Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy star in the screen adaptation of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Over 25 years, as the American South changes profoundly, the friendship between a highly independent, eccentric Jewish matron and the stalwart and very patient black widower her son hires as chauffeur endures and deepens, testing the limits of their differences . . . and similarities.
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Dan AykroydActorDaniel Edward Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to Lorraine Hélène (Gougeon), a secretary from a French-Canadian family, and Samuel Cuthbert Peter Hugh Aykroyd, a civil engineer who advised prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Aykroyd attended Carleton University in 1969, where he majored in Criminology and Sociology, but he dropped out before completing his degree. He worked as a comedian in various Canadian nightclubs and managed an after-hours speakeasy, Club 505, in Toronto for several years. He worked with Second City Stage Troupe in Toronto and started his acting career at Carleton University with Sock'n'Buskin, the campus theater/drama club. Married to Donna Dixon since 1983, they have three daughters. His parents are named Peter and Lorraine and his brother Peter Aykroyd is a psychic researcher. Dan received an honorary Doctorate from Carleton University in 1994 and was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1998.More
Morgan FreemanActorWith an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman attended Los Angeles City College before serving several years in the US Air Force as a mechanic between 1955 and 1959. His first dramatic arts exposure was on the stage including appearing in an all-African American production of the exuberant musical Hello, Dolly!. Throughout the 1970s, he continued his work on stage, winning Drama Desk and Clarence Derwent Awards and receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance in The Mighty Gents in 1978. In 1980, he won two Obie Awards, for his portrayal of Shakespearean anti-hero Coriolanus at the New York Shakespeare Festival and for his work in Mother Courage and Her Children. Freeman won another Obie in 1984 for his performance as The Messenger in the acclaimed Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Lee Breuer's The Gospel at Colonus and, in 1985, won the Drama-Logue Award for the same role. In 1987, Freeman created the role of Hoke Coleburn in Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy, which brought him his fourth Obie Award. In 1990, Freeman starred as Petruchio in the New York Shakespeare Festival's The Taming of the Shrew, opposite Tracey Ullman. Returning to the Broadway stage in 2008, Freeman starred with Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher in Clifford Odets' drama The Country Girl, directed by Mike Nichols. Freeman first appeared on TV screens as several characters including "Easy Reader", "Mel Mounds" and "Count Dracula" on the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) show The Electric Company (1971). He then moved into feature film with another children's adventure, Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow! (1971). Next, there was a small role in the thriller Blade (1973); then he played Casca in Julius Caesar (1979) and the title role in Coriolanus (1979). Regular work was coming in for the talented Freeman and he appeared in the prison dramas Attica (1980) and Brubaker (1980), Eyewitness (1981), and portrayed the final 24 hours of slain Malcolm X in Death of a Prophet (1981). For most of the 1980s, Freeman continued to contribute decent enough performances in films that fluctuated in their quality. However, he really stood out, scoring an Oscar nomination as a merciless hoodlum in Street Smart (1987) and, then, he dazzled audiences and pulled a second Oscar nomination in the film version of Driving Miss Daisy (1989) opposite Jessica Tandy. The same year, Freeman teamed up with youthful Matthew Broderick and fiery Denzel Washington in the epic Civil War drama Glory (1989) about freed slaves being recruited to form the first all-African American fighting brigade. His star continued to rise, and the 1990s kicked off strongly with roles in The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), and The Power of One (1992). Freeman's next role was as gunman Ned Logan, wooed out of retirement by friend William Munny to avenge several prostitutes in the wild west town of Big Whiskey in Clint Eastwood's de-mythologized western Unforgiven (1992). The film was a sh and scored an acting Oscar for Gene Hackman, a directing Oscar for Eastwood, and the Oscar for best picture. In 1993, Freeman made his directorial debut on Bopha! (1993) and soon after formed his production company, Revelations Entertainment. More strong scripts came in, and Freeman was back behind bars depicting a knowledgeable inmate (and obtaining his third Oscar nomination), befriending falsely accused banker Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994). He was then back out hunting a religious serial killer in Se7en (1995), starred alongside Keanu Reeves in Chain Reaction (1996), and was pursuing another serial murderer in Kiss the Girls (1997). Further praise followed for his role in the slave tale of Amistad (1997), he was a worried US President facing Armageddon from above in Deep Impact (1998), appeared in Neil LaBute's black comedy Nurse Betty (2000), and reprised his role as Alex Cross in Along Came a Spider (2001). Now highly popular, he was much in demand with cinema audiences, and he co-starred in the terrorist drama The Sum of All Fears (2002), was a military officer in the Stephen King-inspired Dreamcatcher (2003), gave divine guidance as God to Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty (2003), and played a minor role in the comedy The Big Bounce (2004). 2005 was a huge year for Freeman. First, he he teamed up with good friend Clint Eastwood to appear in the drama, Million Dollar Baby (2004). Freeman's on-screen performance is simply world-class as ex-prize fighter Eddie "Scrap Iron" Dupris, who works in a run-down boxing gym alongside grizzled trainer Frankie Dunn, as the two work together to hone the skills of never-say-die female boxer Hilary Swank. Freeman received his fourth Oscar nomination and, finally, impressed the Academy's judges enough to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance. He also narrated Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (2005) and appeared in Batman Begins (2005) as Lucius Fox, a valuable ally of Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne/Batman for director Christopher Nolan. Freeman would reprise his role in the two sequels of the record-breaking, genre-redefining trilogy. Roles in tentpoles and indies followed; highlights include his role as a crime boss in Lucky Number Slevin (2006), a second go-round as God in Evan Almighty (2007) with Steve Carell taking over for Jim Carrey, and a supporting role in Ben Affleck's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone (2007). He co-starred with Jack Nicholson in the breakout hit The Bucket List (2007) in 2007, and followed that up with another box-office success, Wanted (2008), then segued into the second Batman film, The Dark Knight (2008). In 2009, he reunited with Eastwood to star in the director's true-life drama Invictus (2009), on which Freeman also served as an executive producer. For his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in the film, Freeman garnered Oscar, Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award nominations, and won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor. Recently, Freeman appeared in RED (2010), a surprise box-office hit; he narrated the Conan the Barbarian (2011) remake, starred in Rob Reiner's The Magic of Belle Isle (2012); and capped the Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Freeman has several films upcoming, including the thriller Now You See Me (2013), under the direction of Louis Leterrier, and the science fiction actioner Oblivion (2013), in which he stars with Tom Cruise.More
Patti LuPoneActorA fireball of talent and a musical force to be reckoned with, singer/actress Patti LuPone was born on April 21, 1949 in Northport on Long Island, New York, of Italian heritage. Her parents, Orlando Joseph LuPone, a school administrator, and mother Angela Louise (Patti), a librarian, eventually divorced. She was christened Patti in honor of her great-grand-aunt, the renowned 19th-century opera singer Adelina Patti. Trained in dance, her early days as a teen were spent as part of a 60s sibling group called "The Lupone Trio," which was comprised of Patti and older twin brothers William and Robert LuPone, the latter moving on to a daunting career of his own. A graduate of Northport High School, she attended the Drama Division of The Juilliard School and became part of its first graduating class, which also included future stars Kevin Kline and David Ogden Stiers. In 1972 the legendary John Houseman reshaped said graduating class and formed The Acting Company, which earned a strong reputation on tour as a classical repertory group. Gaining invaluable acting experience, she stayed with the company until 1975. Making her NY theater debut in "The School for Scandal" (1972), she went on to play major roles in "The Hostage," "The Lower Depths," "The Three Sisters" (her Broadway debut), "Measure for Measure," "Scapin," "Edward II," and "The Time of Your Life," among others. However, it was in musicals that she would reign supreme. She played Lucy in a version of "The Beggar's Opera" (1973) and went on to earn distinction in "The Robber Bridegroom" (Tony nomination) (1975), "The Baker's Wife" (1976) and "Working" (1978). Her incredible pipes and assured countenance eventually earned her the role of a lifetime with "Evita" (1979). As Argentina's calculating and beloved Eva Peron, Patti grabbed the international spotlight with a rare dramatic fury and brilliance. Her electrifying performance earned her both the Tony and Drama Desk awards, and the resulting stardom officially launched her film and TV career. Minor roles in King of the Gypsies (1978) and 1941 (1979) led to a co-starring role with Tom Skerritt in the vigilante crimer Fighting Back (1982). Continuing to show off her singing prowess, she originated the role of Fantine in the London production of "Les Misérables" and became the first American to win the prestigious Olivier Award (for her work in both "Les Miz" and "The Cradle Will Rock") in 1985. She nabbed a second Drama Desk Award and another Tony nomination for her Reno Sweeney in "Anything Goes" (1987). Twice nominated for Emmy awards on TV, she impressed as Lady Bird opposite Randy Quaid's President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the mini-movie LBJ: The Early Years (1987) and scored a resounding hit on the dramatic series Life Goes On (1989) as Libby Thatcher, the loving, protective mother of a son (played by Chris Burke) afflicted with Down Syndrome. This groundbreaking program was the first of its kind to center its theme around a mentally handicapped character. The show ran a durable four seasons and its title song, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La Da" by Lennon/McCartney, featured Patti's vocals. A round of guest shots over the years have included "Law & Order," "Frazier," "Touched by an Angel," "Will & Grace" (hilariously spoofing her diva image), and a recurring spot on the critically-acclaimed "Oz." On film she was well represented by Witness (1985) and in Driving Miss Daisy (1989) as Dan Aykroyd's materialistic wife and minor nemesis to Jessica Tandy. The concert stage has been a commanding venue for Patti over the years with a number of successful one-woman singing showcases such as "The Lady with the Torch," "Matters of the Heart" and "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda," winning an Outer Critics Circle Award for her "Patti LuPone on Broadway" in 1995. Stage concert versions of "Pal Joey," "Passion," "A Little Night Music," "Can-Can" and "Candide" have greatly added to her enduring popularity, in addition to her three solo evenings at Carnegie Hall. Powerhouse leads in "Sunset Boulevard" (1993) and "Master Class" (1996) have ensured her diva-like place as one of America's contemporary singing immortals. She earned another Tony nomination more recently for her inventive spin on the monstrous Mrs. Lovett in "Sweeney Todd" (2005). Married since 1988 to camera operator Matthew Johnston, they have one son, Josh, who appeared in a small role in Patti's concert version of "Passion."More