Tagged: Night At The Museum

Robin Williams

The world awoke this morning to the news that Hollywood had lost one of its greats. Many comedians of the years have tried to make the switch to film acting, arguably none of them were as successful with the transition as Robin McLaurin Williams who a whole generation of film lovers had grown up watching, laughing.

Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois on the 21st July, 1951 the son of Robert Fitzgerald Williams (a Senior Executive at Ford) and Laura McLaurin (a former model). As a child Williams was extremely shy at it was only getting involved with his High School drama group that saw the condition dissipate. His love for acting grew and after attending College Of Marin, where he studied theatre, in 1973 he was accepted into the Juilliard School and was soon accepted by John Houseman into the School’s Advanced Program alongside Christopher Reeve.

After leaving Juilliard in 1976 Williams was cast on the short lived NBC show The Richard Pryor Show before being cast to play an alien called Mork in the hit show Happy Days. His performance received high praise and was so popular with fans that a spin-off was created. Hence Mork & Mindy was born and during the shows’ run on television from 1978-1982 Robin Williams became a cult favourite and soon his image was being used on stationary and lunch boxes right across the United States.

At the peak of Mork & Mindy’s succsess in 1980 Williams was cast to play another cult figure and ended up playing Popeye in the Robert Altman directed movie version of Popeye which also starred Shelley Duvall. After filming of Mork & Mindy ended in 1982 Williams found himself starring in a string of films including The World According To Garp, The Survivors, Moscow On The Hudson, The Best Of Times, Club Paradise and Seize The Day before landing the role that really showed Hollywood that a star had been born – his first Oscar nominated performance playing radio DJ Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam.

Williams also received Oscar nominations in 1990 for Dead Poet’s Society and again in 1991 for The Fisher King. With Williams now considered one of the top actors in Hollywood he showed the world just how skilful he could be by taking on a myriad of different roles. From voicing characters in legendary animated films such as Aladdin and FernGully: The Lost Rainforest, to stealing the comedy limelight in Mrs. Doubtfire, to becoming a family favourite with Flubber and even delivering the work of The Bard in Hamlet it seemed like there was no role that Robin Williams couldn’t play.

In 1997 Williams teamed up with some young stars named Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and the result was Good Will Hunting a film that saw him win the 1998 Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Since then Williams has again shown just how skilful he is by taking on so many various roles over the years. From outrageous comedies like Patch Adams, RV and Old Dogs to serious roles in films like One Hour Photo, Insomnia and Lee Daniel’s The Butler. Williams also kept his mantle as a family-friendly actor with memorable roles in Bicentennial Man, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Robots, two Happy Feet films and the Night At The Museum franchise.

At the time of his death on the 11th August 2014 Williams was currently starring in hit television series The Crazy Ones alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar and was also filming the latest installment of Night At The Museum. He was 63 years old and currently married to Susan Schneider.

Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller is one of those actors/directors that has had a love/hate relationship with the entertainment industry over the years. While he hasn’t always been received with praise by critics for his work his work on films such as ‘Zoolander’, ‘Tropic Thunder’ and the amazingly successful ‘Fockers’ franchise has seen him gain a legion of fans that have always made sure that his films do well at the box office.

Benjamin Edward ‘Ben’ Stiller was born on the 30th Nov, 1965, in New York City. He was born into a family that was already firmly entrenched in the entertainment world. His father, Jerry Stiller was already known as a major film star and over the last decade has won over more fans with his dual roles of angry fathers in both ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘King Of Queens’. His mother, Anne Meara is also an accomplished actress who has appeared in films such as ‘The Daytrippers’ and ‘Sex And City: The Movie’.

From a very early age it was obvious that Ben was going to follow in his famous parents’ footsteps and he began making films with a Super 8 camera when he was just ten years old. This soon turned him to doing some work with a children’s theater and eventually guest starring in his mother’s television series ‘Kate McShane’. Just to show that a family that acts together stays together Ben has worked with sister, Amy on ‘Reality Bites’,’ Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’ and ‘Zoolander’, his mother on ‘Zoolander’ and ‘Night At The Museum’ and his father on ‘Zoolander’, ‘Heavyweights’, ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘The Heartbreak Kid’.

While he was studying at The Cathederal School of St. John The Divine and later the Calhoun School Stiller started to develop an interest in stand-up comedy and started to get work on the cabaret circuit and won a role in the soap opera ‘Guiding Light’. After he graduated from high school he went on to study film at UCLA but soon dropped out and instead started to build a successful theater career that saw him act in some Tony Award winning productions.

Soon he was getting television and film work in ‘Empire Of The Sun’, ‘Miami Vice’ and ‘Frasier’ while his work on ‘Saturday Night Live’ saw MTV sign him up to make ‘The Ben Stiller Show’ which ended up winning an Emmy Award.

While this show started to see him win over some fans he became a household name after his work on ‘Reality Bites’ a film which also starred Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder. Despite this being a serious film he soon made a niche for himself in comedy films like ‘Happy Gilmore’, ‘The Cable Guy’, ‘There’s Something About Mary’, ‘Mystery Men’, ‘Meet The Parents’, ‘Zoolander’, ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, ‘Along Came Polly’, ‘Starsky & Hutch’, ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’, ‘Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy’, ‘Meet The Fockers’, ‘Night At The Museum’, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’, ‘Tropic Thunder’, ‘Night At The Museum 2’, ‘Little Fockers’ and ‘Tower Heist’. He has done fine work as a voice actor on the popular ‘Madagascar’ animated franchise.

Stiller has also directed and produced a number of his projects over the years and has won a number of awards including an American Comedy Award and of course an Emmy Award for ‘The Ben Stiller Show’. He also well known for working with his frat pack that consists of Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson and Steve Carrell.

When it comes to his personal life Stiller has amazingly been able to keep a lot of aspects of his life private, although it is known that he has dated people including Amanda Peet, Calista Flockhart and Jeanne Tripplehorn over the years before marrying Christine Taylor (who he has appeared in ‘Heat Vision And Jack’, ‘Zoolander’, ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’ and ‘Tropic Thunder’ with) in May, 2000. Together they have two children – Ella Olivia Stiller (born 9th April, 2002) and Quinn Dempsey (born 10th July, 2005). Quinn has already joined his father and done some voice work on the ‘Madagascar’ franchise.

There is also a political and activism side to Ben Stiller. He has been loud in his protest against Japanese whaling and the slaughter of dolphins and in 2004 he donated money to John Kerry’s election campaign. He backed this with later supporting Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

There is no doubting that when people look back over Ben Stiller’s career they will see that he is one of the most successful comedic actors of modern times and he’s about to find more success at the box office with another ‘Zoolander’ and ‘Madagascar’ film set to hit the screens over the next couple of years.