National Adoption Awareness Month: Sharon Stone!

From Wikipedia:

Sharon Vonne Stone (born March 10, 1958) is an American actress, producer, and former fashion model. After modelling in television commercials and print advertisements, she made her film debut as an extra in Woody Allen’s dramedy Stardust Memories (1980). Her first speaking part was in Wes Craven’s horror film Deadly Blessing (1981), and throughout the 1980s, Stone went on to appear in films such as Irreconcilable Differences (1984), King Solomon’s Mines (1985), Cold Steel (1987), and Above the Law (1988). She found mainstream prominence with her part in Paul Verhoeven’s action film Total Recall (1990).

Stone became a sex symbol and rose to international recognition when she starred as Catherine Tramell in another Verhoeven film, the erotic thriller Basic Instinct (1992), for which she earned her first Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. She received further critical acclaim with her performance in Martin Scorsese’s crime drama Casino (1995), garnering the Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Stone received two more Golden Globe Award nominations for her roles in The Mighty (1998) and The Muse (1999). Her other notable film roles include Sliver (1993), The Specialist (1994), The Quick and the Dead (1995), Last Dance (1996), Sphere (1998), Catwoman (2004), Broken Flowers (2005), Alpha Dog (2006), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Bobby (2006), Lovelace (2013), Fading Gigolo (2013), and The Disaster Artist (2017). In 1995, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2005, she was named Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.

On television, Stone has had notable performances in the mini-series War and Remembrance (1987) and the made-for-HBO film If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000). She made guest-appearances in The Practice (2004), winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, and in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2010). She has also starred in the action drama series Agent X (2015) and the murder mystery series Mosaic (2017).

On February 14, 1998, Stone married Phil Bronstein, executive editor of The San Francisco Examiner and later San Francisco Chronicle. They adopted a baby son, Roan Joseph Bronstein, in 2000

***

download (1)

***

frontcover“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival

Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.

 

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry

Advertisements

National Adoption Awareness Month: Sandra Bullock

From Wikipedia:

Sandra Annette Bullock is an American actress, producer, and philanthropist. After making her acting debut with a minor role in the thriller Hangmen (1987), she received early attention for her performance in the sci-fi action film Demolition Man (1993). Her breakthrough came in the action thriller Speed (1994). A line of successful films followed throughout the 1990s, including While You Were Sleeping (1995), The Net (1995), A Time to Kill (1996), and Hope Floats (1998).

Bullock achieved further success in the following decades in Miss Congeniality (2000), Two Weeks Notice (2002), Crash (2004), The Proposal (2009), The Heat (2013), and Ocean’s 8 (2018). She was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy in the biographical drama The Blind Side (2009), and was nominated in the same categories for her performance in the thriller Gravity (2013). Bullock’s greatest commercial success is the animated comedy Minions (2015), which grossed over $1 billion at the box office. In 2007, she was one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses, and in 2015, she ranked as the highest-paid actress. She was also named “Most Beautiful Woman” by People magazine in 2015.

In addition to her acting career, Bullock is the founder of the production company Fortis Films. She has produced some of the films in which she starred, including Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005) and All About Steve (2009). She was an executive producer of the ABC sitcom George Lopez (2002–07), and made several appearances during its run.

Bullock announced on April 28, 2010 that she had proceeded with plans to adopt a son born in January 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.[132] Bullock and James had begun an initial adoption process four months earlier. Bullock’s son began living with them in January 2010, but they chose to keep the news private until after the Oscars in March 2010. However, given the couple’s separation and then divorce, Bullock continued the adoption of her son as a single parent.

In December 2015, Bullock announced that she had adopted a second child, and appeared on the cover of People magazine with her then ​3 1⁄2-year-old new daughter.

***

Sandra_Bullock_kids

From IOL June 4, 2018: https://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/family/parenting/sandra-bullock-reveals-why-she-decided-to-adopt-15312413

Hollywood star Sandra Bullock has revealed that Hurricane Katrina convinced her to adopt children.

The 53-year-old actress has two adopted children – Louis, eight, and Laila, five – and Sandra has admitted that it wasn’t until the deadly tropical storm struck the US in 2005 that she became convinced parenthood was her destiny.

A teary-eyed Sandra – whose son was born in New Orleans, which was devastated by the natural disaster – explained: “I did think, ‘Maybe not.’ Then [Hurricane] Katrina happened. I’m going to cry … Katrina happened in New Orleans and something told me, ‘My child is there.’ It was weird.”

Despite her initial doubts about becoming a parent, Sandra – whose divorce from Jesse James was finalized in 2010 – immediately felt comfortable with her child in her arms.

Speaking to the ‘Today’ show, the Hollywood actress recalled: “I looked at him like, ‘Oh, there you are.’ It was like he had always been there.

“He fit in the crook of my arm. He looked me in the eyes. He was wise. My child was wise.”

Sandra was initially unsure about what to expect from mother.

But the ‘Ocean’s 8’ star admitted that a lot of the advice she’s received over the years only made sense the moment she looked at her child for the first time.

Sandra said: “The beautiful thing that I was constantly told was, ‘The perfect child will find you. You will find your child.’ But you don’t believe that when it’s not happening. When you’re going, ‘Where is my family?’

“When it does happen, you know exactly what they’re talking about.”

And it was Sandra’s son Louis who convinced the actress to adopt for a second time in 2015.

During a conversation between Sandra and some of her friends, who were discussing their daughters, a then three-year-old Louis said: “Yeah, I don’t have daughters. But I’m going to have a baby soon.”

Sandra added: “I realised at that time, maybe he knew something. And when I think about it, it would have been around the time that Laila was born.”

***

frontcover

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival

Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.

 

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry

National Adoption Awareness Month: Mary-Louise Parker!

From Wikipedia:

Mary-Louise Parker (born August 2, 1964) is an American actress and writer. After making her stage debut as Rita in a Broadway production of Craig Lucas’s Prelude to a Kiss in 1990 (for which she received a Tony Award nomination), Parker came to prominence for film roles in Grand Canyon (1991), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), The Client (1994), Bullets over Broadway (1994), Boys on the Side (1995), The Portrait of a Lady (1996), and The Maker (1997). Among stage and independent film appearances thereafter, Parker received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Catherine Llewellyn in David Auburn’s Proof in 2001, among other accolades. Between 2001 and 2006, she recurred as Amy Gardner on the NBC television series The West Wing, for which she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2002.

After receiving both Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Harper Pitt on the acclaimed HBO television miniseries Angels in America in 2003, Parker went on to enjoy large success as Nancy Botwin, the lead role on the television series Weeds, which ran from 2005 to 2012 and for which she received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series between 2007 and 2009 and received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2006.

Her later film appearances include roles in The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Red (2010), R.I.P.D. (2013), and Red 2 (2013). Since 2007, Parker has contributed articles to Esquire magazine and published her memoir, Dear Mr. You, in 2015. In 2017, she starred as Roma Guy on the ABC television miniseries When We Rise.

In September 2007, Parker adopted a baby girl, Caroline Aberash Parker, from Ethiopia

***

MLP adotps

From 2008, People Magazine, an article by Alastair Macpherson:

Mary-Louise Parker often reflects back on her childhood, wishing her parents would adopt a sibling and promising herself that someday, she would adopt a child of her own. Now mom to Caroline “Ash” Aberash, 2, the 44-year-old actress says the adoption from Africa was a dream fulfilled. “I think it’s something everyone should do if they can and wantto,” Mary-Louise said Saturday night at the New Yorker Festival in New York City.

“I can’t adopt 500 children, but I did adopt this one beautiful little girl and it was an amazing thing. Especially after having been to a Third World country, and having seenthe desperation there, and the need, and all the children, and holdingthose children and seeing them and touching them.”

Mary-Louise said that she recognizes that the need for adoptive parents is just as great in the United States as it is abroad, but believes every child should have a chance at a great life, regardless of geography:

“I hear the comment, “Why not adopt from this country?” There’s a lot of need in this country. And I think if you want to adopt anywhere it’s a beautiful thing, but it’s not a contest. So you shouldn’t say “Why don’t you adopt this child over that child.” A child is a child and every child deserves to be loved.

If was a contest, however, a Third World country is different from, say, Baltimore. It’s different when there are dead bodies by the side of the road and parents having to amputate their children’s limbs so children can beg to get money, and mothers are having to sell their daughters into sex slavery. It’s a different thing, so I don’t think you should make it a contest when it comes to children, and who’s deserving of love and who’s deserving of a family. Every child is deserving of that.”

***

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival

Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.

 

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry

John Bluthal: Vicar of Dibley, Hard Day’s Night, Help; dies aged 89

VoD

https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/john-bluthal-dead-vicar-dibleys-13605877.amp?fbclid=IwAR09R1riBV4vrqkEYQx5DKucaCq12kvow_8C–z3m03IlAYLHJNrwQjI4n8’’

What a very sad week – now we mourn the death of John Bluthal – who played Frank Pickle on the Vicar of Dibley as well as appearing in Hard Day’s Night (as a car thief)

46456236_2023507311033490_1718588351260393472_n

 

 

 

and in Help (as the hilarious Bhuta)

46441036_2023507317700156_3688396520849145856_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BY VICKI NEWMAN

The actor’s sad passing was confirmed by his agent, who hopes fans will remember the years of laughter and entertainment he brought them

John Bluthal has died at the age of 89.

The Vicar of Dibley star, who played Frank Pickle in Dawn French’s sitcom, passed away on Thursday evening.

The sad news was confirmed by his agent, who said in a statement: “We’re sad to announce our wonderful client John Bluthal has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

“John provided us all with years of laughter and entertainment. We will miss John hugely.”

Dawn too paid tribute, sharing a picture of John on Twitter.

She said: “Tons of happy laughs remembered today. Cheeky, naughty, hilarious. Bye darlin Bluey.”

His cause of death is not yet known.

John will be remembered fondly for his role as Frank, and the endlessly long and boring stories his character told to the other residents of the village.

In one touching storyline, Frank came out as gay on the radio, only to find out that hardly anyone had tuned in because they thought he would have droned on too much.

John was born in Poland in 1929 and was forced to flee to Australia with his Jewish family in 1938 to escape the Nazi regime.

He later moved to England in 1956, where he began an acting career both on screen and on stage.

He landed his first big role in Citizen James as Sid James in the 1960s.

He also appeared in big movies such as The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night, Labyrinth and The Fifth Element.

John’s TV career saw him appear in the likes of Jonathan Creek, Last of the Summer Wine, One Foot in the Grave and ‘Allo ‘Allo.

His last acting role was alongside Channing Tatum in Coen Brothers movie Hail! Caesar.

***

About the blogger:

Michael Curry is a life-long Beatles fan and has written the short story “The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles”, available here on Amazon Kindle.

 

National Adoption Awareness Month: Kristin Davis

From Wikipedia:

Kristin Landen Davis (also listed as Kristin Lee Davis; born February 23, 1965) is an American actress. She is known for playing Brooke Armstrong on the soap opera Melrose Place (1995–1996), and Charlotte York Goldenblatt on HBO’s Sex and the City (1998–2004). She received a 2004 Emmy Award nomination for her role as Charlotte, and reprised the role in the films Sex and the City (2008) and Sex and the City 2 (2010).

Davis made her Broadway debut playing Mabel Cantwell in the 2012 revival of The Best Man, and her West End debut playing Beth Gallagher in the original 2014 stage production of Fatal Attraction.

Davis has two children, both adopted. In 2011, she adopted a daughter, Gemma Rose Davis.[22] In 2018, she adopted a boy

***

From People Magazine, May 6, 2018 by Stephanie Petit:

Davis: “They tell you that when [your child] first comes, you should think of it as babysitting in case the birth mom changes her mind,” she explained to Anderson Cooper in 2012. “Every state is different, but in [California] it’s 48 hours. So you’re trying to think that you’re a babysitter but that’s kind of impossible!”

Davis added, “When I first got her I would sleep with her on my chest, because when you adopt you’re very concerned about bonding.”

During a 2016 sit-down conversation at The Greene Space in New York, Davis candidly talked about being the parent of a child with a differing race.

images“I am white. I have lived in white privilege. I thought I knew before adopting my daughter that I was in white privilege, that I understood what that meant,” she shared. “But until you actually have a child, which is like your heart being outside you, and that heart happens to be in a brown body, and you have people who are actively working against your child, it’s hard. It fills me with terror.”

The star added, “I always tell her … that her curls are beautiful, your black skin is beautiful. You’re beautiful. You’re powerful. You’re a goddess.”

***

frontcover“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival

Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.

 

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry

RIP Stan Lee … thank you for (literally) everything!

download

Yesterday we lost a giant in the comic book industry – indeed the entertainment industry. Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. Love him or dislike him, his impact on comic books cannot be understated.

Mike Barnes of the Hollywood Reporter wrote a superb article about his life (with contributions by Duane Byrge and Borys Kit): https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/stan-lee-dead-marvel-comics-real-life-superhero-was-95-721450

Stan Lee, the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics whose fantabulous but flawed creations made him a real-life superhero to comic book lovers everywhere, has died. He was 95.

Lee, who began in the business in 1939 and created or co-created Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man, among countless other characters, died early Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a family representative told The Hollywood Reporter.

Kirk Schenck, an attorney for Lee’s daughter, J.C. Lee, also confirmed his death.

Lee’s final few years were tumultuous. After Joan, his wife of 69 years, died in July 2017, he sued executives at POW! Entertainment — a company he founded in 2001 to develop film, TV and video game properties — for $1 billion alleging fraud, then abruptly dropped the suit weeks later. He also sued his ex-business manager and filed for a restraining order against a man who had been handling his affairs. (Lee’s estate is estimated to be worth as much as $70 million.) And in June 2018, it was revealed that the Los Angeles Police Department had been investigating reports of elder abuse against him.

On his own and through his work with frequent artist-writer collaborators Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others, Lee catapulted Marvel from a tiny venture into the world’s No. 1 publisher of comic books and, later, a multimedia giant.

In 2009, The Walt Disney Co. bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, and most of the top-grossing superhero films of all time — led by Avengers: Infinity War’s $2.05 billion worldwide take earlier this year — have featured Marvel characters.

“I used to think what I did was not very important,” he told the Chicago Tribune in April 2014. “People are building bridges and engaging in medical research, and here I was doing stories about fictional people who do extraordinary, crazy things and wear costumes. But I suppose I have come to realize that entertainment is not easily dismissed.”

Lee’s fame and influence as the face and figurehead of Marvel, even in his nonagenarian years, remained considerable.

“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “A superhero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.”

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige also paid tribute. “No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee,” Feige said. “Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family and the millions of fans who have been forever touched by Stan’s genius, charisma and heart.”

Beginning in the 1960s, the irrepressible and feisty Lee punched up his Marvel superheroes with personality, not just power. Until then, comic book headliners like those of DC Comics were square and well-adjusted, but his heroes had human foibles and hang-ups; Peter Parker/Spider-Man, for example, fretted about his dandruff and was confused about dating. The evildoers were a mess of psychological complexity.

“His stories taught me that even superheroes like Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk have ego deficiencies and girl problems and do not live in their macho fantasies 24 hours a day,” Gene Simmons of Kiss said in a 1979 interview. “Through the honesty of guys like Spider-Man, I learned about the shades of gray in human nature.”

(Kiss made it to the Marvel pages, and Lee had Simmons bleed into a vat of ink so the publisher could say the issues were printed with his blood.)

The Manhattan-born Lee wrote, art-directed and edited most of Marvel’s series and newspaper strips. He also penned a monthly comics column, “Stan’s Soapbox,” signing off with his signature phrase, “Excelsior!”

His way of doing things at Marvel was to brainstorm a story with an artist, then write a synopsis. After the artist drew the story panels, Lee filled in the word balloons and captions. The process became known as “The Marvel Method.”

Lee collaborated with artist-writer Kirby on the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Silver Surfer and X-Men. With artist-writer Ditko he created Spider-Man and the surgeon Doctor Strange, and with artist Bill Everett came up with the blind superhero Daredevil.

Such collaborations sometimes led to credit disputes: Lee and Ditko reportedly engaged in bitter fights, and both receive writing credit on the Spider-Man movies and TV shows. “I don’t want anyone to think I treated Kirby or Ditko unfairly,” he told Playboy magazine in April 2014. “I think we had a wonderful relationship. Their talent was incredible. But the things they wanted weren’t in my power to give them.”

Like any Marvel employee, Lee had no rights to the characters he helped create and received no royalties.

In the 1970s, Lee importantly helped push the boundaries on censorship in comics, delving into serious and topical subject matter in a medium that had become mindless, kid-friendly entertainment.

In 1954, the publication of psychologist Frederic Wertham’s book Seduction of the Innocent had spurred calls for the government to regulate violence, sex, drug use, questioning of public authority figures, etc., in the comics as a way to curtail “juvenile delinquency.” Wary publishers headed that off by forming the Comics Code Authority, a self-censoring body that while avoiding the heavy hand of Washington still wound up neutering adult interest in comics and stereotyping the medium as one only kids would enjoy.

Lee scripted banal scenarios with characters like Nellie the Nurse and Tessie the Typist, but in 1971, he inserted an anti-drug storyline into “The Amazing Spider-Man” in which Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn popped pills. Those issues, which did not carry the CCA “seal of approval” on the covers, became extremely popular, and later, the organization relaxed some of its guidelines.

Born Stanley Martin Lieber on Dec. 28, 1922, he grew up poor in Washington Heights, where his father, a Romanian immigrant, was a dress-cutter. A lover of adventure books and Errol Flynn movies, Lee graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School, joined the WPA Federal Theatre Project, where he appeared in a few stage shows, and wrote obituaries.

In 1939, Lee got a job as a gofer for $8 a week at Marvel predecessor Timely Comics. Two years later, for Kirby and Joe Simon’s Captain America No. 3, he wrote a two-page story titled “The Traitor’s Revenge!” that was used as text filler to qualify the company for the inexpensive magazine mailing rate. He used the pen name Stan Lee.

He was named interim editor at 19 by publisher Martin Goodman when the previous editor quit. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army and served in the Signal Corps, where he wrote manuals and training films with a group that included Oscar-winner Frank Capra, Pulitzer-winner William Saroyan and Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss). After the war, he returned to the publisher and served as the editor for decades.

Following DC Comics’ lead with the Justice League, Lee and Kirby in November 1961 launched their own superhero team, the Fantastic Four, for the newly renamed Marvel Comics, and Hulk, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Daredevil and X-Men soon followed. The Avengers launched as its own title in September 1963.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Manhattan’s high-literary culture vultures did not bestow its approval on how Lee was making a living. People would “avoid me like I had the plague. … Today, it’s so different,” he once told The Washington Post.

Not everyone felt the same way, though. Lee recalled once being visiting in his New York office by Federico Fellini, who wanted to talk about nothing but Spider-Man.

In 1972, Lee was named publisher and relinquished the Marvel editorial reins to spend all his time promoting the company. He moved to Los Angeles in 1980 to set up an animation studio and to build relationships in Hollywood. Lee purchased a home overlooking the Sunset Strip that was once owned by Jack Benny’s announcer, Don Wilson.

Long before his Marvel characters made it to the movies, they appeared on television. An animated Spider-Man show (with a memorable theme song composed by Oscar winner Paul Francis Webster, of “The Shadow of Your Smile” fame, and Bob Harris) ran on ABC from 1967 to 1970. Bill Bixby played Dr. David Banner, who turns into a green monster (Lou Ferrigno) when he gets agitated, in the 1977-82 CBS drama The Incredible Hulk. And Pamela Anderson provided the voice of Stripperella, a risque animated Spike TV series that Lee wrote for in 2003-04.

Lee launched the internet-based Stan Lee Media in 1998, and the superhero creation, production and marketing studio went public a year later. However, when investigators uncovered illegal stock manipulation by his partners, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001. (Lee was never charged.)

In 2002, Lee published an autobiography, Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee.

Survivors include his daughter and younger brother Larry Lieber, a writer and artist for Marvel. Another daughter, Jan, died in infancy. His wife, Joan, was a hat model whom he married in 1947.

“J.C. Lee and all of Stan Lee’s friends and colleagues want to thank all of his fans and well-wishers for their kind words and condolences,” a family statement read. “Stan was an icon in his field. His fans loved him and his desire to interact with them. He loved his fans and treated them with the same respect and love they gave him.”

“He worked tirelessly his whole life creating great characters for the world to enjoy. He wanted to inspire our imagination and for us to all use it to make the world a better place. His legacy will live on forever.”

Like Alfred Hitchcock before him, the never-bashful Lee appeared in cameos in the Marvel movies, shown avoiding falling concrete, watering his lawn, delivering the mail, crashing a wedding, playing a security guard, etc.

In Spider-Man 3 (2007), he chats with Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker as they stop on a Times Square street to read news that the web-slinger will soon receive the key to the city. “You know,” he says, “I guess one person can make a difference … ’nuff said.”

***

About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

National Adoption Awareness Month Spotlight on …Angelina Jolie.

Oh, mother…

Angelina Jolie; born Angelina Jolie Voight, June 4, 1975) is an American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and has been cited as Hollywood’s highest-paid actress. Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside her father, Jon Voight, in Lookin’ to Get Out (1982). Her film career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993), followed by her first leading role in a major film, Hackers (1995). She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical cable films George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998), and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the drama Girl, Interrupted (1999).

Jolie’s starring role as the video game heroine Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) established her as a leading Hollywood actress. She continued her successful action-star career with Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), and Salt (2010), and received critical acclaim for her performances in the dramas A Mighty Heart (2007) and Changeling (2008), which earned her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Her biggest commercial success came with the fantasy picture Maleficent (2014). In the 2010s, Jolie expanded her career into directing, screenwriting, and producing, with In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011), Unbroken (2014), By the Sea (2015), and First They Killed My Father (2017).

In addition to her film career, Jolie is noted for her humanitarian efforts, for which she has received a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and an honorary damehood of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG), among other honors. She promotes various causes, including conservation, education, and women’s rights, and is most noted for her advocacy on behalf of refugees as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As a public figure, Jolie has been cited as one of the most influential and powerful people in the American entertainment industry. For a number of years, she was cited as the world’s most beautiful woman by various media outlets, and her personal life is the subject of wide publicity. Divorced from actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, she separated from her third husband, actor Brad Pitt, in September 2016. They have six children together, three of whom were adopted internationally.

***

Angelina-Jolie-and-kidsOn March 10, 2002, Jolie adopted her first child, seven-month-old Maddox Chivan, from an orphanage in Battambang, Cambodia. He was born as Rath Vibol on August 5, 2001, in a local village. After twice visiting Cambodia, while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and on a UNHCR field mission, Jolie returned in November 2001 with her husband, Billy Bob Thornton, where they met Maddox and subsequently applied to adopt him. The adoption process was halted the following month when the U.S. government banned adoptions from Cambodia amid allegations of child trafficking. Although Jolie’s adoption facilitator was later convicted of visa fraud and money laundering, her adoption of Maddox was deemed lawful. Once the process was finalized, she took custody of him in Namibia, where she was filming Beyond Borders (2003). Jolie and Thornton announced the adoption together, but she adopted Maddox alone, and raised him as a single parent following their separation three months later.

Jolie adopted a daughter, six-month-old Zahara Marley, from an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 6, 2005. Zahara was born as Yemsrach on January 8, 2005, in Awasa. Jolie initially believed Zahara to be an AIDS orphan, based on official testimony from her grandmother, but her birth mother later came forward in the media. She explained that she had abandoned her family when Zahara became sick, and said she thought Zahara was “very fortunate” to have been adopted by Jolie. Jolie was accompanied by her partner, Brad Pitt, when she traveled to Ethiopia to take custody of Zahara. She later indicated that they had together made the decision to adopt from Ethiopia, having first visited the country earlier that year. After Pitt announced his intention to adopt her children, she filed a petition to legally change their surname from Jolie to Jolie-Pitt, which was granted on January 19, 2006. Pitt adopted Maddox and Zahara soon after.

On March 15, 2007, Jolie adopted a son, three-year-old Pax Thien, from an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He was born as Pham Quang Sang on November 29, 2003, in HCMC, where he was abandoned by his biological mother soon after birth. After visiting the orphanage with Pitt in November 2006, Jolie applied for adoption as a single parent, because Vietnam’s adoption regulations do not allow unmarried couples to co-adopt. After their return to the U.S., she petitioned the court to change her son’s surname from Jolie to Jolie-Pitt, which was approved on May 31. Pitt subsequently adopted Pax on February 21, 2008.

Jolie is also the mother of three children born to her: Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, female, born May 27, 2006 (age 12), in Swakopmund, Namibia; Knox Léon Jolie-Pitt, male, born July 12, 2008 (age 10), in Nice, France; and Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, female, born July 12, 2008 (age 10), in Nice, France.

 

Jolie’s adopted children

Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt

male, born August 5, 2001 (age 17), in Cambodia

adopted March 10, 2002, by Jolie

adopted early 2006 by Pitt

 

Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt

male, born November 29, 2003 (age 14), in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

adopted March 15, 2007, by Jolie

adopted February 21, 2008, by Pitt

 

Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt

female, born January 8, 2005 (age 13), in Awasa, Ethiopia

adopted July 6, 2005 by Jolie

adopted early 2006 by Pitt

Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt

female, born May 27, 2006 (age 12), in Swakopmund, Namibia

***

frontcover“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival

Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.

 

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry