that he has chosen love over career.
Harding is proving himself among Hollywood's brightest and most promising new young talent. Born in Heidelberg, Germany, he moved with his family to Virginia, where he discovered his passion for theater performance at Georgetown. He continued to pursue his talents as he attended the prestigious performing arts school, Carnegie Mellon University.
"Pretty Little Liars" is Harding's first major role as a series regular, and he has quickly become a fan favorite, winning the 2010 and 2011 Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer TV: Male.
Harding made his acting debut in the 2009 film "Adventureland" as a wealthy prepster, also starring Kirsten Stewart, Ryan Reynolds and Jesse Eisenberg. Other notable credits include "Love and Other Drugs" "Deadtime Stories" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."
Harding currently resides in Los Angeles and enjoys yoga, soccer, football and basketball.
Ashley Marin on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Laura Leighton portrays Ashley Marin, a well-polished business executive who spends more time on her cell phone than she does with her daughter, Hanna.
Best known to audiences for her performance as Sydney on the long-running iconic 1990s television series, "Melrose Place," Leighton returned to the role in the reimagining of the program which debuted in fall 2009.
After her long stint on the original "Melrose Place," she continued to turn in memorable performances on such shows as "CSI: Miami," "Boston Legal," "Shark" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," all while raising a family. She also appeared in Jerry Bruckheimer Television's "Skin," as well as the series "Eyes." Recently Leighton was seen in the feature thriller "The Burrowers" and telefilms "Love Notes," "Daniel's Daughter" and "Mending Fences." Other credits include "Naked City," the independent feature "The Clean and Narrow," directed by William Katt and co-starring Jack Noseworthy, and "Seven Girlfriends," with Tim Daly, Olivia D'Abo, Jami Gertz and Mimi Rogers.
Born in Iowa City, Iowa to a Midwestern family, Leighton found a passion early on for the arts. Shortly after high school, she left Iowa to tour the country with the song and dance troupe Young Americans. She eventually moved on to study acting and, soon after, began landing television commercials and was cast in a guest spot on the original "Melrose Place." Leighton parlayed that into a permanent role, earning a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Supporting Actress, an Us Magazine Entertainer of the Year Award and the coveted honor of hosting "Saturday Night Live."
Byron Montgomery on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Chad Lowe stars as Aria's father, Byron Montgomery, who recently found out his daughter is in a relationship with her former high school teacher. Byron is determined to put this relationship to an end, even if that means alienating his daughter and tearing the family apart.
Lowe became a household name with his first series regular role on the ABC drama "Life Goes On." For his work on the series, portraying AIDS victim Jesse McKenna, he earned an Emmy® Award for Best Supporting Actor on a Drama Series.
Lowe began his career as an actor in the 1980s with a series of telefilms, including "Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac," "Silence of the Heart," "April Morning" and "An Inconvenient Woman." He also starred in the telefilm "Take Me Home: The John Denver Story" as John Denver, and had recurring roles on such series as "Melrose Place," "Popular," "Now and Again" and "ER," and guest-starring roles on such shows as "Touched by an Angel," "Superman," "CSI: Miami" and "Medium," among others. Lowe recently had a recurring role on the popular series "24," playing Reed Pollock, deputy secretary to Thomas Lennox, played by Peter MacNicol.
Not limiting his work to television, Lowe ventured into the feature world, with roles in "Nobody's Perfect," "True Blood," "Quiet Days in Hollywood," "Floating" and "Unfaithful," opposite Diane Lane and Richard Gere. Also active in the theater, he has appeared in stage productions of "Huck Finn" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Pennsylvania, "Grotesque Love Songs" at the WPA Theatre in New York and "Burning Blue" at Beckett Theatre in New York.
As a director, Lowe has helmed episodes of "Pretty Little Liars," "Brothers & Sisters," "Bones," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Hack" and "Without a Trace." His original short film, "The Audition" was produced for Showtime, followed by the short "The Space Between," which appeared at both the Toronto International Film Festival and the Tribeca International Film Festival. He made his feature film directing debut with "Beautiful Ohio," an ensemble film starring William Hurt, Julianna Margulies, Rita Wilson, Michelle Trachtenberg and others. Lowe produced and directed the film, written by Ethan Canin ("The Emperor's Club"), which spotlights a family that comes of age during the turbulent Watergate Era of the early 1970s. "Beautiful Ohio" premiered at the 2006 AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Emily Fields on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Shay Mitchell stars as Emily Fields, a quiet, athletic girl who has come to terms with her sexual orientation, but still struggles over the loss of her friend, Alison, and now the tragic murder of her girlfriend, Maya.
Mitchell, born Shannon to a Filipino mother and Irish/Scottish father, is a native of Toronto, Canada. Even as a young child she was interested in the performing arts, declaring to her parents that she would pursue such a career. Mitchell began dance lessons at the age of five, and she and several of her classmates toured the city to compete with a variety of other dance schools.
At the age of 10, Mitchell's family moved west to Vancouver, British Columbia. Within a year of their arrival, an international modeling agency held an open casting call for teen and pre-teen girls who were vying for representation. Mitchell was one of the girls selected.
By her late teens, Mitchell had successfully modeled for a variety of companies in cities as varied as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Barcelona. Wanting to focus on her true passion, she returned to Toronto and began to study acting with great focus and determination. Her hard work paid off and, after signing with her first theatrical agency, she appeared in the hit series "DeGrassi: The Next Generation" and booked several national commercials. She also landed a recurring role in the Disney series "Aaron Stone," is featured in the music video for international recording artist Sean Paul's hit song, "Hold My Hand," and appeared in the ABC series "Rookie Blue."
Mona Van der Wall on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Janel Parrish portrays the complex character Mona Van der Wall. Originally thought to be the bubbly and materialistic best friend of Hanna Marin, Mona was unmasked as the mysterious tormentor "A" at the end of Season Two. Now locked away at the Radley Sanatarium, she has a lot of answering to do for her actions against the girls.
Born in Hawaii, Parrish started her career with a love for music. She entered and won a state-wide singing contest at age 6 and followed that with being cast in the National Touring Company and Broadway Company of Les Misérables as Little Cosette. It wasn't long before Parrish's Broadway experience and recognition led her to acting auditions in Hollywood. While studying acting, she continued to train vocally, eventually adding piano and dance to her repertoire. She also began writing her own music which led to becoming the lead singer in a three-girl pop group called Impulse.
The past few years have seen Parrish appear in such television shows and made-for-TV movies as "Gepetto," "Baywatch," "The O'Keefes," "The Bernie Mac Show," "Zoey 101" and, most recently, "The O.C." In the summer of 2007 Parrish made her feature film debut starring as Jade, one of the lead characters in the Lionsgate feature film "Bratz: The Movie." Immediately following the film's release, she was cast as a guest star on the NBC hit show "Heroes."
In 2009 Parrish was busy filming multiple episodes as Kyla on the hit TV show "True Jackson, VP" on Nickelodeon, and had starring roles in two feature films, "One Kine Day" and "Knots."
Earlier this year Parrish starred in the new Los Angeles production of the stage musical Spring Awakening, which opened at the Theatre of Arts Arena Stage in Hollywood on March 16.
She currently lives in Los Angeles and is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a recognized film actress and solo recording artist.
Alison DiLaurentis on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Sasha Pieterse portrays Alison DiLaurentis, the former queen bee whose mysterious disappearance rocked the small suburban town where she lived.
Pieterse, originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, lived in Las Vegas with her show biz parents before the family moved to Los Angeles. She became accustomed to the rigors of a career in entertainment at an early age, as her parents were a professional acrobatic dance team who performed all over the world.
When she was just four and a half years old, Pieterse met with a Los Angeles agent who quickly signed her, and she has been acting and modeling ever since. She has appeared in scores of television commercials, on billboards and booked modeling assignments throughout the country.
Pieterse got her start in television in 2002 at the age of six, starring in the WB comedy series "Family Affair" -- a remake of the late 1960s hit -- as Buffy, opposite Gary Cole. She was awarded a Young Artist's Award for her work on the series. She later reunited with Cole as his daughter in the cable thriller "Wanted."
Pieterse's first major film role was as the Ice Princess in Robert Rodriguez's "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl 3D," with Taylor Lautner and George Lopez. She also starred in "Good Luck Chuck" and in the telefilm "Claire," opposite Valerie Bertinelli. Pieterse recently appeared in the hit series "Heroes" in the recurring role of Amanda Strazzulla, a young gypsy girl with fire powers. She also guest starred in "House M.D.," as a terminal cancer patient who was terrified of dying without ever being kissed, and in "Without a Trace," in a terrifying turn as a kidnapping victim.
When she's not out by the pool reading or hanging out with her friends, Pieterse enjoys writing and singing country music. She also designs jewelry, dances and plays racquetball and golf with her father. An only child, Pieterse calls her Pekinese Precious and her goldfish Crystal "siblings."
Paul Lee is president, ABC Entertainment Group, a position he has held since July 2010. In this role Lee has oversight of all creative and business operations for ABC Studios as well as all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC Entertainment. He also oversees entertainment programming for syndication and daytime. He reports to Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group.For the 2013-14 season, Lee shepherded in new series with industry heavyweights and veterans, including "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," Marvel's first television series from executive producer Joss Whedon and starring Clark Gregg, who reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel's feature films; "Super Fun Night," with comedy sensation Rebel Wilson; "The Goldbergs," starring "Bridesmaid's" Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Jeff Garlin; "Mind Games," starring Christian Slater; "Mixology," executive-produced by Ryan Seacrest and "The Hangover's" Jon Lucas and Scott Moore; "Killer Women," starring "Battlestar Galactica's" Tricia Helfer and executive-produced by Sofía Vergara; and "Trophy Wife," with Malin Akerman, Bradley Whitford and Marcia Gay Harden. Prior to becoming president of ABC Entertainment Group, Lee led ABC Family from 2004-2010, where he revitalized the cable channel with an ambitious slate of original and acquired programs. In conceiving the mission of the network, he launched a plan to target the young adult Millennial audience on multiple platforms with relatable programming like "Kyle XY," "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," "Pretty Little Liars," "Greek," "Make It Or Break It" and "Huge." The network was also home to the biggest programming event on cable with "25 Days of Christmas." Under Lee, ABC Family had an amazing six+years of consecutive growth. ABC Family also made the most of new platforms to connect viewers with content. The industry recognized this push for creativity and innovation on this front by awarding ABC Family a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television, as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media the following year. Prior to joining ABC Family, Lee was chief executive officer and founder of BBC America, and was responsible for the development and launch of the company in March 1998, starting as general manager and then chief operating officer. During his tenure, the hit comedy series "The Office" (British version) garnered two Golden Globes. Other shows under his supervision included the BBC's "Changing Rooms," which formatted into TLC's signature show, "Trading Spaces," "What Not to Wear" and the "Graham Norton Show." Before arriving stateside, Lee spent several years at the BBC, ultimately serving as channel editor for BBC Prime, the company's 24-hour entertainment channel. He started his career as a reporter assigned to Belfast, Northern Ireland, at a particularly critical period in the conflict. Upon returning to London, he segued into entertainment, where he became a producer, director and showrunner, going on to earn a BAFTA and a BANFF Award for the BBC documentary series Arena for his portrait of Woody Guthrie. In 1990 Lee branched out into drama, traveling to Moscow to direct and produce "Oblomov," starring George Wendt of "Cheers" fame. He also produced, directed and wrote TV movies. Before joining the BBC in 1984, Lee worked as an assistant production manager on novelas at the Brazilian national network Rede Globo in Rio de Janeiro. Lee holds an MA in modern languages (Portuguese and Russian) from Oxford University in England.
Anthony Edwards - along with a dynamic ensemble cast -- returns to network series television in the dramatic adventure thriller, "Zero Hour," which will have his character, Hank Galliston, questioning everything and everyone he ever believed in - including himself. "Zero Hour" will premiere on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.
As the publisher of Modern Skeptic Magazine, Hank Galliston has spent his career following clues, debunking myths and cracking conspiracies. But when his beautiful wife, Laila (Jacinda Barrett), is abducted from her antique clock shop, Hank gets pulled into one of the most compelling mysteries in human history, stretching around the world and back centuries.
Contained in one of his wife's clocks is a treasure map, and what it leads to could be cataclysmic. It's up to Hank to decipher the symbols and unlock the secrets of the map, while ensuring the answers don't fall into the wrong hands -- hands that belong to a sinister, mysterious man known only as White Vincent (Michael Nyqvist). Now Hank, along with his two young associates, Rachel (Addison Timlin) and Arron (Scott Michael Foster), as well as alluring and intelligent FBI agent Rebecca "Beck" Riley (Carmen Ejogo), must embark on a breathless race against the clock to not only find his wife, but save humanity.
Everyone has a personal stake in this life and death mission, from Hank, the everyman whose destiny is more intertwined in this conspiracy than he ever imagined, to Laila, the warm and loving wife who refuses to simply be a pawn in this struggle, to "Beck," the FBI agent with plenty of secrets of her own. White Vincent has interests far more grand than the treasure that lies at the end of the hunt - and a mysterious past connecting him to Hank in ways that go well beyond this game of cat and mouse. And while Arron is a sucker for a good conspiracy theory, Rachel relies more on her head and her heart to guide her beliefs. But as this story unravels, knowing what to believe - and more importantly, whom to believe -- becomes more and more difficult.
Whom and what will you believe?
"Zero Hour" stars Anthony Edwards ("Big Sur," "Flipped," "ER") as Hank Galliston, Carmen Ejogo ("Sparkle," "Chaos," "Away We Go") as Rebecca "Beck" Riley, Scott Michael Foster ("Californication," "Greek," "The River") as Arron Martin, Addison Timlin ("Californication") as Rachel Lewis with Jacinda Barrett ("Matching Jack," "Middle Men," "New York, I Love You") as Laila Galliston and Michael Nyqvist ("Mission: Impossible - Ghost Patrol") as White Vincent.
"Zero Hour" was created and written by Paul Scheuring ("Prison Break"), who is also an executive producer along with Zack Estrin ("Prison Break," "The River"), Lorenzo di Bonaventura ("The Transformers," "GI: Joe" franchise, "Salt," "Red") and Dan McDermott ("Human Target"). The pilot for "Zero Hour" was directed and executive-produced by Pierre Morel. The series is produced by ABC Studios.
PAUL SCHEURING, executive producer
Paul Scheuring is currently the creator/executive producer of the new ABC drama adventure series "Zero Hour." Prior to this, he served as creator and executive producer on the Fox series "Prison Break." His writing credits include the features "A Man Apart" and "The Experiment," for which he also served as a director. Scheuring grew up in Davis, California, and is a graduate of UCLA He currently lives in Mill Valley, California, with his wife and son.
ZACK ESTRIN, executive producer
A Brooklyn native and USC graduate, Zack Estrin began his entertainment career in features, producing films like "Stranger than Fiction" and the contemporary Shakespearian adaptation of Othello, "O," before making his way to television as a writer. His early credits introduced him to the world of the supernatural, working on the first three years of the global hit series "Charmed," as well as ABC's "Miracles," Fox's "Tru Calling" and "Point Pleasant."
From there Estrin moved away from genre programming and up the ranks to co-executive producer for four seasons of the critically acclaimed, award-winning, gritty drama series, "Prison Break."
Estrin lives with his wife and two daughters in Manhattan Beach, where he hopes the ocean is far less creepy than "The River."
LORENZO di BONAVENTURA, executive producer
Lorenzo di Bonaventura began his professional life operating a river-rafting company and later joined Columbia Pictures and worked in distribution, marketing and in the office of the president. In February 1989, di Bonaventura joined Warner Bros., where he was involved in over 130 productions. Amongst his biggest commercial and critical successes were "Falling Down" (1993), "A Time to Kill" (1996), "The Matrix" (1999), "Analyze This" (2000), "The Perfect Storm" (2000), "Ocean's Eleven" (2001), "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001), "Training Day" (2001) and "Three Kings" (1999).
In January 2003, di Bonaventura formed a production company based at Paramount Pictures. Since its inception, the company has produced 21 movies. Its most recent release is the third movie in the "Transformers" series, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," directed by Michael Bay, which became the highest grossing film of the franchise. It was also the second-highest grossing film of 2011 and the fifth-highest grossing film of all time worldwide. Other recent films include the hugely successful "Red," an espionage thriller based on the graphic novel by Warren Ellis starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren, and directed by Robert Schwentke; and the box-office hit "Salt," starring Angelina Jolie and directed by Philip Noyce. Di Bonaventura Pictures also produced "Transformers" and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," directed by Michael Bay and starring Shia LaBoeuf, as well as "G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra," starring Channing Tatum and directed by Stephen Sommers. More recently the company completed the thriller "Side Effects," directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the action movie "Last Stand," with Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by Kim-Jee Woon. It currently has in production the sequel "Red 2," starring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung-Hun Lee and Anthony Hopkins, and it has just wrapped "Jack Ryan," the highly anticipated return of the popular Tom Clancy character that stars Chris Pine, Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh, directed by Branagh. Last spring it finished "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," starring Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura was born in New York. His father, Mario di Bonaventura, is an international conductor. Lorenzo di Bonaventura received his undergraduate degree in intellectual history at Harvard College and earned a Master of Business Administration at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.
DAN MCDERMOTT, executive producer
In 2011 Dan McDermott partnered with Lorenzo di Bonaventura to form a television production company at ABC Studios. "Zero Hour" is their first show that has been picked up to series. Prior to that, McDermott was co-executive producer on the Fox series "Human Target" (2010) and created and executive-produced the series "Angela's Eyes" (2006) for Lifetime. Also a screenwriter, he currently has multiple features in development at various studios, having previously written the remake of "The Omen" (2006) and the original feature "Eagle Eye" (2009).
In his early career, McDermott was hired as a programming executive at the Fox Broadcasting Network. Six months later he was promoted to vice president of Current Programming, Late-Night and Specials. A year after that he was named executive vice president and oversaw "In Living Color," "Melrose Place," "The X-Files," "The Simpsons," "Married With Children," "Mad TV," "Cops" and "Beverly Hills 90210."
After working at Fox, McDermott served as president of DreamWorks Television for seven years, presiding over all aspects of development, production, finance, casting and personnel for the studio. During his tenure, he shepherded in such iconic shows as "Spin City," "Freaks and Geeks," "Undeclared," "High Incident," "The Job," "Arsenio" and "Las Vegas," as well as the award-winning miniseries "Band of Brothers" and "Taken".
McDermott received his undergraduate degree in film/television from UCLA and continued his education as a Screenwriting Fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He currently resides in Santa Monica with his 11-year-old son.
Hank Galliston on ABC's "Zero Hour"
Anthony Edwards is making his return to series television in 2013 with ABC's drama-adventure "Zero Hour," portraying Hank Galliston, the publisher of a paranormal enthusiast magazine who is pulled into one of the most compelling mysteries in human history.
Edwards is probably best known as Dr. Mark Greene on the hit series "ER." For his portrayal of the overworked but dedicated emergency room doctor, he received four Emmy nominations, and won three Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe Award.
Edwards recently executive-produced the HBO biopic "Temple Grandin," which won multiple Emmys and Golden Globes. Other producing projects include "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and "Borderline," starring Sherry Stringfeld. He recently announced that he will serve as executive producer for the documentary film "Searching for Home: Coming Back from War,"
a timely film that chronicles the trials of military veterans' assimilation back into society.
Edwards has starred in more than twenty features, including his memorable turn as Goose in the blockbuster feature "Top Gun." Other feature credits include David Fincher's "Zodiac," "Motherhood," "Flipped," the Polish Brothers' "Northfork," "Thunderbirds," "Playing by Heart," "The Client," "Miracle Mile," "Mr. North," "Hawks," "The Sure Thing," "Gotcha," "Revenge of the Nerds," "Heart Like a Wheel" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." He will next be seen on the big screen in Michael Polish's "Big Sur."
Edwards made his film directorial debut with "Charley's Ghost Story," a modern-day Mark Twain adaptation starring Cheech Marin and Linda Fiorentino. He also directed several episodes of "ER." Other television credits include his recurring role as a hyper allergic lawyer forced to live in a bubble on the critically acclaimed series "Northern Exposure." He starred in the series "It Takes Two," opposite Richard Crenna, Patty Duke and Helen Hunt, and was also seen in the Showtime special "Sexual Healing" (Cable Ace nomination), as well as the telefilms "El Diablo," "HOMETOWN Boy Makes Good," "Going for the Gold: The Bill Johnson Story," "High School USA" and "The Killing of Randy Webster."
Edwards is philanthropically involved with Shoe4Africa (shoe4africa.org), a charity that is building a public children's hospital in Kenya. The California native is an avid runner, has his pilot's license and currently lives in New York with his wife, Jeanine Lobell, and their children.
Edwards can be found on Twitter at http://twitter.com/anthonyedwards
HOMETOWN Santa Barbara, CA
BIRTHDATE July 19
Rebecca "Beck" Riley on ABC "Zero Hour"
Carmen Ejogo stars as Rebecca "Beck" Riley, a sexy FBI agent, with plenty of secrets of her own on ABC's new drama-adventure "Zero Hour."
Ejogo has established a distinguished career in both feature films and television. She made her U.S. film debut opposite Eddie Murphy as Veronica Ronnie Tate in the 1997 comedy, "Metro," and went on to star in such films as Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost," "What's the Worst that Could Happen?," opposite Martin Lawrence, Neil Jordan's "The Brave One," with Terrence Howard and Jodie Foster, Gavin O'Connor's "Pride and Glory," opposite Ed Norton, and in Sam Mendes' 2009 indie hit, "Away We Go," with Maya Rudolph.
Ejogo received critical praise for her role as Tammy Sister Anderson in "Sparkle," alongside Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks, a remake of the 1976 film of the same name which centered on three singing teenage sisters from Harlem who form a girl group in the late 1950s. She also can be seen opposite Tyler Perry in the feature "Alex Cross," a psychological thriller about a Washington DC detective who vows to track down his niece's killer, released in October 2012.
Ejogo garnered additional attention from television critics and audiences for her portrayal of Sally Hemmings, the title character in the 2000 CBS miniseries "Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal." Later she starred as Coretta Scott King in HBO's critically acclaimed film, "Boycott," opposite Jeffrey Wright and Terrence Howard, a role that earned her a 2001 Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a TV Film or Miniseries. In 2005 Ejogo starred in HBO's Emmy-nominated "Lackawanna Blues," her role as Alean earning her a second Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a TV Film or Miniseries.
Born and raised in London, Ejogo now resides in New York City.
HOMETOWN London, England
BIRTHDATE October 22
SCOTT MICHAEL FOSTER
Arron Martin on ABC "Zero Hour"
Scott Michael Foster stars as Arron Martin, a young journalist and associate of Modern Skeptic magazine publisher Hank Galliston (Anthony Edwards) on ABC's new drama-adventure series, "Zero Hour."
Foster also starred on ABC Family's "Greek" as Cappie, president of the Kappa Tau fraternity and Casey's crazy cool ex-boyfriend. In addition to his roles on "Zero Hour" and "Greek," he filmed the ABC series "The River" and NBC's "Quarterlife" for Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. He also recurred on the critically acclaimed Showtime series "Californication," as Tyler, new boyfriend to Hank's (David Duchovny) daughter, Becca, who definitely rubbed Hank the wrong way.
Raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Foster was active in college theatre and local stage productions. His other film work includes roles in the indie films "Ashley's Ashes," "Teenage Dirtbag," "The Horrible Flowers" and "Forever Charlie."
Foster enjoys performing music and sometimes plays with various bands. He sings and plays rhythm guitar.
HOMETOWN Winfield, IL
BIRTHDATE March 4
Rachel Lewis on ABC's "Zero Hour"
Addison Timlin stars as Rachel Lewis, a young journalist and one of Hank Galliston's (Anthony Edwards) protégés on ABC's new drama-adventure, "Zero Hour."
Timlin began her acting career at the age of nine starring in the national tour of "Annie." She went on to appear in the Broadway revival of "Gypsy," with Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters and directed by Sam Mendes, and made her screen debut in the 2005 film "Derailed," opposite Clive Owen and Melissa George.
Timlin starred in the critically acclaimed "Afterschool," which premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival as part of the Un Certain Regard program. She guest starred in a recurring role on Showtime's hit comedy "Californication," as David Duchovny's starlet girlfriend. In 2011 she co-starred in the independent film "Lumpy," with Justin Long, Jess Weixler and Tyler Labine. The film had its world premiere at the 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival.
Timlin will be even more visible in 2013: she will be part of the ensemble comedy "The Bounceback," and co-stars alongside Oscar winners Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin in the mob comedy "Stand Up Guys." She will also be appearing in the Stephen Sommers adaptation of the Dean Koontz novel, Odd Thomas, with Anton Yelchin and Willem Dafoe.
HOMETOWN Philadelphia, PA
BIRTHDATE June 29
Laila Galliston on ABC's "Zero Hour"
Jacinda Barrett portrays Laila Galliston, Hank's (Anthony Edwards) beautiful wife in ABC's drama-adventure, "Zero Hour."
Barrett, who also appears opposite real-life husband Gabriel Macht on "Suits," starred in Paramount Pictures' "Middle Men," with Luke Wilson and Giovanni Ribisi, in 2009. In 2010 she starred in "Matching Jack," for which she was nominated for Best Actress at the Milan International Film Festival and for which she won the Best Actress Award at the San Tropez Film Festival.
Barrett appeared in Mira Nair's drama, "The Namesake," an adaptation of the novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahir, and in Paramount's "The Last Kiss," written by Paul Haggis and directed by Tony Goldwyn. Her performance as Jenna received rave reviews, including a nomination for Best Actress at the Australian Film Institute International Awards.
Other film roles include Wolfgang Petersen's adaptation of Warner Bros.' "Poseidon," "Ladder 49," opposite Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta, "Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason," starring Renée Zellweger, and the Todd Phillips-directed comedy "School for Scoundrels," opposite Billy Bob Thornton. In 2003 she received critical acclaim for her performance in Robert Benton's "The Human Stain," which co-starred Nicole Kidman, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris. For this notable performance she was awarded the Breakthrough Award from Movieline magazine.
Barrett got her start in her HOMETOWN of Brisbane, Australia. She studied acting at the British Academy of Dramatic Art in Oxford, England, and had extensive improvisation training at Groundlings in Los Angeles. She continues to work privately with Larry Moss and Harold Guskin. Previous television credits include Dick Wolf's WB series, "DC," and John Wells' series "Citizen Baines" for CBS.
One of PEOPLE Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, Barrett has her private pilot's license, is fluent in German -- having studied in Hamburg -- and has found a passion in writing prose.
HOMETOWN Brisbane, Australia
BIRTHDATE August 2
White Vincent on ABC's "Zero Hour"
Michael Nyqvist makes his U.S. television series debut as the mysterious White Vincent on ABC's new drama-adventure, "Zero Hour."
With an impressive body of work spanning two decades, Nyqvist has become one of the most respected and accomplished Swedish actors of his generation. This year he will have the opportunity to show his work to a broader audience as he transitions into American film and television.
Nyqvist's first big break came in 2000 with the film "Together," directed by Lukas Moodysson. The movie was set in the 1970s and followed the antics of life in a suburban commune in Stockholm. The movie reached great international success and earned Nyqvist his first Guldbagge Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of a misguided husband with anger issues.
This past September Nyqvist was seen in Henry-Alex Rubin's independent American drama, "Disconnect," opposite Alexander Skarsgard, Jason Bateman and Paula Patton. "Disconnect" follows a large ensemble of characters who are affected - and in some cases destroyed - by the Internet and other forms of modern communication. The film premiered at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival, out of competition, to positive reviews, also screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival as a special presentation, and will be released by LD Entertainment in 2013.
In December 2011, Nyqvist was seen in the fourth installment of the Paramount Pictures "Mission Impossible" franchise, "Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol," directed by Brad Bird, playing the lead villain in the film. "Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol" was released by Paramount on December 21, 2011 and was a box-office success both domestically and internationally.
Also an author, in 2010 Nyqvist published a memoir entitled Just After Dreaming (Swedish title: När barnet lagt sig), which received critical accolades in Sweden as a charming compilation of memories from his childhood and young experiences in theatre school. In it he details his life from the time of his adoption as a baby to tracking down his biological parents at age 30.
Part of the permanent ensemble at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, Sweden, Nyqvist currently resides in Sweden.
HOMETOWN Stockholm, Sweden
BIRTHDATE November 8
One blind spoonful could change everything. Now in its second season, “The Taste” returns with a new two-hour format. In this exhilarating cooking competition series, “The Taste” puts 16 culinary competitors, who range from home cooks and professional chefs to everything in between, in the kitchen where four of the world’s most notable masters of the food world judge their creations based on a blind taste. In this pressure-packed contest, a single spoonful can catapult a contender to the top or send them packing. “The Taste” features no-holds barred chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert chef/author Ludo Lefebvre and author, chef/restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson. These four culinary superstars and “Taste” mentors will coach a team of four competing pro and amateur cooks chosen from a nationwide casting call, as they vie to create the best tasting dish in a state of the art kitchen. Each week the groups will face team and individual challenges with a variety of culinary themes through several elimination rounds. At the end of each episode, the mentors will have to judge the competitors’ dishes blind, with no knowledge of whose creation they’re sampling, what they’re eating, how it was prepared or whom they could be sending home. “The Taste” is from Kinetic Content and is executive-produced by Chris Coelen, Matilda Zoltowski, Emma Conway, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Brian Smith who is also the director.
Chris Coelen, executive producer
CEO Coelen previously ran the North American business for RDF (now Zodiak), who produced 35 series over four years, including "Wife Swap" (ABC), "Don't Forget the Lyrics" (Fox and ABC), "Secret Millionaire" (ABC), as well as TruTV's "Hard Core Pawn" and "All Worked Up." Prior to that Coelen was partner in - and founded and ran -- the Alternative and International Television divisions at LA-based United Talent Agency. His department packaged over 60 series in five years. Before UTA, Coelen started the non-scripted division at Agency for the Performing Arts. He started his career as a producer at Fox Television.
Mentor/Executive Producer on ABC's "The Taste"
Chef, author and raconteur Anthony Bourdain is best known for traveling the globe on his stomach, daringly consuming some of the world's most exotic dishes on his hit TV shows "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" and "The Layover." Somewhat notoriously, he has established himself as a professional gadfly, bête noir, advocate, social critic and pork enthusiast, recognized for his caustic sense of humor worldwide. He is as unsparing of those things he hates as he is evangelical about his passions.
The "chef-at-large" at New York's famed Brasserie Les Halles, Bourdain is the author of the bestselling Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly -- a candid, hysterical and sometimes shocking portrait of life in restaurant kitchens that has been translated into more than 28 languages - as well as the travel journal A Cook's Tour, three crime novels, a cookbook,
a biography of Typhoid Mary, the bestselling graphic novel Get JIRO! and more.
Bourdain's work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times of London, Bon Appetit, Gourmet and numerous other publications. He has shared his insights about team building and crisis management with the Harvard Business Review, and has been profiled on a variety of national news programs and talk shows.
Bourdain joined the writing staff of HBO's "Treme" in 2011, contributing to the popular drama's restaurant storylines. He recently launched his own publishing line with Ecco, Anthony Bourdain Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. His first titles will be released in early 2013.
"No Reservations," widely popular all over the world, has won two Emmy Awards, with several other nominations. 2013 will see the premiere of two new television shows hosted by Bourdain, "The Taste" and a travel docu-series for CNN.
HOMETOWN New York, NY
BIRTHDATE June 25
Mentor/Executive Producer on ABC's "The Taste"
Food enthusiast, television personality and journalist Nigella Lawson is the author of eight bestselling books -- including Nigella Kitchen, Nigella Fresh, Nigella Christmas, Nigella Bites, Feast, How to Be a Domestic Goddess and How to Eat -- which have sold more than six million copies worldwide. Her books and groundbreaking iPhone app and television shows on Food Network, E! Entertainment Television and Style have made Lawson a household name globally. She serves as a culinary mentor, judge and executive producer on ABC's innovative new culinary competition series, "The Taste," with Anthony Bourdain, Ludo Lefebvre and Brian Malarkey.
When she was 17, Lawson decided she wanted to be Italian. She applied to study Italian at Oxford, and spent her gap year working as a chambermaid in a family-run pensione in Florence, earning meager wages but acquiring a wealth of hands-on knowledge in Italian cooking from "Nonna -- the paternal grandmother, straight from Central Casting" -- in the kitchen. Today Lawson brings as much of Italy as she can into her own kitchen, and soon she'll celebrate the pleasures of Italian food in her first Italian cookbook, NIGELLISSIMA: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes (Clarkson Potter; on sale February 12, 2013). A sentimental journey for her, NIGELLISSIMA is filled with 120 mouthwatering, simple, fast recipes combining the richness of Italian culinary tradition with her own distinctive twists: insights learned from Nonna and experience for a light touch and full taste.
Lawson lives in London, England, with her family.
HOMETOWN London, England
BIRTHDATE January 6
Mentor on ABC's "The Taste"
Ludovic Lefebvre is the pioneer of a guerilla style "pop-up" restaurant event called LudoBites that currently takes place at locations around Los Angeles. His newest book release, LUDOBITES: Recipes and Stories from the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre, is the story of the seven LudoBites events that showcase his wildly inventive food with recipes that merge the techniques he has perfected in his years at the finest French restaurants with the simplicity forced upon him by the limits of a pop-up kitchen.
Lefebvre trained at Restaurant L'Espérance with Marc Meneau, Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire, Arpège with Alain Passard and Le Grande Véfour with Guy Martin in France. He moved to Los Angeles to work at L'Orangerie, where he became head chef at 25, and at the age of 26 was named as one of the world's 50 Greatest Chefs by Relais & Chateux. Under his guidance, L'Orangerie became one of the top-rated restaurants in California, receiving the Mobil Five Star Award. Lefebvre then moved on to Bastide, where he also received the prestigious award. He was a nominee for the James Beard Foundation's Rising Chef Award in 2001, and is the author of the cookbook Crave.
HOMETOWN Burgundy, France
BIRTHDATE April 18
Mentor on ABC's "The Taste"
An award-winning maverick chef, Brian Malarkey is one half of the brain trust that in less than two years has created five wildly successful restaurants in San Diego, including Searsucker, Burlap, Gingham, Gabardine and Herringbone. Each has opened to rave reviews, including Searsucker being named "the country's No. 2 hottest restaurant" by TIME magazine and the OpenTable Diners Choice Awards. On the horizon for Malarkey is national expansion of 15 restaurants over the next five years, including a Searsucker in Scottsdale in November 2012, and the release of his first cookbook, Come Early, Stay Late.
Growing up on a ranch in Bend, Oregon, and spending summers enjoying the fresh seafood on the coast, Malarkey discovered his love for food and cooking at a young age. He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, and was later hired as Sous Chef at Oceanaire Seafood Room in Minnesota, before opening their San Diego location as Executive Chef and Operating Partner. Under his direction Oceanaire received over 60 industry awards in less than five years.
HOMETOWN Bend, OR
BIRTHDATE September 26
"Shark Tank" is back for a fifth season, with the Sharks continuing the search to invest in the best businesses and products that America has to offer. The critically-acclaimed business-themed show that is as educational as it is entertaining has grown in popularity and appeal. Last season the series became a ratings force, regularly finishing as Friday night's No. 1 program on the major networks among Adults 18-49. In addition, "Shark Tank" grew 17% year over year to deliver its highest-rated season ever.
In 2012 and 2013, "Shark Tank" received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Reality Program. The series won the 2013 Summer TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming. Additional nominations include the 2012 Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Reality Series and a 2013 Producers Guild Award.
The Sharks -- tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons -- will once again give budding entrepreneurs the chance to make the American dream come true and potentially secure business deals that could make them millionaires. They are: billionaire Mark Cuban, owner and chairman of AXS TV and outspoken owner of the 2011 NBA championship Dallas Mavericks; real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran; "Queen of QVC" Lori Greiner; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; fashion and branding expert Daymond John; and venture capitalist Kevin O'Leary.
The entrepreneurs who dare to enter the Tank must try to convince the Sharks to part with their own hard-earned cash and give them the funding they desperately need to turn their dreams into million dollar realities. All of the good, bad, emotional and even absurd pitches help showcase the
"I wish I had thought of that" business ideas and products.
But the Sharks have a goal, too -- to get a return on their investment and own a piece of the next big business idea. When the Sharks hear an idea worth sinking their teeth into, they're more than ready to declare war and fight each other for a piece of it.
This season two guest Shark tycoon businessmen will be diving into the Tank for some episodes alongside the Sharks: Steve Tisch, Chairman and Executive Vice President of the New York Giants, partner at Escape Artists Productions and the only person who has both an Oscar and Super Bowl trophy; and John Paul DeJoria, best known as the mogul behind the Paul Mitchell line of hair products and The Patrón Spirits Company. Plus, due to popular demand, fans will get to see Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner go head to head for the first time ever.
There will also be specially-themed episodes, including one featuring children, teens and college students, as well as a Christmastime episode showcasing businesses and products with a holiday theme. The episodes will continue to include follow-up stories, allowing viewers the opportunity to see how some investments led to success.
In Season 5, the Sharks are on track to surpass the amount of money offered each season in their investment deals. Over the past four seasons, the Sharks have offered more than $23 million to bankroll a creative array of innovative entrepreneurs.
Viewers will continue to ride an emotional roller coaster this season, complete with heated fights between the Sharks, uncontrollable laughter and touching moments. Whichever way the wheeling and dealing may go, many people's lives will be better off -- because they dared to enter the unpredictable waters of the "Shark Tank."
Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill and Phil Gurin are the executive producers of "Shark Tank," which is based on the Japanese "Dragons' Den" format created by Nippon Television Network Corporation. The series is produced by Sony Pictures Television.
MARK BURNETT, executive producer
Four-time Emmy Award winner Mark Burnett has produced over 1,200 hours of television programming which regularly airs in over 70 countries worldwide. In addition to "Shark Tank, his current network series include "Survivor" (CBS), "The Voice" (NBC), "Celebrity Apprentice" (NBC), and starting in December 2013, "The Sing -Off" (NBC). In the last 12 months Burnett's series have won their time slots on five nights of television in the same week.
Burnett is one of very few producers to have had a renewed series on each of the four major networks. He also has a strong presence in award show franchises, having produced the "MTV Movie Awards" from 2007 to 2011, the annual "People's Choice Awards" since 2010, the "Video Game Awards" (Spike) and the 2011 "Primetime Emmy Awards."
Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, produced a 10-hour miniseries entitled "The Bible" (History). Premiering in March 2013, "The Bible" had record-breaking ratings and is currently the most watched cable entertainment series of 2013, with over 100 million viewers. In June 2013, DVD sales for "The Bible" passed the 1 million mark, making it the best-selling miniseries of all time on DVD. On the heels of its success, NBC greenlit the follow up miniseries, "A.D.: Beyond the Bible," which begins production next year.
Burnett has been named one of the world's most influential people by TIME Magazine and is also listed as TV Guide's Most Valuable Player. He has won Brandweek's Marketer of the Year Award, The Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, the PGA Norman Lear Award and the prestigious Rose d'Or FRAPA Format Award. Burnett was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and was honored in 2010 with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. He served two elected terms on the Board of Directors for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles.
CLAY NEWBILL, executive producer
Clay Newbill was a pioneer of reality television and has been an innovator of that genre for over 20 years. He was a vital member of the initial "Real World" producing team, joining the creators of the famed franchise in 1992. After producing the second and third seasons of the groundbreaking series "The Real World: Los Angeles" and "The Real World: San Francisco," Newbill co-created, produced and directed the "Real World" sister series, "Road Rules," staying on as showrunner for the MTV staple series during its first eight seasons.
In 1999 Newbill was tapped to spearhead a new show. Under his leadership, "Making the Band" became the first primetime reality competition program on network television. In 2000 he and ABC entered into an overall deal, and for five years he served as executive producer and showrunner for popular programs such as "The Mole 1 and 2," "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette," "Celebrity Mole: Yucatan," "The Benefactor" and "The Ultimate Love Test." In 2005 Newbill left his overall deal at ABC and since has continued to freelance produce and showrun reality television for several networks and cable outlets.
In addition to serving as one of the executive producers on all TV seasons of "Shark Tank," his credits include "Bound for Glory" (ESPN), "Top Design" (Bravo), "American Inventor 2" (ABC) and "The Mole 5" (ABC). Under the banner of his 310 Entertainment Inc. production company, he has produced 120 episodes of the hit Nickelodeon game show "BrainSurge." It was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 2012 for Best Game/Audience Participation Show, and won the Cynthia Cynopsis Kid's Imagination Award for Kids Education Program. In 2012 he produced the No. 1-rated TV Show on CMT, "Redneck Island," now in its third season. Newbill is currently developing a project for CBS. He also co-created and produced the pilot "Camping with the In-Laws" for the Lifetime Network.
A Florida native, Newbill graduated from the University of Central Florida with degrees in film and television. His early career included production work on television programs at the Disney MGM Studios such as "Separate But Equal," "The New Mickey Mouse Club," "The Muppets At Disney World," "Walt Disney World's 4th of July Spectacular," "Walt Disney World's Very Merry Christmas" and "Easter Parades."
PHIL GURIN, executive producer
Phil Gurin and The Gurin Company have been creating, acquiring, selling and producing entertainment programs all over the world. Responsible for executive-producing and writing thousands of hours of television across multiple genres, including game, live event, music, hidden camera, comedy, stunt, clip shows, docu-soaps and formatted reality, Gurin's shows have aired on every major U.S. broadcast network , many cable networks and in over 32 countries around the world. Gurin's current projects, all of which he created or co-created, include the third cycle of The CW's most successful game show, "Oh Sit!" (Best Game Show winner at the 2013 International Rose d'Or Awards); the comedy reality series "Dancing Fools" on ABC Family; CMT's first daily original series, "Win, Lose or Pawn"; and CMT's all-time No. 1 original "The Singing Bee," now in its sixth season (previously on NBC). He has numerous shows in development in the U.S., the UK and all around the world.
Gurin began his career as a writer on MTV's "Remote Control" and Nickelodeon's "Double Dare," "Make the Grade" and "Wild and Crazy Kids." He worked for more than 70 companies as a development executive and as a freelance writer/director/producer before establishing his own company in 1997. He went on to produce "CBS' Candid Camera" in primetime for four years, which was followed by an extensive run of shows on NBC, including "Twenty One," "Weakest Link," "The Singing Bee," "Miss Universe," "Miss USA" and "Miss Teen USA." He wrote "Before They Were Stars" (ABC), "Night-Rap" (HBO) and he produced six seasons of GSN's all-time No. 1 original program, "Lingo."
Gurin serves on the Board of Directors for NATPE (National Association of Television and Programming Executives), on the international Board of Directors for FRAPA (Format Recognition and Protection Association), and is President of The Copper Club (The Council of Professional Producers Earning Rights). He developed and produces the prestigious Television Academy Honors for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, along with their annual TV Academy Hall Of Fame. In 2013 Gurin served on the jury for the MIP Formats International Pitch in Cannes, France.
"Shark" on ABC's "Shark Tank"
Mark Cuban, owner of the 2011 World Champion Dallas Mavericks and best-selling author of How to Win at the Sport of Business, was an entrepreneur from the early age of 23, when he sold garbage bags door to door. Today Cuban is the highly successful entrepreneur and investor who founded AXS TV, Broadcast.com and MicroSolutions. He has also been an investor in start-ups including Mahalo, JungleCents.com, motionlift.com, Filesanywhere.com, Naked Pizza and 140Fire.com
Named a winner of the GQ Men of the Year in 2006 and included in The New York Times Magazine's Year in Ideas, Cuban is recognized as being among the most influential people in both the cable and sports industries. He may be best known for his purchase of the Dallas Mavericks on January 4, 2000. Under his leadership, the team's home games have become a total entertainment experience. Despite initial criticism, he added much more to the usual game-day experience options, like the Mavericks ManiAACs. His successful efforts have brought a sense of pride and passion to the fans.
Prior to his purchase of the Mavericks, Cuban co-founded Broadcast.com, the leading provider of multi-media and streaming on the Internet. Broadcast.com was sold to Yahoo! Inc. in July, 1999. MicroSolutions, a leading national systems integrator, was co-founded by Cuban and partner Martin Woodall in 1983, and later sold to CompuServe.
Currently, Cuban is the owner and chairman of AXS TV (www.axs.tv). AXS TV and its sister network, HDNet Movies, are among the only remaining independently owned and operated TV networks in the U.S. and the first in the world to be programmed exclusively in high definition. Cuban takes personal responsibility for the programming on both networks, creating a unique schedule of innovative and original programs. Under his leadership and that of its co-founder, Philip Garvin, AXS TV continues to outperform networks owned by much larger corporations and those with greater distribution.
Cuban also co-owns the Landmark Theater chain, Magnolia Pictures and Magnolia Home Video along with partner Todd Wagner. With the release of the movie "Bubble" in 2005, Magnolia and Landmark Theaters pioneered the release of the movie's "day and date," meaning the movie was released in theaters, on TV (HDNet Movies) and on DVD all on the same day. Taking this process one step further, Cuban created the "Ultra VOD" platform, releasing movies to video-on-demand on both cable and satellite up to four weeks prior to their release in theaters.
You can follow Cuban on Twitter @mcuban
HOMETOWN Pittsburgh, PA
BIRTHDATE July 31
"Shark" on ABC's "Shark Tank"
Barbara Corcoran's credits include straight D's in high school and college and 20 jobs by the time she turned 23. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country: She borrowed $1,000 from her boyfriend and quit her job as a waitress to start a tiny real estate company in New York City. Over the next 25 years she'd parlay that $1,000 loan into a $5 billion real estate business and the largest and best known brand in the business.
Corcoran is the author of If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails and Shark Tales, unlikely business books that have become national bestsellers. The books take a fresh are as heartwarming as they are smart and motivating.
Corcoran is a motivational and inspirational speaker and is the real estate contributor for "The Today Show" on NBC.
You can follow Corcoran on Twitter at @BarbaraCorcoran
HOMETOWN Edgewater, NY
BIRTHDATE March 10
"Shark" on ABC's "Shark Tank"
Lori Greiner started with one idea and turned it into a multi-million dollar international brand. She is now regarded as one of the most prolific inventors of retail products, having created over 400 products, and holds 115 U.S. and international patents. A well-known celebrity personality on QVC-TV, Greiner has hosted her own show, "Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner," for over 15 years.
Greiner's cleverly designed products cover a large range, as she is constantly adding new items. From kitchen tools, travel bags and unique accessories to must-have organizers for the home, her products are enjoyed by men and women alike. She is known for creating some of the most popular jewelry and cosmetic organizers of her time. Her inspiration comes from her passion to bring happiness to people by making their everyday lives easier. Her products are sold on QVC and in retailers across the U.S. and in Europe.
Greiner's accomplishments come from her sharp instincts and strong business sense. She handles the legal and patent processes, and drives her business to the success it has achieved. An expert on patenting and a guest speaker for the United States Patent & Trademark Office, she is hands-on in all facets of taking a product from concept to creation and to market within months. She has also helped many budding entrepreneurs turn their ideas into hit products. At the heart of her own success is a combination of talent, hard work and perseverance, as well as sincere, energetic on-air appeal.
Greiner's collection of over 400-plus products is regularly featured in top magazines like Town & Country, O, The Oprah Magazine, Woman's Day, Family Circle and InStyle. She has also been profiled in Financial Times, Forbes, Success, and on CNBC and Bloomberg. Her Initial Silver Safekeeper was chosen as one of Oprah's favorite things.
A great believer that, if you are lucky enough to be successful, you have a responsibility to give back, Greiner's most gratifying moments come when she is able to help budding entrepreneurs achieve the same success she feels lucky enough to have enjoyed. She also believes that what matters most in life is who a person is and what is in their soul. She and her company annually donate a substantial amount of their profits to a variety of charities. Her all-American success story is refreshing in today's challenging economy. Her inventions address the everyday needs of a wide-range of people, and her affordable pricing makes her products accessible, allowing her to spread her enthusiasm for problem-solving to millions.
Follow Greiner on Twitter @LoriGreiner, on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/lori.greiner1 and on her own website @ www.lorigreiner.com
HOMETOWN Chicago, IL
BIRTHDATE December 9
"Shark" on ABC's "Shark Tank"
One of North America's most recognizable business leaders, Robert Herjavec has built and sold businesses on his way to amassing a personal fortune of over $250 million dollars. A first generation immigrant, he arrived in North America at age 8 with his parents from Communist Yugoslavia with one suitcase, $20 in cash, and no understanding of English. Building on little more than his unlimited dreams, Herjavec personified the classic rags to riches immigrant story.
From delivering newspapers, waiting on tables and launching a computer company out of his basement, Herjavec applied his energy and ambition with outstanding success. A serial entrepreneur, he built numerous companies, selling his computer security company to AT&T, and peddling a Silicon Valley-based technology company he'd revived to Nokia for $225 million. Widely known as an entrepreneurial and motivational expert, his business advice has appeared in numerous national newspapers and magazines.
In 2003 Herjavec launched The Herjavec Group, acknowledged as one of North America's cyber security providers. Within a few short, years he built the firm from a staff of three and $400,000 in annual sales to almost 200 employees and annual sales of $150 million. His best-selling memoir, aptly titled Driven (published by HarperCollins), enabled him to add bestselling author to his resume. Herjavec's current book, The Will to Win (also from HarperCollins) is also a hugely popular bestseller and has brought Driven back on the bestseller list as well.
Herjavec's record of achievements stretches well beyond the business world. An avid runner, he has completed the New York City Marathon and, with a single-digit handicap, participates in various charity golf tournaments. Among his first loves has been motor racing, and he was named 2011 Rookie of the Year following the completion of his first season competing in the Ferrari Challenge Series across North America.
You can follow Herjavec on Twitter @robertherjavec
HOMETOWN Varazdin, Croatia
BIRTHDATE September 14
"Shark" on ABC's "Shark Tank"
Daymond John is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Over the past 20 years he has gone from sewing logos on hats in his basement to establishing an international clothing empire, earning himself the iconic title "Godfather of Urban Fashion." In addition to his success in style, John has become one of the world's most sought-after branding experts and motivational speakers.
As President, CEO, and Founder of FUBU, John revolutionized the sportswear industry in the 1990s with a distinctive line of fashionable attire that transcended the underserved urban market and became wildly popular in the mainstream teen market. He has since gone on to own and operate several other lines, including Crown Holder, Kappa USA, Coogi and Heatherette.
John's first foray into the apparel market came in the early 1990s. He was looking to purchase a tie-top hat but was put off by the high prices. Taking this discovery as an opportunity, he began to spend his mornings producing his own tie-top hats and his nights selling them on the streets of his Queens neighborhood. John recruited his friends to help him with the production and, after making an $800 profit in the first day of his new venture, it became clear that they had discovered an untapped market. John and company soon created the distinctive FUBU logo and began sewing it on hockey jerseys, sweatshirts and t-shirts. Soon famed entertainer LL Cool J, a neighborhood friend and music idol of the time, agreed to wear one of John's shirts in a picture that would become the centerpiece of FUBU's first promotional campaign. In 1992 FUBU premiered at the MAGIC fashion trade show in Las Vegas. The line of distinctively cut and vibrantly colored sportswear was an instant hit, garnering $300,000 in orders and securing the company a contract with New York City-based department store powerhouse Macy's. A landmark distribution deal with Korean conglomerate Samsung soon followed, allowing FUBU to be manufactured and distributed on a massive scale. In 1998 FUBU made $350 million in revenue and John's neighborhood tie-hat business was suddenly in direct competition with well-known brands like Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger.
Often touted as a "branding genius" in the marketing world, John's services have been courted by Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, Turner Networks and Nike. In response to this demand, he established the branding firm Shark Branding, separate from his apparel businesses. Specializing in brand strategies, brand development, licensing, artist relations and marketing, John and Shark Branding have perfected the methods for ingraining companies, brands and products into the social consciousness. He has recently used his marketing techniques in the tech space in working with Mobli, EzVIP, TicketLeap, Shopify and Resultly. In addition, the thriving marketing company recently added a celebrity brand management division anchored by John's extensive experience working with superstars such as Muhammad Ali, Pitbull, Idris Elba, Lennox Lewis, and the Kardashians.
In 2007 John entered the literary world with his first book Display of Power: How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion, Branding and Lifestyle. A roadmap for success in business and in life, his first pass as an author was selected by the Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2007. He went on to release the second nonfiction offering from his best-selling Display of Power series, The Brand Within: How We Brand Ourselves, from Birth to the Boardroom, an examination of celebrity-fueled brand loyalty, consumer impulses and purchasing habits.
In addition to his ventures in the fashion, branding and literary worlds, John is an active angel investor in a range of businesses from fashion to health clubs to his new priority, technology. He has also lent his business acumen to famed institutions including Brandeis University, the University of Southern California and Harvard Business School. He currently serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at Babson College.
John's revolutionary contributions to fashion and American business have been recognized by many organizations that have honored him over the years. His achievements include Brandweek Marketer of the Year (1999), the Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign (1999), the NAACP Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1999), Crain's Business of Forty Under Forty Award (2002), and Ernst & Young's New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2003). In 1999 FUBU the Collection became the first company to receive the ESSENCE Achievement Award.
You can follow John on Twitter @TheSharkDaymond
HOMETOWN Hollis, Queens, NY
BIRTHDATE February 23
"Shark" on ABC's "Shark Tank"
As the son of a travelling international business expert, Kevin O'Leary lived and was educated in Cambodia, Cyprus, Tunisia, Ethiopia, France and Switzerland. After getting his MBA, he founded Special Event Television, an independent production company producing such original sports programming as "The Original Six," "Don Cherry's Grapevine" and "Bobby Orr and the Hockey Legends."
In 1986 O'Leary founded SoftKey Software Products (later called The Learning Company), the first software company to apply the principles of consumer goods marketing to the software industry. SoftKey grew quickly as the price of personal computers declined, and millions of American families began to buy software for education and entertainment. SoftKey soon became a catalyst of consolidation in the software industry, raising over $1 billion in financing and completing a series of aggressive acquisitions, including WordStar International, Spinnaker Software, Compton's New Media, The Learning Company, Creative Wonders, the Minnesota Educational Computer Company, Mindscape and Broderbund. By 1998 O'Leary's company was the undisputed world leader in educational, reference and home productivity software and the world's second largest consumer software company, with annual sales over $800 million, 2,000 employees and offices in 15 countries. In 1999 Mattel acquired the company for $4.2 billion.
In 2003 O'Leary co-founded Storage Now, a leading developer of climate controlled storage facilities. Through development projects and acquisitions, Storage Now soon had operations in 11 cities, serving such companies as Merck and Pfizer, and was acquired by In Storage REIT in March 2007 for $110 million. In 2007 O'Leary became a founding investor and Director of Boston-based Stream Global Services Inc., focused on the growing outsourcing business services market.
Today, O'Leary is the Chairman of O'Leary Funds, a mutual fund company with $1 billion under management, and the Chairman of O'Leary Mortgages, a real estate financial services company. He is also the founder and Chief Sommelier of O'Leary Fine Wines, an award-winning wine label, as well as a member of Boston's 107-year old Hamilton Trust.
In addition to "Shark Tank," O'Leary co-hosts the "Lang and O'Leary Exchange," a daily business news TV show, and is the bestselling author of Cold Hard Truth and Men, Women and Money. O'Leary holds a B.A. in environmental studies and psychology from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, where he serves as a board member.
Find and follow Kevin O'Leary online at kevinoleary.com, on Twitter at @kevinolearytv and on Facebook at facebook.com/kevinolearytv.
HOMETOWN Boston, MA
BIRTHDATE July 9
Based on the hit UK television series of the same name, "Mistresses" is a provocative and thrilling drama about the scandalous lives of a sexy and sassy group of four girlfriends, each on her own path to self-discovery.
Savannah ("Savi") is a successful career woman working toward the next phase in her life -- both professionally and personally -- bucking for partner at the law firm where she works while also trying to start a family with her husband, Harry. They've been trying to get pregnant for some time, but when their fertility issues begin to take center stage, Savi finds herself attracted to her flirtatious colleague, Dominic.
Savi's free-spirited and capricious baby sister, Josslyn, couldn't be more different, living single, serial dating and partying, and regularly leaning on her big sister. A real estate agent, Josslyn has no interest in a committed, long-term relationship.
Their common best friend, April, is a recent widow and mother of a ten-year-old daughter. In the effort to rebuild her life and move forward, April opens a shop for home decorating. After she receives her late husband's lucrative life insurance check, she begins getting prank phone calls and tells her closest girlfriends that she's convinced her husband is still alive.
Karen is a therapist with her own thriving practice, reconnecting with the girls after her involvement in a complicated relationship with a wealthy, married patient goes too far; she was having an affair with a terminally ill client to whom she had prescribed morphine. After his death, the man's distraught son, Sam, confides in a guilt-ridden Karen, unaware of her role in his father's life. The grieving widow, Elizabeth Grey (recurring guest star Penelope Ann Miller ["The Artist"]), has no idea her late husband had a romance with another woman.
These four friends find support and guidance with each other as they brave their turbulent journeys and life's storms of excitement, secrecy and betrayal, all the while bound by the complex relationships they've created.
"Mistresses" stars Alyssa Milano as Savannah ("Savi") Davis, Yunjin Kim as Karen Kim, Rochelle Aytes as April Malloy, Jes Macallan as Josslyn Carver, Brett Tucker as Harry Davis, Jason George as Dominic Taylor and Erik Stocklin as Sam Grey.
Based on the UK television series, "Mistresses" is executive-produced by Rina Mimoun ("Privileged," "Gilmore Girls"), K.J. Steinberg ("Gossip Girl"), Robert Sertner ("Revenge," "No Ordinary Family") and Douglas Rae ("Wuthering Heights," "Camelot," "Mistresses," "Raw," "Meadowlands"). The series is from ABC Studios.
Savannah "Savi" Davis on ABC's "Mistresses"
Actress Alyssa Milano has spent almost her entire life in the public eye. A famous child actor, she has continued to work throughout adulthood in both television and film. Milano starred on the hit WB series "Charmed" for nine years, as well as on the Fox cornerstone series "Melrose Place." She began her career on ABC's hit series "Who's the Boss," had a recurring role on the hit NBC comedy "My Name is Earl" and also starred in the ABC comedy "Romantically Challenged."
Milano was most recently seen on the big screen in Garry Marshall's "New Year's Eve" and in "Hall Pass." Additional film credits include "Hugo Pool," "Fear" and "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star." She provided a lead voice for Disney's sequel to the animated favorite "Lady and the Tramp, " starred in and produced the independent film "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend," appeared in Lifetime's "Sunday's at Tiffany's," and played the title character in the Lifetime film "Wisegal," which she also produced.
Outside Hollywood, Milano is well-known for her philanthropic work. UNICEF invited her to become a National Ambassador in 2003. Her first trip was to Angola, Africa (May 2004) to see first-hand the issues plaguing the newly liberated country. She followed that trip with a visit to India in June 2005. She is currently working with UNICEF to educate American youth to the issues crucial to that country's evolution, worked on UNICEF's pivotal "Trick or Treat" campaign as an official spokesperson, and has plans to work with the organization on numerous projects in the future.
Milano hosted a photography exhibition and auction in 2002 in Los Angeles to raise money for charitable efforts in South Africa. An avid photographer, she displayed her own work, as well as that of schoolchildren from L.A.'s Venice Arts program. The event raised close to $50,000 for Nkosi's Haven, an organization that runs care centers in South Africa for AIDS-afflicted mothers and children. Milano was honored for her efforts with a Humanitarian Award from Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations.
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control (GNNTDC), an alliance of international partnerships based at the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington DC and formed by the Clinton Global Initiative to lead the global effort to treat, control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the world's poorest countries, recently named Milano the organization's founding ambassador. She will continue work to raise awareness of GNNTDC and NTDs among the mainstream media and with the general public.
Milano has her own clothing and jewelry line, TOUCH by Alyssa Milano. Launched in the Spring of 2007, TOUCH was born out of necessity: An avid baseball fan, when she went to games she wanted to wear fan gear to support her team, but found that the product mix offered in the marketplace did not address everyday fashion needs. She felt women should be able to look stylish while cheering on their favorite team, so she partnered with G-III Apparel Group and Major League Baseball to design and distribute a line of juniors' ladies MLB apparel. The line is not just for baseball fans anymore; recently she joined forces with the NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA, Major League Soccer, Minor League Baseball and The Kentucky Derby to make TOUCH available to their fans as well.
Milano's book, SAFE AT HOME: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic, chronicles her passion for baseball and how her love for the game has helped shape who she is. Milano is married and resides in Los Angeles.
Karen Kim on ABC's "Mistresses"
An accomplished actress, Yunjin Kim's portrayal of Sun in the ABC landmark television series "Lost" has earned her worldwide recognition. She originally made a name for herself in Korea and all over Asia with the film "Shiri."
Kim was bashful as a child, so she decided to get over her shyness by taking drama classes in the seventh grade. She was immediately cast in a musical and fell in love with the theatre.
Her Korean feature film credits include starring roles in "Ardor," "Yesterday," "Iron Palm," "Ginko Bed 2," "Diary of June," "Seven Days," "Harmony," "Heartbeat" "The Neighbors" and the Japanese film "Rush," as well as roles in the television weekend dramas "With Love" and "Wedding Dress," and the miniseries "Hunch" and "Beautiful Vacation." For her role in "Seven Days" she was nominated for a 2008 Blue Dragon, Korean Film Award and won Grand Bell Award for Best Actress. She has also guest hosted on ABC's "The View."
Kim was the Goodwill Ambassador for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea, representing Korea. She is currently the Korean face of L'Oreal. While born in Seoul, Korea, she grew up in Staten Island, New York. She attended the prestigious High School of Performing Arts in New York and received her BFA in acting from Boston University.
HOMETOWN...............Staten Island, NY
April Malloy on ABC's "Mistresses"
Best known for her break-out role in Tyler Perry's hit motion picture, "Madea's Family Reunion," Rochelle Aytes has also appeared in numerous commercials. Past television credits include co-starring roles on Fox's drama "Drive," with Nathan Fillion and Emma Stone, and ABC's "The Forgotten," opposite Christian Slater. She has been a recurring character on several series, including "Desperate Housewives," "Detroit 1-8-7," "Dirt" and "House of Payne," and has guest-starred on many others, including "White Collar," "NCIS," "ER" and "Las Vegas."
Not limiting her talents to the small screen, Aytes has starred in several feature films, among them "White Chicks" and "Trick 'R Treat."
A New York native, Aytes' first love was actually ballet. A trained dancer, she appeared with Ballet Hispanico in New York City and toured nationally with the Broadway cast of "Aida" before focusing on acting.
She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
HOMETOWN...............New York, NY
Josslyn Carver on ABC's "Mistresses"
A graduate of the University of Florida, Jes Macallan's interest in the arts began early: She studied dance from the age of three, and later modeled in Miami, New York and Milan before studying acting at the Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York City.
Macallan's television credits include the series "Femme Fatales," "Shameless," "Justified," "The Protector," "Grey's Anatomy" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."
She makes her home in Los Angeles with husband Jason Gray-Stanford and their three dogs.
Harry Davis on ABC's "Mistresses"
Since graduating from Melbourne's National Theatre Drama School, Brett Tucker has been busy working in Australian and U.S. productions. While best known in Australia for his long standing role as Dave Brewer in the award-winning TV series "McLeod's Daughters," he is also recognized for his role as Daniel Fitzgerald in "Neighbours."
Following his notable feature debut in the Australian independent film "Mall Boy," Tucker went on to appear in "The Outsider," "The Great Raid" and "I Love You Too."
Tucker has starred in various pilots and had recurring roles on U.S. television, appearing in "CSI," "Off the Map," "Spartacus" and "Castle." He is also involved in theatre, with stage roles that include "The Woman in Black" for New Theatricals and "Off the Point" for La Mama.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, California, Tucker continues to enjoy success in both Australia and the United States. When he isn't working, he is an avid surfer and guitar player.
Dominic Taylor on ABC's "Mistresses"
In 1996, while still a graduate student in Philadelphia, Jason George went to an open call at a local mall for Aaron Spelling's new daytime drama, "Sunset Beach." During the nationwide talent search, casting directors saw more than 14,000 hopefuls, but George landed the regular role of gang leader turned lifeguard Michael Bourne.
Since then George has been a series regular on such hit television shows as the UPN half-hour comedy "Eve," the DreamWorks/WB series "Off Centre" and the one-hour drama "Platinum." In the past few years he's been a series regular on ABC's "Off the Map," the JJ Abrams/ABC series "What About Brian" and ABC's "Eli Stone," opposite Johnny Lee Miller, Victor Garber and Loretta Devine. He was also a recurring guest star on ABC's "Eastwick" and "Grey's Anatomy."
George's feature credits include Paramount's "Clockstoppers," Screen Gems' "Three Can Play at that Game" and, most notably, the MGM comedy "Barbershop," directed by Tim Story, starring alongside Anthony Anderson, Ice Cube, Sean Patrick Thomas and Cedric the Entertainer.
Born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA, George majored in rhetoric and communication studies at the University of Virginia and later honed his craft earning an MFA from Temple University's theater department. He starred in U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove's epic drama, "The Darker Face of the Earth," in Los Angeles, a relocation of Sophocles' tragedy "Oedipus Rex" to a South Carolina cotton plantation in 1820 which received accolades from the Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter.
George currently lives in Los Angeles. He serves on the Board of Directors for Temple University's School of Communication and Theater, as well as the National and Los Angeles Boards of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.
HOMETOWN...............Virginia Beach, VA
Sam Grey on ABC's "Mistresses"
Born in Freehold, New Jersey, Erik Stocklin graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a BA in theatre. During that time he was a member of New Haven's Elm Shakespeare Company for five consecutive seasons, and studied at Circle in the Square Theatre School NYC.
Stocklin's previous television credits include "The Vampire Diaries," "First Day," "Let's Big Happy" and the live action Cartoon Network pilot, "Krog." Film credits include "Donner Pass," "Nesting" and the upcoming "Grey Sheep."
Stocklin currently resides in Los Angeles.
Marty Weaver (Lenny Venito) just wanted the best for his wife, Debbie (Jami Gertz), and their three kids, and moving from an apartment in Bayonne to Hidden Hills, New Jersey -- a gated community complete with its own golf course -- was a step in the right direction. Of course the fact that the entire community is comprised of aliens from the planet Zabvron, and that the Weavers are the first humans who have lived amongst them, presents some challenges. But as the Weavers and the aliens face the struggles of everyday life together, they discover that some things - the ups and downs of marriage, the desire to be a good parent and connect with your children - are universal... intergalactic even. Despite the fact that they're not even the same species, both humans and Zabvronians had a lot to learn from each other. The Weavers realize they've found an ally in the family next door.
"The Neighbors" stars Jami Gertz as Debbie Weaver, Lenny Venito as Marty Weaver, Simon Templeman as Larry Bird, Toks Olagundoye as Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Clara Mamet as Amber Weaver, Tim Jo as Reggie Jackson, Ian Patrick as Dick Butkus, Max Charles as Max Weaver and Isabella Cramp as Abby Weaver.
"The Neighbors" was created by Dan Fogelman ("Cars," "Tangled," "Crazy, Stupid, Love"), who is also an executive producer with Aaron Kaplan ("GCB," "Terra Nova") and Chris Koch ("Workaholics," "Modern Family"), who also directed several episodes in Season 1. "The Neighbors" is from ABC Studios and is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound.
DAN FOGELMAN, creator, executive producer
Dan Fogelman's first feature film was Pixar's "Cars," directed by Pixar co-founder John Lasseter. Fogelman continued his work for Pixar and Disney writing "Bolt" (2008) and "Tangled" (2010). His live action films include "Fred Claus" (2007) and "Crazy, Stupid, Love" (2011), starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Fogelman's semi-autobiographical "The Guilt Trip" (Paramount) will be released in December, 2012 starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen as mother and son. Additionally his feature "Last Vegas" goes into production in September 2012 for CBS Films and Mandate, starring Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman, with Jon Turteltaub directing. Previously in television Fogelman created and executive-produced the half-hour series "Like Family" (WB). His pilots since include "Lipshitz Saves the World" (NBC), starring Leslie Nielsen and Ty Burrell, as well as "The 12th Man" (Fox).
Fogelman started in Hollywood working for "The Howie Mandel Show," "The Man Show" and The TV Guide Channel, where he wrote 60-second celebrity bios. A native of New Jersey, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English, which included a year of study at Oxford University.
AARON KAPLAN, executive producer
Aaron Kaplan has long been a leading force in the television industry, as former Worldwide Head of Scripted Content at the William Morris Agency and now as CEO of Kapital Entertainment. Since its formation in 2009, Kapital Entertainment has become known for its vast array of scripted projects, reality projects and distribution deals. In addition to the ABC comedy "The Neighbors," the series on which Kaplan has served as executive producer have included the FOX drama "Terra Nova," alongside his partners on the series, Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin; the Darren Star-produced soap-drama "GCB" for ABC; and "The Inbetweeners," an adaptation of the hit British series, expected to premiere in the summer of 2012.
CHRIS KOCH, executive producer
Chris Koch has been a director of television, film and commercials for the last 20 years. He is best known for directing the feature film "Snow Day" (2000) and for his work on ABC's "Modern Family."
Koch got his start directing multiple episodes of Nickelodeon's "The Adventures of Pete and Pete." After that he went on to direct episodes of "Malcolm in the Middle," "Scrubs," "My Name is Earl," "The Middle," "Don't Trust the B--- in Apartment 23," "Cougar Town," "Raising Hope," "Modern Family" and "Workaholics." In 2010 he produced and directed the Fox series "Traffic Light."
Prior to their work together on "The Neighbors," Koch had collaborated with Dan Fogelman on two network pilots, "The 12th Man" and "Lipshitz Saves the World."
Koch is also co-owner of Konk, a commercial production company since 1992.
Debbie Weaver on ABC's "The Neighbors"
Jami Gertz has crafted a distinguished reputation in film, television and theater. In addition to her role in "The Neighbors," she will next be seen in Jeff Garlan's feature "Dealin' with Idiots." Gertz appeared on ABC's Emmy Award-winning comedy "Modern Family" and the hit cable series "Entourage," opposite Jeremy Piven. She starred with Piven again in Scott Marshall's "Keeping Up With the Steins," along with Gary Marshall, Darryl Hannah and Doris Roberts.
For four seasons Gertz starred on the hit comedy "Still Standing," opposite Mark Addy. In addition she portrayed title role on ABC's "Gilda Radner: It's Always Something," based on Radner's autobiography.
In 2002 Gertz received an Emmy nomination for her role on the critically acclaimed television series "Ally McBeal," where she guest starred in a four-episode arc. She is also widely recognized for her role as a sex therapist in "Twister," opposite Bill Paxton, and for her roles with Dylan McDermott in the romantic comedy "Jersey Girl," in "Less Than Zero" (based on the best selling novel by Bret Easton Ellis), with James Spader and Robert Downey, Jr., and in "The Lost Boys," with Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Patric.
Gertz was discovered at age 16 in a nationwide talent search for the sitcom "Square Pegs," with Sarah Jessica Parker. Since then she has appeared on a number of hit television shows, including "Seinfeld," "ER" and "Dream On."
On stage she appeared in the Off-Broadway production of Garry Marshall's "Wrong Turn at Lung Fish," with the late George C. Scott and Tony Danza. She also starred in "Come Back Little Sheba," with Tyne Daly, and "Out of Gas on Lover's Leap," with Jason Patric.
In 2007 Gertz formed Lime Orchard Productions, a television and film production company. The company produced "A Better Life" in 2011, directed by Chris Weitz and starring Demian Bichir, which earned him a Best Actor Academy Award nomination.
A Chicago native, Gertz lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three sons.
HOMETOWN Chicago, IL
BIRTHDATE October 28
Marty Weaver on ABC's "The Neighbors"
Lenny Venito is a native New Yorker who studied acting at the prestigious LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts. His television credits include recurring roles on "The Sopranos," "Rescue Me," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Flight of the Conchords," "Bored to Death," and ABC's "NYPD Blue." His film credits include "Men In Black III," "How Do You Know," and "War of the Worlds." Venito also can be seen in the upcoming Philip Seymour Hoffman film, "God's Pocket."
On stage Venito has worked on Broadway in "The Ritz," and recently worked with Ethan Coen in the Off-Broadway play, "Happy Hour."
Venito grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. He's an avid golf enthusiast, loves to play poker and is a die-hard New York Mets fan (for better or for worse). He resides in New York City.
HOMETOWN Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY
BIRTHDATE May 10
Larry Bird on ABC's "The Neighbors"
Simon Templeman started his career in the theater in England. A long-time member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he played many roles, including Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet." He came to America twice with the company, in "All's Well That Ends Well" and "Nicholas Nickleby," both on Broadway. Other notable theater credits include performing at the National Theatre in David Hare's "A Secret Rapture."
Templeman's feature film work includes roles in "The Russia House" and "Live Nude Girls." His many television credits include "Northern Exposure," "Just Shoot Me!," "Don King: Only in America," "Monk" and "The Event."
Templeman is married to actress Rosalind Chao and they have two children.
HOMETOWN London, England
BIRTHDATE January 28
Jackie Joyner-Kersee on ABC's "The Neighbors"
Toks (pronounced "tokes") Olagundoye is a newcomer to the Los Angeles entertainment world, and in her short time here has added several credits to those she had already achieved in film, television and theatre in New York.
In recent years Olagundoye has guest-starred on "NCIS," "Prime Suspect" and ABC Family's "Switched at Birth." Other film and television appearances include "CSI: NY," "Law & Order," "Ugly Betty," "Brown Sugar" and "The Salon" among others.
Born to a Nigerian father and Norwegian mother, Olagundoye was raised in Nigeria, attended boarding school in Europe and is a graduate of the theater program at Smith College. In her spare time she enjoys finding new spots to enjoy a tasty meal, cooking, writing, pilates, archery, marksmanship and settling in a with a great book. She has an uncanny ability when it comes to accents from around the world.
Olagundoye resides between Los Angeles and New York.
HOMETOWN Lagos, Nigeria
BIRTHDATE September 16
Amber Weaver on ABC's "The Neighbors"
Only a teenager, Clara Mamet - the 18-year-old daughter of playwright and director David Mamet - is a dynamic actress and writer in her own right. Most recently she wrote and starred in her silver screen directorial debut, entitled "Two-Bit Waltz."
In addition to appearing in "The Neighbors," Mamet also appeared in the Barry Levinson HBO biopic about Phil Spector which starred Al Pacino.
Outside of writing and performing - which includes playing a bluegrass banjo -- Mamet is a huge fan of classic British TV like "Absolutely Fabulous," "Fawlty Towers" and anything by Ricky Gervais. This is just the beginning of a soon to be very bright career.
Mamet resides in Los Angeles.
HOMETOWN Los Angeles, CA
BIRTHDATE September 29
Reggie Jackson on ABC's "The Neighbors"
Tim Jo, a native Texan, made his acting debut in the film "Bandslam," followed by guest appearances on the television series "Greek" and "Castle." He was also a series regular on the TBS comedy "Glory Daze"
The son of a petroleum engineer, Jo was born in the small town of Mesquite. His family moved all over Texas until work took them to Poland for three years. It was there that Jo discovered his love of acting. Experiencing his teen years in a foreign country created a gold mine of experiences for Jo, which he uses for his character, alien teenager Reggie Jackson, in "The Neighbors."
Jo spends his free time focusing on his two passions of sculpture and music. His band, Animals of Kin, currently performs at venues around the Los Angeles area as they prepare to embark on their first national tour.
HOMETOWN Houston, TX
BIRTHDATE April 20
Dick Butkus on ABC's "The Neighbors"
With a passion for acting coming at an early age, Ian Patrick first started his career with commercial and print modeling. After finding his love for the camera he moved to acting, landing small parts in a variety of film and television projects.
In 2012 Patrick made his big screen debut as Grisham in Judd Apatow's eccentric comedy, "Wanderlust," opposite Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. He adapted perfectly to the quirky and hilarious role and ultimately created the unique character his own. With his series regular role as Dick Butkus "The Neighbors," he had garnered considerable attention and a strong following among both his teen peers and adults.
Patrick is the youngest of four children raised by his parents in his hometown of Dallas, Texas. When he is not traveling or working on any of his many projects, he enjoys riding his scooter, reading, playing computer games, and building with Legos. He is also an animal lover and has two dogs and four cats.
HOMETOWN Dallas, TX
BIRTHDATE November 11
Max Weaver on ABC's "The Neighbors"
Max Charles, a young actor with an impressive resume at just nine years of age. He most recently reprised his role as young Peter Parker in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," opposite Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. He also has a knack for TV acting, as well as voice-over work.
Charles began his acting career at just six and has already appeared on numerous hit TV shows, including the HBO series "True Blood," "Raising Hope," "Community" and "Hot in Cleveland." Not only does he do comedies and dramas, but entertains child audiences as well with parts in the Disney Channel series "Jessie" and the Walt Disney film "Spooky Buddies." Upcoming projects include the animated feature "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," as Sherman opposite Ty Burrell. Most recently Charles played Peezer in the feature film "The Three Stooges," with Jane Lynch, Sean Hayes and Jennifer Hudson.
Hailing from Nashville, TN, Charles enjoys spending time with friends, reading books and singing and practicing music with his family, including his three older brothers.
HOMETOWN Nashville, TN
BIRTHDATE August 18
Abby Weaver on ABC's "The Neighbors"
In a very short period of time since signing with one of Hollywood's top childrens agencies, Isabella Cramp has garnered an impressive list of credits which include "Happy Endings," "In Plain Sight," "Mike and Molly," "CSI: Miami," "Enlightened," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," the Lifetime original movie "Piper Rose," as well as numerous TV commercials.
In addition to appearing in "The Neighbors," Isabella recently recorded one of the lead voices for Nickelodeon's upcoming animated series "Shimmer & Shine," as well as lent her voice to the Baz Luhrmann directed film, "The Great Gatsby."
Outside of work, Isabella enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her hobbies include drawing, swimming, kickball, soccer, bike riding, horseback riding, skiing and hanging out with the family's pet Labrador Retriever. Equally at home playing dress-up with the girls or playing in the mud with the boys, Isabella is a fearless adventurer who discovers fun and humor in everything she does. Although she's extremely well-traveled for her young age, her favorite place in the world remains Disneyland, USA.
Isabella resides outside of Los Angeles.
HOMETOWN Westlake Village, CA
BIRTHDATE December 18
Marta Walraven seems to have an idyllic life. A stay-at-home mom in tony Marin County, just north of San Francisco, she is devoted to her three children and her husband. Behind this perfect façade, however, is a more complicated story: Evan, Marta's husband, supports the family by exporting marijuana. Marta is familiar with the world of organized crime: her father, Andrei Petrov, and his loyal bodyguard, Luther, are Bratva – Russian gangsters – in San Francisco. It's a world from which she and her sister Kat always wanted to escape, though they never quite did.
But when Evan is brutally murdered in their driveway, everything changes. Marta's first concern is to protect her children – yet when FBI Agent James Ramos promises Marta justice in exchange for her cooperation, she cannot go against the Bratva code, and refuses his help.
Slowly, the truth about Evan's murder begins to emerge: Evan's business partners – Marta's scheming brother, Irwin Petrov, and their best friend, the hapless Mike Tomlin – were involved in the theft of millions of dollars of cocaine from the formidable international crime boss, Nicholae Schiller. Evan paid with his life, but as far as Schiller is concerned, his debt is not clear. It falls to Marta, as Evan's widow, to navigate the criminal underworld in order to repay this debt – in whatever way Schiller sees fit.
Hounded by the FBI on one hand and by Schiller on the other, while also trying to raise three grieving kids on her own, Marta discovers a tenacity she never knew she had. As she hunts for the truth about her husband's death and struggles to keep her children safe, she'll rely on her resourcefulness, determination and her Bratva DNA like never before. But in order to beat her adversaries at their own deadly game, how far is Marta willing to go?
"Red Widow" stars Radha Mitchell as Marta Walraven, Sterling Beaumon as Gabriel Walraven, Clifton Collins Jr. as FBI Agent James Ramos, Luke Goss as Luther, Suleka Mathew as Dina Tomlin, Erin Moriarty as Natalie Walraven, Jaime Ray Newman as Kat Castillo, Jakob Salvati as Boris Walraven, Lee Tergesen as Mike Tomlin, Wil Traval as Irwin Petrov, with Rade Serbedzija as Andrei Petrov and Goran Visnjic as Nicholae Schiller.
Based on the Dutch series "Penoza," "Red Widow" is by executive produced and written by Melissa Rosenberg ("Dexter," and the Twilight Saga films), and executive produced by Howard Klein ("The Office," "Parks & Recreation") and Alon Aranya. The series is produced by ABC Studios in association with Endemol Studios.
MELISSA ROSENBERG, executive producer
Melissa Rosenberg is one of Hollywood's most versatile, sought-after writers and one of the most successful female screenwriters of all time. Inspired by both character-driven and genre projects, Rosenberg transitions seamlessly between television and the silver screen. She has written all five screenplays for the vampire romance phenomenon "The Twilight Saga." The first film, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and released by Summit Entertainment, opened in November 2008. The sequel, "New Moon," directed by Chris Weitz, opened in November 2009 with a record-setting opening gross of $142m. Together the four films have grossed over $2.5 billion worldwide, making Rosenberg the single most successful female screenwriter of all time. The final film, "Breaking Dawn: Part 2," opened in November 2012. She is also writing "Earthseed" for Paramount, from the novel by Pamela Sargent, and will executive produce the project through her Tall Girls Productions.
Rosenberg recently completed her fourth and final season as both head writer and executive producer of the Showtime original series, "Dexter." Her work on the show helped earn it the prestigious Peabody Award, three Emmy nominations, three Writers Guild of America Award nominations, and two Golden Globe nominations, all for Best Drama Series. Rosenberg scripted several of the most memorable episodes, including "Born Free," "Finding Freebo," "Dex Takes a Holiday" and "The Getaway."
Rosenberg launched her screenwriting career with the box-office smash "Step Up," which grossed over $114m worldwide. A trained dancer, she was perfect to write the urban romance between a naturally gifted troublemaker and an upper-class ballerina. Other credits include "Ally McBeal," "The O.C.," "Party of Five," "Boston Public," "The Agency," "The Magnificent Seven," "Birds of Prey" and "The Outer Limits."
Rosenberg earned her BA in dance and theatre from Bennington College in Vermont, with the goal of becoming a choreographer. But when she moved to Los Angeles, she pursued a different avenue, writing. She went on to earn an MFA at the University of Southern California, through the Peter Stark Producing Program at the School of Cinematic Arts.
HOWARD KLEIN, executive producer
Howard Klein is a founding partner of leading management and production company 3 Arts Entertainment. He is also a two-time Emmy Award winner for NBC's smash comedy hit, "The Office," and FOX's long-running success, "King of the Hill." In addition to "Red Widow," Klein is executive-producing three other shows on the 2012-13 schedule: FOX's critically-acclaimed new comedy, "The Mindy Project," the fifth season of NBC's Emmy-nominated "Parks and Recreation," as well as Emmy-winner "The Office," in its ninth season. Other producing credits include the supernatural hit "Carnivale" for HBO, Emmy-nominated "The Starter Wife" for USA, "Off the Record" for HBO and comedy specials for Richard Lewis and Dave Chappelle.
ALON ARANYA, executive producer
Alon Aranya earned his MFA in dramatic writing from the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. He also served as a faculty member at Tisch, teaching screenwriting. Prior to his writing career, Aranya worked in development at production companies and studios in Los Angeles, helping to develop films such as "The Devil's Advocate," "Varsity Blues" and "The Circle." He produced, directed and wrote "1906," a feature length documentary about the last living survivor of the 1906 earthquake and fires in San Francisco. The film was screened at various festivals in North America. Aranya was awarded the Ian McLellan Hunter Screenwriting Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Screenwriting Award for his script entitled "The Theory of Everything." In television he has sold more than a dozen drama shows to studios in the past few years with his producing partner, Rob Golenberg, through their company, Scripted World. In 2011 Aranya was the executive producer of "Midnight Sun" at NBC, based on "Pillars of Smoke." He also wrote the U.S. adaptation of "Hostages" for Warner Brothers and CBS, which has been ordered to pilot, and is an executive producer on "Betrayal," based on the Dutch show "Overspel," written by David Zabel. At NBC, Aranya is executive-producing the show "Ritter" with Howard Gordon and Alex Cary, an adaptation of an Icelandic hit.
Marta Walraven on ABC's "Red Widow"
Radha Mitchell is one of the most versatile and hardest working actresses in Hollywood with a slew of features eyeing release this year. She recently wrapped production on "Butler," "Goat Island," with Val Kilmer, "Gus," with Michelle Monaghan, "Evidence," opposite Stephen Moyer, and "Fugly!," with John Leguizamo. Ensemble film credits include "Big Sur," with Stana Katic, Josh Lucas and Kate Bosworth, "The Frozen Ground," opposite John Cusack, Nicholas Cage and Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, and "Olympus Has Fallen," with Morgan Freeman, Gerard Butler, Dylan McDermott, Aaron Eckhart, Ashley Judd, Angela Bassett and Melissa Leo.
Mitchell was most recently seen in leading roles for the feature films "Surrogates," opposite Bruce Willis, and "The Crazies," alongside Timothy Olyphant. In 2009 she co-produced and starred in the indie "The Waiting City," which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and screened for the closing gala of the 2010 Indian Film Festival Los Angeles (IFFLA). She has also starred in such features as "The Children of Huang Shi," with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Chow Yun-Fat, "Henry Poole is Here," with Luke Wilson, "Feast of Love," alongside Morgan Freeman and Greg Kinnear, "Silent Hill," in the leading role, "Finding Neverland," opposite Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet and Dustin Hoffman, "Man of Fire," with Denzel Washington, the innovative feature film "Phone Booth," alongside Colin Farrell, "Pitch Black," starring Vin Diesel, and in an acclaimed dual performance as both the comic and tragic leads in Woody Allen's "Melinda and Melinda."
Past notable film credits include the independent feature "Dead Heat," opposite Keifer Sutherland and Anthony LaPaglia, "When Strangers Appear," alongside Josh Lucas, "Nobody's Baby," with Gary Oldman and Skeet Ulrich, "Mozart and the Whale," opposite Josh Harnett, and Rodrigo Garcia's "Ten Tiny Love Stories."
On television Mitchell starred with Hank Azaria and Donald Sutherland in NBC's critically acclaimed miniseries, "Uprising," for director Jon Avnet. She gave a memorable performance in the role of Syd, the young editorial assistant who falls in love with Ally Sheedy's heroin-addicted photographer character in Lisa Cholodenko's critically acclaimed "High Art." And her role in Emma-Kate Croghan's romantic comedy, "Love and Other Catastrophes," was highly praised at both the Cannes and Sundance film festivals.
Originally hailing from Australia, Mitchell currently resides in Southern California.
HOMETOWN Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
BIRTHDATE November 12
Gabriel Walraven on ABC's "Red Widow"
Rising star Sterling Beaumon is one of Hollywood's most exciting and versatile young actors. His television and film credits include his breakout role as Young Ben Linus on the smash hit ABC drama, "Lost,"and his lead role in the mystery television miniseries "Clue," based on the Parker Brothers game franchise of the same name. He co-starred alongside Emily Blunt and Colin Firth in the feature "Arthur Newman,"which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, as well as in "The Pretty One," opposite Zoe Kazan from a Blacklist script by Jenée LaMarque scheduled to be released in 2013.
Beaumon made his professional stage debut at the age of six in "The Grapes of Wrath" with West Coast Ensemble. Since then he has performed in numerous theatre productions, including "All My Sons" at the Geffen Playhouse, opposite Broadway veterans Neil Patrick Harris, Laurie Metcalf and Len Cariou. In 2010 Beaumon won the Young Artists Award for Best Stage Actor for his starring role in the West Coast Ensemble production of "Big! The Musical." He aspires to work with renowned playwrights on the Broadway stages.
When he isn't acting or singing, Beaumon is an avid hockey player who also volunteers with the Special Needs Hockey team where he mentors and teaches kids how to play the game. He supports numerous charities, including the American Cancer Society, Bookshare and various arts programs.
HOMETOWN San Diego, CA
BIRTHDATE June 2
CLIFTON COLLINS, JR.
FBI Agent James Ramos on ABC's "Red Widow"
Clifton Collins, Jr. is one of Hollywood's most versatile talents. He received accolades as well as an Alma Award nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of Perry Smith in director Bennett Miller's Academy Award-nominated "Capote."
As one of Hollywood busiest actors, Collins' film credits include a role in Terrence Malick's upcoming feature "Knight of Cups," opposite Christian Bale; the sci-fi Warner Brothers/Legendary Films feature, "Pacific Rim," directed by Guillermo Del Toro and co-starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Charlie Day; and the Taylor Hackford-directed feature "Parker," opposite Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez. Previously, Collins starred alongside Amy Adams and Emily Blunt in the Sundance hit "Sunshine Cleaning," and with an all-star cast in "Star Trek." He was also recently seen in "Crank 2: High Voltage," the Miramax film "Extract," alongside Ben Affleck, "Brothers," alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman, and "Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day." Other notable film credits include "Traffic," directed by Steven Soderbergh, opposite Benicio Del Toro, Lionsgate's "Rules of Attraction," directed by Roger Avary, and "Tigerland," directed by Joel Schumacher. Even at the beginning of his career Collins found himself working with some of the brightest young filmmakers, including in the Hughes Brothers' "Menace to Society" and "Dead Presidents," John Singleton's "Poetic Justice," Kevin Reynolds' "187," Antoine Fuqua's "The Replacement Killers," "Still Waters" and the award-winning independent film "Little Chenier."
No stranger to the small screen, in 2010 Collins shot a starring role in NBC's drama "The Event," an emotional, high-octane conspiracy thriller. He received an Emmy nomination for his role in the miniseries "Thief," opposite Andre Braugher, and recurred on such other series as "24," "The Shield" and "Alias."
Collins directed the video for Zac Brown Band's single, "Chicken Fried," as well as the music videos for the Zac Brown Band follow up single, "Whatever It Is," and Jamey Johnson's "High Cost of Living."
He currently resides in Los Angeles.
HOMETOWN Los Angeles, CA
BIRTHDATE June 16
Luther on ABC's "Red Widow"
Luke Goss started his acting career playing Danny Zuko in the smash hit musical "Grease" on London's West End, and later toured with the production throughout the United Kingdom. He established himself as a screen actor in 2002 with performances in David Goyer's independent drama, "ZigZag," with John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt, Natasha Lyonne and Wesley Snipes; and in Guillermo Del Toro's supernatural action feature, "Blade II," with Snipes and Ron Perlman. The following year Goss starred in the title role of the critically acclaimed British gangster film, "Charlie," and later in the title role of the Emmy Award-winning Hallmark miniseries, "Frankenstein," with Donald Sutherland and William Hurt.
In 2005 Goss traveled to India to play the role of King Xerxes in the Biblical epic "One Night with the King," opposite Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole. He went on to star in "The Man," with Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy, "Mercenary," with Steven Seagal, "Bone Dry," opposite Lance Henriksen, "Unearthed," with Emmanuelle Vaugier, "Deep Winter," alongside Michael Madsen, and "Shanghai Baby," with Bai Ling. 2008 reunited Goss with Guillermo Del Toro in Universal's "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," the sequel that opened in the No. 1spot at the U.S. box office and earned Goss two MTV Movie Award nominations for his role. More recently he completed the starring role in "Tekken," a sci-fi feature thriller based on the popular video and arcade game, and starred in "Interview with a Hitman," a UK Independent Film released in August 2012. Other recent projects include roles in "Across the Line," "Blood Out," and he has taken over Universal's "Death Race" franchise. In 2013 Goss will star in "Death Race Inferno" for Universal Studios.
HOMETOWN London, England
BIRTHDATE September 29
Dina Tomlin on ABC's "Red Widow"
Suleka Mathew is well known to television audiences for her co-starring roles in "Da Vinci's Inquest," "Men in Trees," "Hawthorne" and now "Red Widow." Most recent guest starring roles include "NCIS," "Flashpoint" and the murder mystery "Good Morning Killer." Additional television credits include recurring roles on "The West Wing," "Dead Zone," "The Crow" and the Hallmark miniseries "Final Days of Planet Earth."
Mathew has worked extensively for over 20 years as a professional actress in film, radio and in theatre as well.
Her independent film credits include Ian Iqbal Rashid's Sundance hit, "Touch of Pink," "The Score" and "Republic of Love." She was also part of the multi-discipline cast of the award-winning film, "Shadow Pleasures," inspired by the work of Michael Ondaatje. In additional Mathew narrated the novel The Sad Truth About Happiness, by Anne Giardini, for CBC Radio, as well as The Management of Grief by Bharati Mukherjee.
Mathew was born in India and raised in Canada.
HOMETOWN Kerala, India
BIRTHDATE May 11
Natalie Walraven on ABC's "Red Widow"
Erin Moriarty hails from New York and got her start on such shows as "One Life to Live" and "Law & Order: SVU."
This past summer Moriarty was seen in her feature debut as Vince Vaughn's daughter, Chelsea, in 20th Century Fox's "The Watch." She will next be seen in independent features "The Philosophers," directed by John Huddles, and Jordan Vogt-Roberts' "Toy's House," opposite Alison Brie and Nick Offerman.
HOMETOWN New York, NY
BIRTHDATE June 24
JAMIE RAY NEWMAN
Kat Petrova on ABC's "Red Widow"
Jaime Ray Newman originally hails from Detroit, Michigan. She studied acting at Boston University School for the Arts and earned her BA at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
On television Newman starred on the ABC series "Eastwick," based on "The Witches of Eastwick." She has recurred on many shows, including "Grimm," "NCIS," "CSI:NY" (as Gary Sinise's wife), "Eureka," "Drop Dead Diva," "Veronica Mars" and "Nip/Tuck."
Film credits include "Catch Me If You Can," "Rubberneck," the upcoming indie "Red Robin," opposite Judd Hirsch, as well as the remake of "Tarzan," to be released November 2013.
Last year Newman made her Off-Broadway debut at The Atlantic Theater Company in New York City, starring in David Auburn's ("Proof") play, "The New York Idea." In Los Angeles she has done several plays at the Geffen Theater, including "Some Girls," written and directed by Neil LaBute, and starred opposite David Schwimmer in "Turnaround" at the Coast Playhouse.
Newman lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Guy Nattiv.
HOMETOWN Farmington Hills, MI
BIRTHDATE April 2
Boris Walraven on ABC's "Red Widow"
Eight-year-old Jakob Salvati is already making quite an impression in Hollywood, with credits that already include national commercials for Target, Nintendo Wii and Harley Davidson; television's "Mad Men," "Victorious" and "Til' Death"; and the independent films "Escape from Tomorrow," "Behavior with Friends," "Nickel or Dime," "Gospel Adventures" and "Silent Killer."
Jakob was also featured in "Unthinkable," starring Samuel L. Jackson, Carrie-Anne Moss and Michael Sheen, and the 2011 short film, "Crescendo," that swept the film festival circuits, winning Best Short Film Awards from the Hollywood Film Festival and the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.
In Spring 2013, Jakob will make his big screen debut in "Little Boy," playing the lead, Pepper Busby/Little Boy, alongside Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin James and David Henrie. The film is about a young American boy struggling to achieve the impossible – to bring his father back from World War II.
Aside from acting, Jakob enjoys soccer, swimming and gymnastics, as well as singing and playing the drums.
BIRTHDATE November 21
Mike Tomlin on ABC's "Red Widow"
Lee Tergesen's impressive film credits include "Monster," opposite Charlize Theron, "The Forgotten," with Julianne Moore, "Wayne's World," "Shaft," "Point Break," "Helena from the Wedding" and "Red Tails."
On television Tergesen starred as Tobias Beecher for six seasons on the acclaimed HBO series, "Oz." He also starred in HBO's Emmy Award-winning miniseries, "Generation Kill," and "Bury My Heat at Wounded Knee." Additional recent credits include FOX's "House," CBS' "Criminal Minds," "The New Adventures of Old Christine," a recurring role on ABC's "Desperate Housewives," as well as a recurring role on Showtime's "The Big C."
HOMETOWN Ivoryton, CT
BIRTHDATE July 8
Irwin Petrov on ABC's "Red Widow"
Wil Traval's interest in acting began as a high school senior when he made a short horror/thriller film with his two best friends. After graduation, he couldn't shake the acting bug and applied to the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, where he was accepted into their Performing Arts degree program.
After graduation, Traval was soon cast in the Australian miniseries, "Jessica," starring fellow Australian actor Sam Neill. He starred subsequently in various Australian dramas before being cast in his first major role as Dr. Jack Quade on the Australian hit medical series, "All Saints."
When he isn't working, Traval's hobbies include amateur photography and anime. He also enjoys exploring his passion for cooking, as well as traveling for adventure, and once spent several months traveling solo through South America.
HOMETOWN Victoria, Australia
BIRTHDATE July 9
Andrei Petrov on ABC's "Red Widow"
Croatian-born and internationally renowned actor Rade Serbedzija is considered one of the finest stage and screen actors of his time. For several decades he has enjoyed a successful film career in his home country of the former Yugoslavia, appearing in over 40 films. He received his first major film role during his first year as a student at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, University of Zagreb. Traditionally students were not allowed to do professional work until graduating from the four-year program, but an exception was made for Serbedzija. Since then he has appeared in countless acting roles and is heralded as Yugoslavia's definitive Hamlet.
Serbedzija gained international exposure in the Oscar-nominated "Pred Dozhdot" / "Before the Rain" (1994), which earned ten awards at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, including the Grand Prix Golden Lion, with Serbedzija also winning the festival's Critics' Award for Best Actor. From there he went on to star in Italy's "La Tregua" (1997) and, beginning with the 1997 Hollywood adventure film "The Saint," increased his presence in American films tenfold. His impressive filmography includes "Mighty Joe Young" (1998), "Polish Wedding" (1998), "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999) and "Mission: Impossible II" (2000). Recent film credits include his role as Gregorovitch in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" (2010), "Batman Begins" (2010), "X-Men: First Class" (2011) and "Taken 2" (2012), starring alongside Liam Neeson.
Television appearances include the 2001 ABC made-for-television movie, "South Pacific," as Emile de Becque opposite Glenn Close, and playing Dmitri Gredenko on the Season 6 of "24."
Serbedzija is married to theatre director Lenka Udovicki. In 2000 they founded the Ulysses Theatre Festival on the Croatian island of Brijuni. The mission of the non-profit is to bring diverse, international artists together to exchange creative ideas and build bridges between cultures and nations. In their 2012 production of "King Lear," Serbedzija played the titular role and his real-life daughters, Lucija and Nina, played Lear's daughters, Regan and Cordelia.
In 2012, Serbedzija appeared in "72 Days," Croatia's Oscar entry and the directorial film debut of his son, Danilo. For his role Serbedzija received the Pula Film Festival's coveted Golden Arena for Best Actor. Other awards include the Golden Arena for Best Actor for the 1978 film, "Bravo Maestro," the Best Actor Award at the 2007 Rome Film Festival for "Fugitive Places," as well as Satellite and Genie Award nominations for the same role.
Fluent in Italian, Serbedzija was a professor of Acting at Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia. He also plays guitar, has written and published a non-fiction book, four poetry books, and released five albums.
HOMETOWN Rijeka, Croatia
BIRTHDATE July 27
Nicholae Schiller on ABC's "Red Widow"
Croatian born actor Goran Visnjic has received critical acclaim and commercial success in theatre, television and on the silver screen. Best known for his role at Dr. Luka Kovac in the hit television series "ER," Visnjic continues to tackle some of Hollywood's most challenging roles, making him one of the most sought after actors today.
Visnjic joined "ER" during the series' sixth season, and has since worked alongside such actors as Forrest Whitaker, Mekhi Phifer, Maura Tierney and Noah Wyle. Other television appearances include the miniseries "Spartacus" and the Croatian movie and television series, "Duga mra?na no?." He began his career starring in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" at the internationally acclaimed Dubrovnik Summer Theatre Festival in Croatia, his performance earning him the coveted Orlando Award (the equivalent of the Tony Award).
Visnjic most recently wrapped shooting Ridley Scott's "The Counselor," alongside Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem. He also wrapped the upcoming drama "K-11," in which he stars as a record producer who finds himself in prison after a drug-induced blackout and has to learn to navigate the new power structure around him.
Recent film credits include "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "Beginners," "Helen" and a segment for the anthology film "New York, I Love You," a series of love stories all taking place in New York City directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev. Visnjic also co-starred in the movie "Elektra," opposite Jennifer Garner, lent his voice to the blockbuster hit "Ice Age," and starred in "Committed," "Practical Magic," "Rounders" and "Welcome to Sarajevo."
Visnjic currently resides in Los Angeles.
HOMETOWN Sibenik, Croatia, Yugoslavia (now Croatia)
BIRTHDATE September 9
Two-time Emmy winner Patricia Heaton stars in this warm and witty single-camera comedy about raising a family and lowering your expectations. Middle-aged, middle class and living in the middle of the country in Orson, Indiana, Frankie Heck is a harried wife and mother of three who uses her wry wit and sense of humor to get her family through each day intact. Having been fired as the least successful sales woman at the town's only surviving car dealership, Frankie re-evaluated her career path and is now working as a dental assistant. Her unflappable husband, Mike, is manager at the local quarry and her sardonic partner in the daily grind that is raising their average - yes, most definitely average - family.
Between juggling shifts and picking up fast food dinners eaten in front of the TV, Frankie and Mike raise their kids with love, humor and solid Midwestern practicality. Axl, the oldest, is a jock slacker who eats them out of house and home and walks around the house in his boxers. But his lazy days are numbered as he prepares to enter college via a well-earned sports scholarship. Then there's Sue, their extraordinarily ordinary daughter, who fails at just about everything she tries with great gusto. Now a junior in high school, she continues to navigate the raging waters of school life and, to Frankie and Mike's horror, will be driving on her own since recently passing her driver's test - on the sixth try. And last is Brick, their quirky son, who is entering middle school. He reads constantly, whispers and "whoops" to himself and unapologetically marches to the beat of his own drummer.
But through all the madness shines a loving family, and together the Hecks are putting THE MIDDLE on the map.
"The Middle" stars Patricia Heaton as Frankie, Neil Flynn as Mike, Charlie McDermott as Axl, Eden Sher as Sue and Atticus Shaffer as Brick.
"The Middle" was created and is executive-produced by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline. The series is from Warner Bros. Television.
EILEEN HEISLER & DeANN HELINE, creators, executive producers
Eileen Heisler & DeAnn Heline have enjoyed a 22-year career writing on some of television's biggest hits. They have been friends and writing partners since Heisler, who hails from a suburb of Chicago, met Heline, who comes from a suburb of Cincinnati, when they were assigned to the same dorm at Indiana University. Later they independently transferred to New York University, where they each earned B.F.A's in television from NYU's famed Tisch School of the Arts.
A break on ABC's "Doogie Howser, MD" led to writing on the staff of "Roseanne." During their tenure, the show won the Peabody Award, the Humanitas Prize and the Golden Globe. From there they went on to produce "Murphy Brown," where in two consecutive years series star Candice Bergen won Emmys for episodes written by Heisler & Heline, in addition to the series' Humanitas Prize. Heisler & Heline went on to executive-produce and showrun such successful series as "Ellen" and "How I Met Your Mother." Most recently they had several development deals during which they created and executive-produced "Three Sisters," "Committed" and "Lipstick Jungle."
During that time they also tried, with varying success, to maintain their sanity, raise their children and find decent parking in LA. With "The Middle," Heisler & Heline are happy to be returning to their roots at ABC, and celebrating their roots in the Midwest... where there is always plenty of parking.
"The Middle" has received two Humanitas Prize nominations, a Critics' Choice Award nomination and won a Gracie Award for Outstanding Comedy. Eden Sher recently received a Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Sue Heck.
Heline currently resides in Pacific Palisades with husband Bruce Bolkin, president of Southland Publishing, and their two daughters, Kate (15) and Emery (13).
Heisler also resides in Pacific Palisades with husband Adam Wolman, a television executive, and their twin boys, Justin and Ben (14).
Frankie on ABC's "The Middle"
Patricia Heaton is perhaps best known for her role as Debra Barone on the award-winning series "Everybody Loves Raymond." She won two Emmy Awards for the role and was nominated seven times. In addition to her Emmy wins, Heaton is also the recipient of the Best Comedy Actress Award from the Viewers for Quality Television, a SAG Award and three SAG nominations in the Best Actress category for her work on "Raymond."
Heaton starred opposite Kelsey Grammer in the critically acclaimed comedy series "Back to You." She also starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, "Front of the Class." Her other television credits include a recurring role on ABC's popular series "thirtysomething" and prominent roles in the series "Room for Two," "Someone Like Me" and "Women of the House," as well as the television films "A Town Without Christmas" and "Miracle in the Woods." She recently completed production on the feature film, "Moms Night Out."
On stage Heaton garnered praise for the role as Stella in the Second Stage production of "The Scene," a play by Theresa Rebeck. She received a Lortel Award nomination for her performance.
Heaton produced and starred in the TNT/FourBoys Films production, "The Engagement Ring," and also starred in the TNT/Neil Simon production of "The Goodbye Girl" and ABC's "The Path to 9/11." Feature film credits include "Memoirs of an Invisible Man," "Beethoven," "New Age" and "Space Jam."
In addition to her acting and producing credits, Heaton is a bestselling author whose book, Motherhood and Hollywood -- How to Get a Job Like Mine, made the New York Times Bestseller list.
In 2001 Heaton co-founded FourBoys Films, a production company which she runs with her husband, David Hunt. FourBoys' productions include "The Engagement Ring" for TNT and the documentary feature film "The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania." FourBoys Films also produced the acclaimed film "Amazing Grace," directed by Michael Apted, in conjunction with Bristol Bay Productions. Most recently FourBoys partnered with MyDamnChannel.com on the web series "Versailles," which featured Heaton as eccentric B movie star Evelyn Anders.
Heaton, who lives in Los Angeles with her husband and four sons, was recently honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
HOMETOWN Bay Village, OH
BIRTHDATE March 4
Mike on ABC's "The Middle"
Born on Chicago's South Side and raised in Waukegan, Illinois, Neil Flynn was the third of six children. Although he performed in plays during his school years, it wasn't until he was getting ready to graduate from Bradley University in Peoria that he began to think that performing was something he could actually do for a living.
After college, Flynn returned to Chicago and pursued a career in live theater. He appeared at the prestigious Steppenwolf and Goodman theaters, worked with Aidan Quinn ("Hamlet") and Brian Dennehy ("Galileo"), and was twice a Jefferson Award nominee. He became a mainstay at Chicago's Improv Olympic and went on to become a member of the Second City Comedy Troupe in Chicago.
Equally adept at comedy and drama, Flynn has performed a variety of roles on television series, ranging from playing Sacred Heart Hospital's menacing janitor for eight seasons on "Scrubs," "Seinfeld," "The Drew Carey Show" and "That '70s Show" to "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Boston Public" and "NYPD Blue." Other TV appearances include "Arli$$," "Ellen," "Family Law" and "Smallville."
On the big screen he can be seen interrogating Harrison Ford in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," directed by Steven Spielberg, and is also well known for playing Lindsay Lohan's dad in the hit comedy "Mean Girls." Other feature credits include "Hoot," "Home Alone 3," "The Fugitive," "Chain Reaction," "Rookie of the Year," "Baby's Day Out" and "Major League."
Flynn is a core member of the popular improvisation group Beer, Shark, Mice, which frequently performs at IO West in Hollywood.
HOMETOWN Chicago, IL
BIRTHDATE November 13
Axl on ABC's "The Middle"
Charlie McDermott is a rising star who has already made his presence felt on both the large and small screens. He is also adding writer and director to his list of credits with the upcoming film "ImagiGary." The film, written and directed by McDermott, is a coming of age comedy about a freshman in college, Henry, who rediscovers his imaginary friend, Gary, through the loneliness of his first week at school. He stars in the film alongside Nate Hartley (co-writer) and Haley Ramm. The film was produced in McDermott's hometown, the suburbs of Philadelphia.
On the big screen McDermott appeared in the comedy "Hot Tub Time Machine," opposite John Cusick, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Chevy Chase. He was seen alongside Laura Linney and writer/director Leland Orser in "Morning." He also appeared in the critically praised "Frozen River," earning a Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The recipient of the Sundance 2008 Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Film, the movie has also been honored by the Gotham Awards, Hamburg Film Festival, National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
McDermott began his career with M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village," where he starred alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver. Additional films include a supporting role in the Sundance favorite "The Ten," with Jessica Alba, Adam Brody, Gretchen Mol, Oliver Platt, Paul Rudd, Winona Ryder and Liev Schreiber, Summit Entertainment's "The Sex Drive," opposite Seth Green and James Marsden, and the independent films "All Along" and "Disappearances."
Television roles include Lifetime's "Bond of Silence," "The Office," as the disinterested student who ignores Michael Scott (Steve Carell), "Private Practice," "Parks and Recreation," PBS' Emmy Award-winning "Windy Acres," "Medium" and the Hallmark films "Generation Gap" and "Safe Harbor."
Born in Pennsylvania, McDermott currently resides in Los Angeles. For additional information, please visit www.CharlieMcDermott.com.
HOMETOWN West Chester, PA
BIRTHDATE April 6
Sue on ABC's "The Middle"
At the young age of eight, Eden Sher began singing in her school chorus, which led to acting in school productions. After a small appearance on "The Tonight Show," which happened to be shot at her school, she discovered that performing was indeed her passion, and has continued ever since to work in commercials, television, films and on stage.
Sher recently won a Critics Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her role as Sue Heck after three consecutive nominations. Prior to that she was best known for her work on ABC's "Sons & Daughters." She also starred in Starz's "Party Down," ABC Family's "The Middleman," Disney Channel's "Sonny with a Chance" and Showtime's "Weeds."
Outside of acting, Sher uses her love of words and emotion to create
www.the-emotionary.com, a website/tumblr/twitter dedicated to the creation of words for complex feelings that have not yet been discovered. It is updated with definitions, quips and musings, and the site invites visitors to submit their own creations.
Sher also enjoys yoga, hiking, reading, music and volunteering. She is currently involved with an organization that promotes concerts by local musicians which raises funds for various charities. Not only does she devote her time and energy in her local community, she also promotes activism abroad and has spent summers overseas volunteering - with trips to India to work at a facility for young children, and earlier in Nicaragua, helping local farmers maintain sustainable agriculture through clean water irrigation.
HOMETOWN Los Angeles, CA
BIRTHDATE December 26
Brick on ABC's "The Middle"
Atticus Shaffer lives in California with his mother, Debbie, and father, Ron, as well as a small menagerie of pets (all rescues). He was discovered by his manager and began his professional acting career in late 2006 with a guest starring role in the comedy series "The Class." Other television appearances followed, including "The Human Giant," "Days of Our Lives," "Out of Jimmy's Head," "Carpoolers" and "My Name is Earl," as well as Disney's "I'm in the Band" and "Shake It Up."
On the big screen Atticus is perhaps best known for the bus stop scene he shared with Will Smith in "Hancock." Other feature films include "The Unborn," "An American Carol," "Leaving Barstow" and "Opposite Day."
Atticus has given a voice to numerous characters, both on film and TV. He had a starring role in Tim Burton's animated feature, "Frankenweenie," for which he was nominated for an Annie Award for Best Male Voice Actor in a Feature Film and won the BTVA 2012 Award for Best Male Vocal Performance by a Child for the role of Edgar E. Gore. He has also voiced roles in the feature films "Year One" and "Subject: I Love You." On television he is a regular voice on Disney Channel's animated series "Fish Hooks" and previously voiced a recurring part on "The Penguins of Madagascar," as well as a guest role on the animated series "Thundercats." Currently he plays a character in a new Cartoon Network series, "Steven's Universe." Atticus is also very talented with voice impressions and has been incorporating this into some of his recent work.
His numerous talk show appearances include "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Live with Regis and Kelly," "Conan," "The View," "Good Morning America," "The Bonnie Hunt Show," "Lopez Tonight" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" -- a fan favorite. Atticus has been a presenter for the 2011 Genesis Awards, the 2013 CSA Awards and the 2013 Annie Awards, as well as being honored in 2010 by receiving the Media Access Award from R.J. Mitte. He was invited to be the Grand Marshal of Washington, DC's 2011 National Cherry Blossom Festival and was also invited to an internship with Lego Master Builders of Legoland Florida, who honored him in spending time learning more about one of his most passionate hobbies.
Atticus continues to excel in his education and is a major history buff, which he incorporates into directing stop motion animation movies using Legos. He is an avid "gamer" and especially enjoys video games that include history, Legos, "Star Wars" and, of course, zombies.
In addition to all of this are his love of acting and his true passion for comedy. He gives much love and credit to his mom and dad for enabling him to "be himself" and have the time of his life.
HOMETOWN Santa Clarita, CA
BIRTHDATE June 19
|Friday, January 11th Set Visits (buses depart hotel at 9:00 a.m.):|
|10:00 a.m.||12:00 p.m.||3:15 p.m.||6:30 p.m.|
"Jimmy Kimmel Live"
"Switched At Birth"
Red Carpet Photos
Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of Emmy Award-nominated "Jimmy Kimmel Live," the ABC Television Network's late-night talk show. Now in its tenth season, "JKL" is packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. Every night Kimmel delivers his up-to-the minute take on the latest news and pop culture topics from the day's events in his monologue, and has recently welcomed such notables as Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Robert Pattinson, Katy Perry, Will Farrell, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, John Krasinski, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, Justin Bieber, Jessica Simpson, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Andy Samberg, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Charlie Sheen, Chris Pine, Jeremy Renner, Jada Pinkett Smith, Josh Brolin, Russell Brand, Woody Harrelson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
"JKL's" recurring cast of characters include Kimmel's childhood best friend and bandleader Cleto Escobedo, security guard Guillermo Rodriguez, Kimmel's Cousin Sal, No. 1 Celebrity Superfan Jake Byrd and Kimmel's feisty Aunt Chippy. The late night show's famed comedy segments include "Jimmy Kimmel Lie Detective," "JKL's" YouTube challenges and "Kimmel Kartoons." "JKL" also features a weekly signature comedy segment entitled "Unnecessary Censorship," which pokes fun at the FCC's crackdown on the media by unnecessarily censoring clips from TV news, political speeches, reality TV and nature shows. The show has also welcomed numerous esteemed guest directors to oversee individual episodes of the program, including J.J. Abrams, Quentin Tarantino, Michel Gondry and Jon Favreau.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" broadcasts from Disney's El Capitan Theater, located on Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of L.A.'s star-studded Walk of Fame. Kimmel showcases this illustrious location's unique character throughout his show by regularly interacting with the local "Super Heroes" parading along the boulevard and challenging passersby to participate in various comedy bits. He has also created many one-of-a-kind concert experiences, closing down Hollywood streets around his studio to hold musical block party events with artists such as Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Depeche Mode, as well as special outdoor and lobby performances by Adele, Linkin Park, Justin Timberlake, Drake, Tony Bennett, Pitbull, Britney Spears, Lady Antebellum, Usher, Lenny Kravitz, Brad Paisley, Lil Wayne, Phoenix, 50 Cent, No Doubt and Dave Matthews Band.
In addition to the nightly show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Academy Awards" annual specials have proven to be the destination for debuting the show's signature comedy pieces such as "Channing All Over Your Tatum," "I'm F**king Ben Affleck," "Handsome Men's Club," "Hottie Body Hump Club," Tom Hanks' "Toddlers and Tiaras" and "Movie: The Movie," all which have become huge viral successes, garnering millions of hits on YouTube.
Jimmy Kimmel and Jill Leiderman serve as executive producers. Jason Schrift, Douglas DeLuca and Erin Irwin serve as co-executive producers. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" is shot live in front of a studio audience and produced by Jackhole Industries in association with ABC Studios. For more go to www.jimmykimmellive.com; also a "Jimmy Kimmel Live" app is available via iTunes.
JILL LEIDERMAN, executive producer
Jill Leiderman became executive producer of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in April 2006. Over the course of her seven-year tenure, the late-night show has grown exponentially. Following the program’s move to the 11:35 p.m., ET time slot in January of 2013, “JKL” is currently the No. 1 broadcast talk show in late-night among Adults 18-34, beating the competition, and is up over its performance last year by 50% in Total Viewers, standing as the only show of its kind to improve year over year in all three Nielsen measures.
Leiderman learned late-night comedy during the nine years she produced for CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.” During that time she orchestrated all of the show’s material in studio and on location, traveling the world to over 70 cities – from the Olympics in Japan and Salt Lake City to the annual Emmys red carpet, from MLB’s World Series’ dugout to small towns with no running water for 100 miles in any direction.
Leiderman’s credits also include serving as a VH1 network development executive/executive producer, where she oversaw multiple projects from conception to fruition (including “John Mayer Has a TV Show”), and as senior researcher/segment producer at the original, critically-acclaimed “The Jon Stewart Show” for MTV & in syndication at Paramount.
But her true start came as on-air talent at the age of 12, when she co-hosted the Emmy Award-winning kids’ Saturday morning variety show, “Kidding Around,” for WMAQ-TV Chicago, interviewing such notables as Christopher Atkins -- star of the 1980’s hit “The Blue Lagoon” -- international pre-pubescent singing sensation Menudo and prize-winning local goats from the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Host of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live"
Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of the Emmy-winning "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC's longest-running late-night talk show. Now in its eleventh season, "JKL" produces the most popular comedy bits in late-night and features a diverse lineup of guests including actors, musicians, athletes, comedians, authors, politicians, newsmakers and the occasional random weirdo. Kimmel's monologue skewers pop culture and up-to-the minute news. "JKL" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m., ET/10:35 p.m., CT, broadcasting from Disney's El Capitan Entertainment Center in Hollywood.
In addition to the nightly show, annual specials like "Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Oscars" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night" are well-known for their all-star comedy videos. Videos including "I'm F**king Matt Damon," "I'm F**king Ben Affleck," "The Handsome Men's Club," "Movie: The Movie" and "Movie: The Movie 2V" have become hugely popular on television and online.
In January 2013, Kimmel was honored with a star on Hollywood Blvd's Walk of Fame. In 2012 he hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards and the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, DC.
After 12 years in morning radio, Kimmel got his start in television as co-host of "Win Ben Stein's Money" on Comedy Central, for which he won an Emmy for Best Game Show Host in 1999. He co-hosted, co-created and executive-produced 100 episodes of "The Man Show" for Comedy Central. Kimmel also served for four seasons as on-air prognosticator for "Fox NFL Sunday," co-created, executive-produced and co-starred in "Crank Yankers" for Comedy Central/MTV, and co-created and executive-produced "The Andy Milonakis Show" for MTV and MTV2.
HOMETOWN Las Vegas, NV
BIRTHDATE November 13
"Switched at Birth" tells the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing at an early age due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a working class neighborhood. Despite overwhelming socio-economic and ethnic differences, both families must learn to co-exist as parents and blend their lives into one for the sake of their daughters.
The third season of ABC Family's Peabody Award-winning drama series airs Mondays, 8:00PM - 9:00PM ET/PT. Senior year means big changes for Bay and Daphne, as the Carlton School for the Deaf receives an influx of hearing students who are not happy to be there. Daphne begins working at a free clinic as part of her probation from the Senator Coto blackmail scandal, and Bay takes an art class at a local college. Toby tries to unite a divided Carlton by coaching girls' field hockey, and the parents face the specter of the impending empty nest in unexpected ways. RJ Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), Max Adler ("Glee"), Sandra Bernhard ("Roseanne"), and Alec Mapa ("Ugly Betty") will guest star throughout the season.
"Switched at Birth" has been honored with a Peabody Award as well as a Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming and an Imagen Award for Best Primetime Program. The series has also won AFTRA's (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) American Scene "Crystal Award(r)", the Producers Guild of America George Sunga Award and a Gracie Award.
"Switched at Birth" is executive-produced by Lizzy Weiss ("Blue Crush"), Paul Stupin ("Make It or Break It"), and John Ziffren ("Melissa & Joey," "The Fosters"). The series stars Katie Leclerc as Daphne Vasquez; Vanessa Marano ("Gilmore Girls") as Bay Kennish; Constance Marie ("George Lopez") as Regina Vasquez; D.W. Moffett ("Friday Night Lights") as John Kennish; Lea Thompson ("Back to the Future," "Caroline in the City") as Kathryn Kennish; Lucas Grabeel ("High School Musical") as Toby Kennish; Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe; and Gilles Marini ("Brothers and Sisters") as Angelo Sorrento with guest star Marlee Matlin ("The West Wing").
Creator/Executive Producer/Writer on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Lizzy Weiss is the creator and executive producer of ABC Family's groundbreaking drama "Switched at Birth." Weiss' inspiration for the show came in part from her own life. She studied sign language in college, and she thought of the "switched" premise while pregnant with her daughter and already a mother to an 18 month old son, wondering what it would be like to find out that the child she had raised was not in fact her own.
Prior to "Switched at Birth," Weiss wrote pilots for ABC, FOX, WB, CW, MTV, E, N, Lifetime, and HBO. She also wrote the surf-girl hit film "Blue Crush," and has written features for Paramount, Universal, MGM, MTV and Disney. She received the Gracie Award in 2012 for her work on "Switched at Birth" and proudly accepted the Peabody Award in 2013 on behalf of the show.
Weiss lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Dan, and their two children, Zane and Imogen.
Executive Producer on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Paul Stupin is one of the executive producers of ABC Family's award-winning series "Switched at Birth."
After graduating Williams College with a degree in English, Stupin began his television career in series development at NBC. From NBC, he segued to feature films at TriStar Pictures, then returned to television as the executive vice president of Programming at Fox. While at Fox, he oversaw the creation and development of "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "In Living Color."
Stupin moved from being an executive to a producer and his first show, "Dawson's Creek," became an instant hit. After executive-producing every episode of "Dawson's Creek," Stupin produced pilots for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW. He was also an executive producer on ABC Family's "Make It or Break It" and developed the groundbreaking "Beautiful People" for ABC Family and "In Plain Sight" for USA.
Daphne Vasquez on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Katie Leclerc (La-clair) grew up in Lakewood, Colorado, the youngest of three siblings in a close-knit family. In grade school, her spunky personality and megawatt smile won her the lead role in a production of "Annie." It was in this play that she discovered her passion for acting, while juggling other after-school activities such as basketball, choir and dance. When her family moved to San Diego, Leclerc continued to pursue theatre at Valley Center High. She started booking commercials -- Pepsi, Cingular, Comcast, and GE. Then she got her first big break, a role on the cult favorite TV show, "Veronica Mars," starring Kristen Bell.
Leclerc has continued to work in television. Her TV credits include "The Riches," "The Ex-List" and "The Hard Times of RJ Berger." She starred in the feature film "The Inner Circle" and was also in the feature "Flying By," with Billy Ray Cyrus. At home she loves to cook, and is excellent at it. You can often find her hiking away the calories from her sinfully delicious concoctions on one of L.A.'s hidden trails.
Katie Leclerc has Ménière's disease, a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo and tinnitus and degenerative hearing loss. Leclerc is fluent in American Sign Language.
Follow Katie Leclerc on Twitter at @KatieLeclerc
Bay Kennish on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Vanessa Marano started acting in the theater when she was seven years old, performing in numerous plays at A.C.T. in Agoura Hills, California. She shortly began her professional career with several national commercials and magazine modeling campaigns.
Vanessa has now been nominated multiple times for a Teen Choice Award for her portrayal of Bay Kennish, the artistic and edgy daughter in the ABC Family Television Critics Award winning show, "Switched at Birth". The series continues to be a huge success and has gone on to win multiple awards including the Peabody Award in 2012. "Switched at Birth" is set to return midseason 2014.
Apart from her current role on "Switched at Birth," Marano is recognized for her roles as April, the daughter of Luke, in the highly popular "Gilmore Girls," and as Francesca, the daughter of the Emmy(r) Award-winning Lisa Kudrow, in the HBO Original series "The Comeback." In the past, she also starred in "Scoundrels" as the scheming, school-skipping daughter of Virginia Madsen. Her impressive resume includes recurring roles in shows including "Dexter," "Without a Trace," "Medium," "Trust Me" and "The Young and The Restless." Guest-starring credits include "Perception", "Grey's Anatomy", "Private Practice", "Parenthood," "Medium," "Love Bites," "Ghost Whisperer," "Past Lives," "Six Feet Under," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Grounded for Life."
In addition to her work on some of television's most prominent series, Marano starred as a young girl who becomes a quadriplegic in the critically acclaimed television movie "The Brooke Ellison Story," directed by Christopher Reeve, and worked with Lucy Liu on a miniseries playing the troubled foster teenager, Immy, in "Marry Me." Her first film was the animated hit "Finding Nemo," followed by the independent films "Easy," "The Clique," "Stopping Power," "Dear Lemon Lima," "The Secret Lives of Dorks" and the edgy Lifetime movie "Restless Virgins," based on the sex scandal that rocked renowned Massachusetts prep school, Milton Academy, in 2005.
Marano speaks Italian and is currently enrolled in college, working around her work schedule. She is also an ambassador for the Christopher Reeve Foundation and supports Global Green and HSUS.
Regina Vasquez on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Constance Marie won a 2013 Imagen Award and 2012 ALMA Award for "Best Supporting Television Actress" for her current role as Regina Vasquez on "Switched at Birth." Marie is also known for her role as the hard-working and devoted wife, Angie, in "George Lopez," for which The Imagen Awards honored her with a Best Actress in a TV Series Award and a nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. She has made guest appearances on "CSI," "The Secret Life of an American Teenager" and "According to Jim," and starred opposite Jodi Lyn O'Keefe and Eric Roberts in The Hallmark Channel movie, "Class." She was the voice of Imelda, the mother of Antonio Banderas' character Puss in the animated film "Puss in Boots."
In her personal life, Marie is mother to three year old daughter Luna Marie Katich. Candid about the difficulties she faced trying to get pregnant and eventually turning to IVF, Marie is determined to reach out to women in similar situations to let them know that they are not alone. In addition to being extremely knowledgeable about pregnancy wellness, she is a vegetarian and organic follower, and also practices a green lifestyle, decorating her daughter's nursery with completely organic and non-toxic materials. She is also currently writing a baby blog for People.com, sharing her experiences and thoughts on trying to conceive, pregnancy, her daughter's first year and green living.
In the debut year of "George Lopez," Marie was also starring in the Golden Globe(r)-nominated series "American Family," alongside Edward James Olmos, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales and Raquel Welch. Her career began when she was a teenager in Los Angeles' underground break-dancing scene. She was selected out of a group of 500 hopefuls to dance on tour with David Bowie. Upon returning to Los Angeles, she was cast as a dancer in the movie "Salsa." The film's choreographer, Kenny Ortega, introduced her to Steve Tisch, who offered Marie her very first acting job, a starring role as Penny on the CBS series "Dirty Dancing."
It wasn't long before she was working in feature films, starring as Toni Sanchez in the New Line film "Mi Familia," directed by Gregory Nava. She won praise from fans for her portrayal of Tejano music legend Selena Quintanilla's mother, Marcella, in the blockbuster film "Selena" (only a year older than her onscreen daughter, Marie had to undergo extensive make-up in order to portray Selena's mother), and also starred in the celebrated film "Tortilla Soup" as the daughter of Raquel Welch. "Tortilla Soup" received an Alma Award nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture.
Television producer Gary David Goldberg soon offered Marie a role as Michael J. Fox's antagonist love interest, Gabby, on the hit series "Spin City." She also played Gabriella Diaz on "Union Square," for which she received an Alma Award nomination for Outstanding Female in a Comedy Series, and portrayed Detective Toni Brigatti for two seasons on the popular series "Early Edition," opposite Kyle Chandler.
Follow Constance Marie on Twitter at @GoConstance.
John Kennish on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
D.W. Moffett has amassed an impressive list of stage and screen credits. A native of the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, he never gave a thought to acting until after he graduated from Stanford University with a degree in International Relations. While he went to work at Chicago's Continental Bank, he also enrolled in an acting class on a dare...and that was the end of his banking career.
Moving along his new career path, Moffett became a founding member of Chicago's Remains Theatre Ensemble, where he starred in, directed and/or produced over 40 productions. He first came to national attention starring in Larry Kramer's landmark AIDS drama, "The Normal Heart," at The Public Theater in New York, opposite Brad Davis. Subsequently he appeared on Broadway in "The Boys of Winter," "The Real Thing" and "Contact." Most recently he appeared with Kevin Spacey in the critically acclaimed production of "The Philadelphia Story" at The Old Vic Theatre in London.
Since making the move to Hollywood, Moffett has divided his time between film and television. Favorite movie roles include appearances in, most recently, "The Sitter" with Jonah Hill, "Thirteen," starring Evan Rachel Wood, "Twisted," starring Ashley Judd and Samuel L. Jackson, and Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic," for which he won a SAG Award. He also starred as a reprehensible entertainment lawyer in Bernardo Bertolucci's "Stealing Beauty." Additional credits include "Falling Down," with Michael Douglas, "Black Widow," opposite Debra Winger, as well as numerous independent films.
Television credits include the landmark TV movie "An Early Frost," as well as series regular roles on "Life is Wild," "Hidden Palms," "Skin," "For Your Love," "Chicago Sons," "The Oldest Rookie," and as the memorable and reviled Joe McCoy on the award-winning series "Friday Night Lights." Most recently, D.W. has had the pleasure of appearing as Fran Drescher's ne'er-do-well boyfriend on "Happily Divorced." D.W. is both delighted and honored to continue his portrayal of John Kennish in the Peabody Award-winning "Switched at Birth."
Follow D.W. Moffett on Twitter at @DWMoffett.
Kathryn Kennish on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Moving between dramatic and comedic roles, Lea Thompson has established a career that encompasses film, television, and theatre. She is perhaps best known for her role in "Back to the Future I, II, and III," and as the title character in the syndicated series "Caroline in the City," for which she won TV Guide and People's Choice Awards. In addition to starring in "Switched at Birth," Thompson has directed an episode of the Peabody Award-winning drama, and will direct another episode for the upcoming season.
A native of Minnesota, Thompson began her career as a professional ballet dancer and performed in more than 45 ballets with the Minnesota Dance Theatre. Her first taste of professional theatre was with the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, in "Madeline and the Gypsies" and "The Little Mermaid." After apprenticing with the Pennsylvania Ballet, she moved to New York at age 20 to pursue an acting career. She was first featured in a supporting role in the motion picture "Jaws 3-D" with Dennis Quaid, followed by a starring role opposite Tom Cruise in "All the Right Moves." Her film career took off after that with the "BTTF" films, "Red Dawn," and the now infamous "Howard The Duck." She met her future husband when he directed her in the John Hughes' film, "Some Kind of Wonderful." Some of her other favorite roles were in "Article 99," "Casual Sex?," "Dennis the Menace," "The Wizard of Loneliness," "Space Camp," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "The Little Rascals," "The Unknown Cyclist," "Fish Don't Blink," "Exit Speed," "Mayor Cupcake" (which featured her two daughters as well), "Thin Ice," "The Trouble with the Truth," Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar," "Ping Pong Summer" with Susan Sarandon, and the most recently shot "Left Behind" playing Nicolas Cage's wife.
Thompson's television highlights include the Showtime original movie "The Right to Remain Silent;" NBC's made-for television movies "The Unspoken Truth," "The Substitute Wife," "Game of Your Life" and the miniseries, "A Will of Their Own," with Thomas Gibson; TNT's original movies, "Montana" and "Nightbreaker" with Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen, for which she received a CableACE nomination; HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" and USA's "Stealing Christmas" with Tony Danza. For Lifetime, Thompson starred in "Stolen Babies" with Mary Tyler Moore, "The Debbie Smith Story/A Life Interrupted," "Love At The Christmas Table" and the recent sequel to the award-winning Lifetime anthology "Five," titled, "Call Me Crazy: A Five Film." Thompson was also featured in the Lifetime series "Intimate Portraits." Her NBC series "Caroline in the City" was must-see TV for four years, followed by the Lifetime series "For the People." She starred in the Hallmark Channel Mystery Film series, "Jane Doe," marking her first directorial achievements on a couple of the series' films. Also for the Hallmark Channel, she starred in "Final Approach," a miniseries with Dean Cain, and "The Cabin," which filmed in Ireland. Notable television guest spots include "Friends," The Larry Sanders Show," "Ed," "Law and Order: SVU," ABC Family's "Greek" and an upcoming episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." For UP TV, Thompson just shot the film, "My Mother's Future Husband," set to air in May 2014.
Theatre highlights include "Bus Stop" at the Pasadena Playhouse; Tony Kushner's "The Illusion" for the Los Angeles Theatre Center; "Long Time Coming" at the Powerhouse Theatre; "Charlie Bacon's Family" at the John Drew Theatre in East Hampton; and "The Trip Back Down" at the Actors' Repertory Theatre. Her personal favorite was as Sally Bowles in both the National Tour and the Broadway Studio 54 production of Sam Mendes' revival of "Cabaret." More recently, Thompson has performed "The Vagina Monologues," the Los Angeles Reprise Series of "I Love My Wife" with Jason Alexander, and was the title character in "Caroline in Jersey" (no relation to "Caroline in the City") at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.
Thompson can often be seen performing for various charity functions around Los Angeles, including Breast Cancer Research's What A Pair, the Alzheimer's Association, the WeSpark Foundation and the Schleroderma Foundation, to name a few. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 24 years, film director Howard Deutch, their two very talented daughters, Zoey and Madelyn Deutch, and a menagerie of dogs, a cat, a rabbit, a tortoise, a parrot, loads of fish and chickens, and several horses.
Follow Lea Thompson on Twitter at @LeaKThompson.
Toby Kennish on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Lucas Grabeel (Gray-beal) began his career in 2003 by moving to Los Angeles from Springfield, Missouri. He first worked on the Disney Channel Original Movies "Halloweentown High" and "Return to Halloweentown." In 2006, he was cast as Ryan Evans in Disney Channel's, "High School Musical," which led to "High School Musical 2," and a feature film, "High School Musical 3: Senior Year." In between films, Grabeel and the cast set out on two international concert tours across North and South America.
Grabeel's television guest appearances include "CSI," "Family Guy," "The Cleveland Show," "Boston Legal," "Veronica Mars" and "Smallville." In 2009, Grabeel made his Broadway debut under the direction of Jason Alexander in "The Fantasticks," also starring Eric McCormick. Some of his other movies include "The Adventures of Food Boy," "Alice Upside Down" and "College Road Trip." In 2008, he appeared in the Academy Award-winning film "Milk," directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Sean Penn. In 2010, Grabeel co-starred in "Virginia," written and directed by Dustin Lance Black and starring Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris.
Follow Lucas Grabeel on Twitter at @MrGrabeel.
Emmett Bledsoe on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Sean Berdy, who was born Deaf, was destined to perform and embraced his deafness as he followed his dream and passion for entertaining. His first stage as a young boy was his parents' bed, where he put on shows for delighted family and friends alongside his younger brother, who would handle DJ and lighting needs for the events.
At a young age, Berdy also became fascinated by magic, honed his skills in the art, and won the top award for young magicians at the World Deaf Magicians Festival held in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Berdy got his first big break in acting when a casting call went out for a young deaf actor for "The Sandlot 2," the comedic sequel to "The Sandlot." His formal acting career launched, he went on to play roles in films including "The Bondage," "The Deaf Family" and "The Legend of the Mountain Man." In addition to films, he has been featured in numerous public service commercials.
In between filming engagements, Berdy has toured the country performing with highly acclaimed musical groups. His inspired dance rendition of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," performed entirely in American Sign Language, proved to be a tremendous hit. He was named Mr. Deaf Teen America, a role which enabled him to make public appearances across the country for one year.
Berdy was nominated for Choice TV Breakout Star in the 2011 Teen Choice Awards for his role as Emmett on "Switched at Birth." Most recently, Berdy worked with Twentieth Century-Fox's "Ice Age: Continental Drift" where he provided an on-camera American Sign Language performance that will play in a picture-in-picture window while the movie plays, which is an industry first.
Follow Sean Berdy on Twitter at @SeanBerdy.
Angelo Sorrento on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Gilles Marini first captivated audiences as Dante, the steamy neighbor living next door to Samantha in the feature film "Sex and the City." He played the object of "Samantha's" desires and quickly became of the object of millions of other women's desires as well. Several choice scenes made Gilles instantly recognizable in the United States and abroad.
During his summer hiatus from the show, Marini filmed director Harris Goldberg's romantic comedy "The List" opposite Jennifer Morrison, Patrick Fugit and Eddie Kaye Thomas. The film is a romantic comedy about a young man who undertakes the task of fulfilling a self-improvement list to secure the girl of his dreams.
Marini recently competed on "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars." He also starred on ABC's marquee family drama "Brothers & Sisters." He portrayed Luc Laurent, a painter and bon vivant who falls in love with Sarah Walker during her time in France and ultimately follows her back to Pasadena.
Gilles has guest starring roles in some of primetimes favorite shows including "Modern Family," "Hot In Cleveland," "Are You There Chelsea?," "Royal Pains" and "Castle." He had an arc on the F/X drama "Nip/Tuck." He played Renaldo Panettiere, Erica Noughton's (played by Vanessa Redgrave) husband and a man concealing disturbing tendencies.
Other television credits include "Dancing with the Stars," "Ugly Betty," "Dirty Sexy Money," "Criminal Minds," and "Windfall." Film credits include "L'une et L'Autre," "One and The Other," and "Pirates of the Caribbean 3."
Marini started his acting career in commercials and print ads and has been in national campaigns for a wide range of brands including Budweiser, Clairol, Coca Cola, Chrysler, GNC, and Infiniti. He is currently the face of the Perry Ellis brand AXIST.
Marini was born in Grasse, France and became an American Citizen in June 2012. He started working in his father's bakery at the age of 8 and continued to do so until he graduated from high school. Upon graduation, Marini joined the French Army and was stationed in Paris as a fireman for the famous Brigade des Sapeurs Pompiers de Paris. It was in Paris where he met Fred Goudon, the famous photographer who introduced him to the world of modeling. After fulfilling his military duties, he decided to go to the United States to learn English while working as a model.
In his spare time, Marini enjoys playing soccer as part of a neighborhood team and as part of the Hollywood United Soccer Team. He played at Wembley Stadium for Soccer Aid 2008 where he scored the most impressive goal in the game. He also donates a lot of his time and resources to the Maximum Hope Foundation, a charity that raises funds for families with terminally ill children. Marini currently resides in California with his wife Carole, son Georges, and daughter Juliana.
Follow Gilles Marini on Twitter at @GillesMarini.
Everyone has secrets... and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) has dedicated her life to protecting and defending the public images of the nation's elite by keeping those secrets under wraps. Pope's team are at the top of their game when it comes to getting the job done for their clients, but it becomes apparent that these "gladiators in suits," who specialize in fixing the lives of other people, have trouble fixing those closest at hand -- their own.
"Scandal" stars Kerry Washington ("Ray") as Olivia Pope, Columbus Short ("Stomp the Yard") as Harrison Wright, Guillermo Diaz ("Half-Baked") as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn ("Ghost") as President Fitzgerald Grant, Jeff Perry ("Grey's Anatomy") as Cyrus, Bellamy Young as First Lady Mellie Grant, Joshua Malina ("West Wing") as David Rosen and Scott Foley ("Felicity") as Captain Jake Ballard.
The series is created by Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice"). Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice") and Mark Wilding are executive producers. Judy Smith is co-executive producer. "Scandal" is produced by ABC Studios and is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel sound.
SHONDA RHIMES, executive producer
Shonda Rhimes is the creator of the hit ABC series "Grey's Anatomy," which chronicles the personal and professional lives of surgical residents in Seattle, and of "Scandal," which revolves around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff. Rhimes also created the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff series "Private Practice," which ran on ABC for six seasons.
In its tenth season, "Grey's Anatomy" continues to be hailed by audiences and critics. For her work on the series, Rhimes received the 2007 Television Producer of the Year by the Producers Guild of America, the 2007 Golden Globe for Outstanding Television Drama, the 2007 Lucy Award for Excellence in Television from Women in Film, consecutive wins from 2007-2011 for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series -- as well as five wins for Outstanding Drama Series -- the 2006 Writers Guild Award for Best New Series, in addition to Emmy nominations for Outstanding Drama Series and Writing for a Drama Series. For "Scandal" Rhimes was the 2013 winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series and received a nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. She was the recipient of the 2012 GLAAD Golden Gate Award, the 2010 RAINN Hope Award and is a 2009 GLSEN Respect Awards Honoree. Additionally for "Private Practice" Rhimes received the Television Academy Honors Award in 2010 and 2011 as well as the Prism Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in 2011. She has twice been included in TIME Magazine's 100 list of the most influential people.
Aside from her success with network television, Rhimes wrote the feature film "Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement," released in August 2004 by Disney. In addition her original script, "Crossroads," was released in 2002 by Paramount. She also co-wrote "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," produced by HBO and nominated for numerous awards, and for which Halle Berry won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for Best Actress in a miniseries for her portrayal of Dandridge. In 2004 Rhimes created her production company Shondaland.
Rhimes worked as research director on the Tollin-Robbins/Mundy Lane documentary "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream." It was nominated for an Emmy Award, an Academy Award and won the Peabody as well as the NAACP Image Award. She has been a guest speaker at the USC School of Cinema-Television, where she taught a course in scene writing.
Rhimes holds a BA from Dartmouth College in English literature with creative writing. As director of Dartmouth's Black Underground Theatre and Arts Association, her work earned her numerous awards for excellence. She received her MFA from the USC School of Cinema-Television, where she was awarded the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship.
The child of educators, Rhimes blames her parents for her rampant addiction to books. The youngest of six, she was born and raised outside of Chicago, IL, and now resides in Los Angeles with her two daughters.
BETSY BEERS, executive producer
Betsy Beers is the executive producer of the hit ABC shows "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal." Beers is a partner in Shonda Rhimes' company, Shondaland, and together the two women develop and produce additional feature film and television projects.
"Grey's Anatomy," embarking on its tenth season this fall, continues to be hailed by audiences and critics alike. The show has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Television Series, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series and a Writers Guild of America Award for Best New Series.
For her work on "Grey's Anatomy," Beers and her fellow producers were awarded the 2007 Producer of the Year Award from the Producers Guild of America, the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series Drama, and received 2006 and 2007 Emmy nominations for Outstanding Drama Series. Beers has been nominated three times by the Producers Guild of America for their Television Producer of the Year Award.
Beers was also an executive producer on the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff series "Private Practice," starring Kate Walsh, which ran on ABC for six seasons. Most recently Beers, with Shondaland, executive-produced the hit political drama "Scandal" for ABC. The critically acclaimed series starring Kerry Washington revolves around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff. During the first two seasons, "Scandal" has developed a rampant and loyal fan base that dominates all social media platforms during the broadcast, engaging the cast and producers in conversation about each episode. "Scandal" returns with its third season this fall.
Before her exclusive foray into television, Beers was President of the Mark Gordon Company, overseeing the development and production of its feature film and television ventures, including the development of "Grey's Anatomy." In addition she produced the feature films "The Hoax," starring Richard Gere, and "Casanova," with Heath Ledger, both directed by Lasse Hallström.
Previously Beers was President of director Mike Newell's Dogstar Films, where she produced the films "200 Cigarettes," starring a stellar young cast including Ben Affleck, Dave Chapelle and Kate Hudson, and "Best Laid Plans," starring Reese Witherspoon. She also developed such films as the cult movie "High Fidelity," directed by Stephen Frears and starring John Cusack, as well as "Pushing Tin," with Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett and Angelina Jolie. Beers also served as executive producer on the movies "Safe Passage," with Susan Sarandon, and "Witchhunt," starring Dennis Hopper, with producer Gale Ann Hurd.
Olivia Pope on ABC's "Scandal"
Kerry Washington is a versatile and fearless actress who continues to shine on both the big screen and small. The Bronx, NY native has received high acclaim for her work on stage, on television and on film.
Washington debuted in 2000 in the highly acclaimed independent film "Our Song," and later in the film "Save the Last Dance," for which she received a Teen Choice Award for Best Breakout Performance. Her role in the 2002 film "Lift" earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress. In the years following her debut, Washington starred in several additional films, including "Bad Company," "The United States of Leland," "The Human Stain," "Sin," "Against the Rope" and "She Hate Me."
In 2004 Washington starred alongside Jamie Foxx in the Academy Award-nominated hit "Ray," earning an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. Subsequently she appeard in "Sexual Life," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "Fantastic Four," "Littleman," "The Dead Girl,"
"I Think I Love My Wife," "Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer," "Miracle at St. Anna," "Life is Hot in Cracktown" and "Mother and Child." She received NAACP Image Award nominations for her performances in "The Last King of Scotland" in 2006 and in "Night Catches Us" in 2010. Her performance in the 2008 film "Lakeview Terrace" earned her a Best Actress nomination at the BET Awards.
In 2010 Washington starred in the Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls" alongside Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson and Thandie Newton. That year she also made her Broadway debut in David Mamet's "Race," starring James Spader and David Alan Grier. In 2012 she was seen in "The Details," with Tobey Maguire, as well as in "A Thousand Words" alongside Eddie Murphy.
In December 2012, Washington starred in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," opposite Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel Jackson. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Picture. Most recently she starred in the Tyler Perry comedy "Peeples" with Craig Robinson.
In television Washington currently stars in the hit ABC drama "Scandal." For this role, she broke barriers by becoming the first African American woman to headline a network TV show since the 1974 short-lived series, "Get Christie Love." In 2013 she was awarded an NAACP Image Award for her portrayal of Olivia Pope, and the show won for Best Drama. The NAACP also honored Washington with the President's Award, recognizing special achievement in furthering the cause of civil rights and public service.
An activist, Washington was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Committee of the Arts and Humanities in 2009. She also is an active member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls.
Washington is currently a brand ambassador for Movado.
HOMETOWN Bronx, NY
BIRTHDATE January 31
Harrison Wright on ABC's "Scandal"
Columbus Keith Short, Jr. was born in Kansas City, Missouri. At the age of three he began entertaining by putting on shows for his family. In his early teens he appeared in various television commercials, and when he was a senior at Orange County School of the Arts he was offered a part in Broadway's famed "STOMP!" Short would go on to choreograph Britney Spears' "In the Zone" tour, thereby launching his entertainment career.
Short started his acting career in the 2006 releases "Save the Last Dance: 2" and "Accepted," opposite Jonah Hill and Justin Long. In 2007 he had an arc on Aaron Sorkin's critically praised showbiz drama, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and later that year landed the lead role as DJ in Screen Gems' "Stomp the Yard." He also starred in "This Christmas," alongside Idris Elba, Regina King and Chris Brown.
In 2008 Short starred in Darnell Martin's "Cadillac Records," opposite Beyoncé Knowles, Jeffrey Wright and Adrien Brody, as the young and talented harp player and singer Little Walter. He received the NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for this role, legitimizing his abilities both as an actor and a musician, and has gone on to work with Grammy Award-winning producers the Avila Brothers on his much anticipated album, "Act One: Dimes and Dolls." In addition to his vocal skills, Short plays the bass, piano and drums.
Feature film credits include the action flick "Armored," opposite Matt Dillon and Laurence Fishburne, and he starred alongside Kate Beckinsale in Dark Castle's adaption of the comic book "Whiteout," released in 2009. Additional film credits include "The Losers," "Death at a Funeral," and "Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming."
Short also has a passion for writing and producing television and film, having executive-produced "Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming" and "Strange Fruit" through his production company, Great Picture Show Productions.
He currently resides in Los Angeles.
HOMETOWN Kansas City, MO
BIRTHDATE September 19
Huck on ABC's "Scandal"
Guillermo Diaz is an accomplished actor who has transitioned seamlessly from television to film and from comedy to drama.
Diaz can currently be seen on Shonda Rhimes' hit ABC drama "Scandal" as Huck, a former CIA assassin who gives up his deadly ways to join Olivia Pope & Associates and erase the problems of Washington DC's elite.
On the big screen Diaz first rose to acclaim in 1998 after starring as Scarface in the cult classic film, "Half Baked," opposite Dave Chappelle and Jim Breuer. Additional film credits include Ethan Hawke's "Chelsea Walls," Stephen Spielberg's "The Terminal," "Cop Out," "Party Girl," "Stonewall," "200 Cigarettes" and "High School High."
No stranger to television, Diaz starred on the Emmy-nominated Showtime hit "Weeds," as Guillermo. He also starred on the NBC drama "Mercy" and has appeared on Comedy Central's "Chappelle's Show."
Diaz currently resides in Los Angeles.
HOMETOWN New York City, NY
BIRTHDATE March 22
Abby Whelan on ABC's "Scandal"
Prior to "Scandal," Darby Stanchfield was best known for her role as Helen Bishop on AMC's Emmy Award-winning drama "Mad Men."
The daughter of a commercial fisherman, Stanchfield grew up in a remote fishing village, Dutch Harbor, Alaska (where "The Deadliest Catch" films.) She has a Master of Fine Arts from The American Conservatory Theatre.
In addition to "Mad Men," her television credits include recurring roles such as Shannon Gibbs, Sgt. Gibbs (Mark Harmon's) first wife, in "NCIS;" 'Meredith aka: the deep fried twinkie" (Nathan Fillion's ex-wife) on "Castle"; and DR. April Green on "Jericho." Other credits include "How I Met Your Mother," "Burn Notice," "CSI: NY," "CSI: Miami," "24," "Bones," "Private Practice," "Nip/Tuck," "Without a Trace," "The Mentalist" and "Monk."
Stanchfield was seen in Adrienne Shelley's critically acclaimed "Waitress," opposite Nathan Fillion and Keri Russell, and also co-starred with Josh Duhamel in an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray."
Stanchfield has recorded a number of radio plays for NPR, including Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues," with Josh Radnor and Justine Bateman, produced by LA Theatre Works. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
HOMETOWN Dutch Harbor, AK
BIRTHDATE April 29
Quinn Perkins on ABC's "Scandal"
Katie Lowes has been acting and singing for as long as she can remember. A graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, she was cast in the mainstage play "Four Saints in Mexico" and quickly landed her first break as a small role in the pilot "Rescue Me," followed by "Hate," opposite Marcia Gay Harden. Since then, Lowes has established herself as a talented young actress in film, television and on stage.
Early in her career Lowes guest starred in television series including "Guiding Light," "Damage Control," "As the World Turns," "The Sopranos" and "NCIS." In 2008 she landed a series regular role as Brandy Buffkin on the CW's "Easy Money." She made it to the big screen with featured roles in DreamWorks' "Transformers 2" and Bad Robot's "Super 8," directed by JJ Abrams.
Loweswent on to land roles in several independent films, including "Dinner for Four," "The Job," "Callers," "Bear" and "Café." Her recent television credits include roles on hit shows "Royal Pains," "The Closer," "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "Castle" and "Leverage."
In addition to her accomplishments as an actress, Lowes is a founding member of IAMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles, where she resides with her husband.
HOMETOWN Queens, NY
BIRTHDATE September 22
President Fitzgerald Grant on ABC's "Scandal"
Actor, director, producer Tony Goldwyn is taking multi-tasking to a new level. Currently starring as President Fitzgerald Grant in Shonda Rhimes' latest hit series "Scandal," Goldwyn has other projects in the works as well. He co-created and will executive-produce a new, as yet untitled series for AMC Studios, which was picked up by the WE network. Goldwyn directed the pilot, while partner Richard LaGravenese wrote the script. In addition, while on hiatus from "Scandal," Goldwyn filmed the highly anticipated feature "Divergent," based on the book by Veronica Roth. He joins an all-star cast that includes Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet and Ashley Judd. Directed by Neil Burger, Summit Entertainment will release the movie in the spring of 2014.
During the second season of "Scandal" he directed an episode of the show in which he was also prominently featured. This was not the first time Goldwyn has directed himself; he guided his own death scene in "Dexter." He's also helmed other prestigious small screen shows such as "Justified," "Law & Order," "Damages," "Grey's Anatomy" and "The L Word."
Goldwyn made an auspicious feature directorial debut with "A Walk on the Moon," starring Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to receive universal praise from critics. He first read Pamela Gray's script five years earlier and shepherded it through multiple drafts until Dustin Hoffman came on board as a producer and got the project financed. Coincidentally when Gray originally wrote the screenplay as her master's thesis at UCLA Film School, she won the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award - an honor established by Goldwyn's paternal grandfather, the legendary film producer.
Additional feature directing credits include "The Last Kiss," based on Gabriele Muccino's "L'Ultimo Bacio," for which Goldwyn received Best Director from the Boston Film Festival, and the romantic comedy "Someone Like You." His last effort, "Conviction," earned Hilary Swank a SAG Award nomination, won Best Film at the Boston Film Festival and was awarded a Freedom of Expression honor from the National Board of Review.
As an actor, Goldwyn first caught audiences' attention with his portrayal of the villain in the box office smash "Ghost." He went on to appear in numerous other films, including "The Pelican Brief," with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, "Kiss The Girls," Oliver Stone's "Nixon," "The Substance of Fire," "The Last Samurai," opposite Tom Cruise, and the recent remake of Wes Craven's classic "The Last House on the Left." He is also familiar to children as the title voice in Disney's animated feature "Tarzan."
His other television acting credits include "The Good Wife," "Dexter," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Without a Trace," "The L Word," the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon," "Frasier," "Murphy Brown" and "Designing Women," where he touchingly portrayed the first AIDS victim on a primetime series.
Goldwyn began his acting career on the stage, spending seven seasons at the Williamstown Theater Festival. His New York theater credits include "The Water's Edge" at the 2nd Stage Theater, "The Dying Gaul" at the Vineyard Theater, "Holiday" at The Circle in the Square opposite Laura Linney, "Spike Heels" with Kevin Bacon at 2nd Stage, "The Sum of Us" at the Cherry Lane Theater -- for which he earned an Obie Award -- and "Digby" at the Manhattan Theater Club. His most recent stage credit was starring in the revival of the hit musical "Promises, Promises" on Broadway.
HOMETOWN New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA
BIRTHDATE May 20
Cyrus Beene on ABC's "Scandal"
Jeff Perry is an actor, teacher and co-founder of Steppenwolf Films, The School at Steppenwolf, Steppenwolf Classes West and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he has served as artistic director. He has acted and directed in more than forty Steppenwolf productions.
His directing credits at Steppenwolf include "The Hothouse," "Little Egypt," "A Moon for the Misbegotten," "Educating Rita" (also at NY's West Side Arts Theatre) and "The Homecoming."
Acting credits at Steppenwolf include "Balm in Gilead," "The Time of Your Life," "Picasso at Lapin Agile," the 1990 Tony award-winning "The Grapes of Wrath," and the 2008 Pulitzer prize-winning "August: Osage County," for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play. In 2012 Perry was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor for his work in the off Broadway hit "Tribes."
In addition to his accomplishments in the theater, Perry has also achieved success on the big screen and television. After moving to Los Angeles, he appeared in several films, including "Remember My Name," "A Wedding," "The Grifters," "Storyville" and "Wild Things."
His numerous television credits include his role as Inspector Harvey Leek on the crime drama "Nash Bridges." Perry played Meredith Grey's estranged father, Thatcher Grey, on the popular drama "Grey's Anatomy." In addition, to recurring roles on "My So-Called Life," "Chicago Hope" and "Prison Break," his TV guest star appearances include "Lost," "West Wing," "The Practice," "Fringe" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."
HOMETOWN Highland Park, IL
BIRTHDATE August 16
First Lady Mellie Grant on ABC's "Scandal"
Born the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, Bellamy Young graduated from Yale University with dual degrees in English and theater studies, and also holds a certificate from Oxford University in England.
Young moved to New York City after college to follow her first love, singing. She starred on Broadway as Mary in Cy Coleman's "The Life" and as Meg in the revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along." Other favorite theater credits include playing Margaret in the world premiere of Randy Newman's "Faust" and LouAnn in the world premiere of Landford Wilson's "Book of Days." Then she made her television debut on the soap "Another World."
After New York, Young moved to Los Angeles, landing roles in the feature films "We Were Soldiers" with Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe and Greg Kinnear, and in JJ Abrams' "Mission: Impossible: 3," with Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames and Keri Russell, as well as in a number of independent films. After returning to Los Angeles, she began her career in primetime television, and to date has appeared in over 40 television series, including "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "Two and a Half Men," "The West Wing," "ER," "Frasier," "Boston Legal," "Cold Case," "NCIS" and "Law & Order."
Young is best known for her roles in "Criminal Minds," "CSI: Miami," "Scrubs" and "Dirty Sexy Money." An animal rescue advocate, she works closely with The Humane Society of The United States, and Best Friends. She currently resides in Los Angeles, and is working on a recording an album.
HOMETOWN Asheville, NC
BIRTHDATE February 19
David Rosen on ABC's "Scandal"
After graduating from Yale University with a BA in theatre, Joshua Malina made his professional acting debut in the Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin's "A Few Good Men." He went on to star as Jeremy Goodwin in the critically acclaimed television series, "Sports Night," and later co-starred as Will Bailey in Sorkin's multi-Emmy-winning "The West Wing." Other Sorkin credits include the features "The Amercian President" and "Malice."
Elsewhere in film, Malina appeared in the comedy "A View from the Top," with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mike Meyers, "In the Line of Fire," opposite Clint Eastwood, and "Bulworth," with Warren Beatty and Halle Berry.
A co-creator and executive producer of the hit show "Celebrity Poker Showdown" on Bravo, Malina is also the writer-creator of the Crackle webseries "Backwash." For three seasons he played the role of Peter Alpert on the USA series "In Plain Sight," and he can be seen in the upcoming films "Kings of Badassdom" and "The Young Kieslowski."
HOMETOWN New Rochelle, NY
BIRTHDATE January 17
Juan Pablo Galavis, the sexy single father from Miami, Florida, is ready to find love. He'll have his own opportunity to find his wife and stepmother to his daughter when he stars in the 18th edition of "The Bachelor" which returns in January of 2014 on the ABC Television Network. The identity of the new "Bachelor" was revealed tonight on the "The Bachelorette - After the Final Rose."
With his Spanish accent, good looks, salsa moves and undying devotion for his daughter, Juan Pablo, 32, was a fan favorite. Sadly, Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock couldn't see a future with Juan Pablo and sent him home from Barcelona. Although he was blindsided by not getting a rose, the experience of being on "The Bachelorette" opened his eyes to the possibility of finding a real, everlasting love. He witnessed firsthand how it worked with Desiree, and has decided that he can't give up on love and on giving his daughter, Camila, what she wants more than anything else in the world - a brother and a sister to complete their family. Juan Pablo is ready and hopeful that he'll find love and the missing puzzle piece to fulfill his family here on "The Bachelor."
Hosted by Chris Harrison, "The Bachelor" is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are the executive producers.
"The Bachelor" is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with stereo sound.