Hailed as a landmark film that dazzles with deep emotion and exceptional acting, PHILADELPHIA stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington as two competing lawyers who join forces to sue a prestigious law firm for AIDS discrimination. And as their unlikely friendship develops, their courage overcomes the prejudice and corruption of their powerful adversaries.
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Denzel WashingtonActorDenzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University, intent on a career in journalism. However, he caught the acting bug while appearing in student drama productions and, upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco and enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater. He left A.C.T. after only one year to seek work as an actor. His first paid acting role was in a summer stock theater stage production in St. Mary's City, Maryland. The play was "Wings of the Morning", which is about the founding of the colony of Maryland (now the state of Maryland) and the early days of the Maryland colonial assembly (a legislative body). He played the part of a real historical character, Mathias Da Sousa, although much of the dialogue was created. Afterwards he began to pursue screen roles in earnest. With his acting versatility and powerful presence, he had no difficulty finding work in numerous television productions. He made his first big screen appearance in Carbon Copy (1981) with George Segal. Through the 1980s, he worked in both movies and television and was chosen for the plum role of Dr. Philip Chandler in NBC's hit medical series St. Elsewhere (1982), a role that he would play for six years. In 1989, his film career began to take precedence when he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Tripp, the runaway slave in Edward Zwick's powerful historical masterpiece Glory (1989). Washington has received much critical acclaim for his film work since the 1990s, including his portrayals of real-life figures such as South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko in Cry Freedom (1987), Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X in Malcolm X (1992), boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in The Hurricane (1999), football coach Herman Boone in Remember the Titans (2000), poet and educator Melvin B. Tolson in The Great Debaters (2007), and drug kingpin Frank Lucas in American Gangster (2007). Malcolm X and The Hurricane garnered him Oscar nominations for Best Actor, before he finally won that statuette in 2002 for his lead role in Training Day (2001). Through the 1990s, Denzel also co-starred in such big budget productions as The Pelican Brief (1993), Philadelphia (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), The Preacher's Wife (1996), and Courage Under Fire (1996), a role for which he was paid $10 million. He continued to define his onscreen persona as the tough, no-nonsense hero through the 2000s in films like Out of Time (2003), Man on Fire (2004), Inside Man (2006), and The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009). Cerebral and meticulous in his film work, he made his debut as a director with Antwone Fisher (2002); he also directed The Great Debaters (2007) and Fences (2016). In 2010, Washington headlined The Book of Eli (2010), a post-Apocalyptic drama. Later that year, he starred as a veteran railroad engineer in the action film Unstoppable (2010), about an unmanned, half-mile-long runaway freight train carrying dangerous cargo. The film was his fifth and final collaboration with director Tony Scott, following Crimson Tide (1995), Man on Fire (2004), Déjà Vu (2006) and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. He has also been a featured actor in the films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and has been a frequent collaborator of director Spike Lee. In 2012, Washington starred in Flight (2012), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He co-starred with Ryan Reynolds in Safe House (2012), and prepared for his role by subjecting himself to a torture session that included waterboarding. In 2013, Washington starred in 2 Guns (2013), alongside Mark Ryan Walberg. In 2014, he starred in The Equalizer (2014), an action thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Richard Wenk, based on the television series of same name starring Edward Woodward. During this time period, he also took on the role of producer for some of his films, including The Book of Eli and Safe House. In 2016, he was selected as the recipient for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Pauletta Washington, and their four children.More
Tom HanksActorThomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. His mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese, while his father was of mostly English ancestry. Tom grew up in what he has called a "fractured" family. He moved around a great deal after his parents' divorce, living with a succession of step-families. No problems, no alcoholism - just a confused childhood. He has no acting experience in college and credits the fact that he could not get cast in a college play with actually starting his career. He went downtown, and auditioned for a community theater play, was invited by the director of that play to go to Cleveland, and there his acting career started. Ron Howard was working on Splash (1984), a fantasy-comedy about a mermaid who falls in love with a business executive. Howard considered Hanks for the role of the main character's wisecracking brother, which eventually went to John Candy. Instead, Hanks landed the lead role and the film went on to become a surprise box office success, grossing more than $69 million. After several flops and a moderate success with the comedy Dragnet (1987), Hanks' stature in the film industry rose. The broad success with the fantasy-comedy Big (1988) established him as a major Hollywood talent, both as a box office draw and within the film industry as an actor. For his performance in the film, Hanks earned his first Academy Award nomination as Best Actor. Hanks climbed back to the top again with his portrayal of a washed-up baseball legend turned manager in A League of Their Own (1992). Hanks has stated that his acting in earlier roles was not great, but that he subsequently improved. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Hanks noted his "modern era of movie making ... because enough self-discovery has gone on ... My work has become less pretentiously fake and over the top". This "modern era" began for Hanks, first with Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and then with Philadelphia (1993). The former was a blockbuster success about a widower who finds true love over the radio airwaves. Richard Schickel of Time magazine called his performance "charming", and most critics agreed that Hanks' portrayal ensured him a place among the premier romantic-comedy stars of his generation. In Philadelphia, he played a gay lawyer with AIDS who sues his firm for discrimination. Hanks lost 35 pounds and thinned his hair in order to appear sickly for the role. In a review for People, Leah Rozen stated, "Above all, credit for Philadelphia's success belongs to Hanks, who makes sure that he plays a character, not a saint. He is flat-out terrific, giving a deeply felt, carefully nuanced performance that deserves an Oscar." Hanks won the 1993 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia. During his acceptance speech, he revealed that his high school drama teacher Rawley Farnsworth and former classmate John Gilkerson, two people with whom he was close, were gay. Hanks followed Philadelphia with the blockbuster Forrest Gump (1994) which grossed a worldwide total of over $600 million at the box office. Hanks remarked: "When I read the script for Gump, I saw it as one of those kind of grand, hopeful movies that the audience can go to and feel ... some hope for their lot and their position in life ... I got that from the movies a hundred million times when I was a kid. I still do." Hanks won his second Best Actor Academy Award for his role in Forrest Gump, becoming only the second actor to have accomplished the feat of winning consecutive Best Actor Oscars. Hanks' next role - astronaut and commander Jim Lovell, in the docudrama Apollo 13 (1995) - reunited him with Ron Howard. Critics generally applauded the film and the performances of the entire cast, which included actors Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, and Kathleen Quinlan. The movie also earned nine Academy Award nominations, winning two. Later that year, Hanks starred in Disney/Pixar's computer-animated film Toy Story (1995), as the voice of Sheriff Woody. A year later, he made his directing debut with the musical comedy That Thing You Do! (1996) about the rise and fall of a 1960s pop group, also playing the role of a music producer.More
Mary SteenburgenActorMary Steenburgen is an Academy Award-winning American actress. She was born February 8, 1953, in Newport, Arkansas, USA. Her mother, Nellie May (Wall) Steenburgen, was a school-board secretary, and her father, Maurice H. Steenburgen, was a freight-train conductor. Her surname comes from distant Dutch ancestry, and her roots also include English, Scottish, and Welsh. Young Steenburgen was fond of arts and literature. Mary grew up tap-dancing her way through talent shows and school functions. She was active in her school drama class. After appearing in a number of high school plays, she enrolled at Hendrix College, a highly progressive Southern School located in Conway, Arkansas. Upon the recommendation of her drama professor, she left college in 1972 and moved to New York to study acting professionally. In the past several years, Mary Steenburgen has emerged as one of the most accomplished and sought-after screen actresses. Ever since Jack Nicholson 'discovered' her and cast her as a sassy adventuress in his rollicking western, Goin' South (1978), her career has skyrocketed and she has won acclaim for exceptional performances in each of her diverse film roles. In Nicholas Meyer's Time After Time (1979), Steenburgen was afforded critical praise for her portrayal of a somewhat dippy but liberated young bank clerk in San Francisco who crosses paths, via time machine, with English author H.G. Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell, who later became her husband. In 1980 she shot to fame with her role as Lynda Dummar in Melvin and Howard (1980) for which she won Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. More recently, Steenburgen again impressed audiences and critics alike with her stunning performance as the strong-willed turn-of-the-century Mother in Ragtime (1981). Steenburgen is a notable patron of arts. She is also an active supporter of humanitarian causes. She has two children from her previous marriage to actor Malcolm McDowell. Since 1995 she has been married to actor Ted Danson, and the couple is living in Los Angeles area.More