In 1955, a tough, skinny guitar-singer who called himself J.R. Cash walked into the soon-to-be-famous Sun Studios in Memphis. It was a moment that would have an indelible effect on American culture. With his driving freight-train chords, steel-eyed intensity and a voice as deep and black as night, Cash sang blistering songs of heartache and survival that were gusty, full of real life and unlike anything heard before. That day kicked off the electrifying early career of Johnny Cash. As he pioneered a fiercely original sound that blazed a trail for rock, country, punk, folk and rap stars to come, Cash began a rough-and-tumble journey of personal transformation. In the most volatile period of his life, he evolved from a self-destructive pop star into the iconic 'Man in Black' - facing down his demons, fightings for the love that would raise him up, and learning how to walk the razor-thin line between destruction and redemption.
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Joaquin PhoenixActorJoaquin Phoenix was born Joaquin Rafael Bottom in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Arlyn (Dunetz) and John Bottom, and is the middle child in a brood of five. His parents, from the continental United States, were then serving as Children of God missionaries. His mother is from a Jewish family from New York, while his father, from California, is of mostly British Isles descent. As a youngster, Joaquin took his cues from older siblings River Phoenix and Rain Phoenix, changing his name to Leaf to match their earthier monikers. When the children were encouraged to develop their creative instincts, he followed their lead into acting. Younger sisters Liberty Phoenix and Summer Phoenix rounded out the talented troupe. The family moved often, traveling through Central and South America (and adopting the surname "Phoenix" to celebrate their new beginnings) but, by the time Joaquin was age 6, they had more or less settled in the Los Angeles area. Arlyn found work as a secretary at NBC, and John turned his talents to landscaping. They eventually found an agent who was willing to represent all five children, and the younger generation dove into television work. Commercials for meat, milk, and junk food were off-limits (the kids were all raised as strict vegans), but they managed to find plenty of work pushing other, less sinister products. Joaquin's first real acting gig was a guest appearance on River's sitcom, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982). He worked with his brother again on the afterschool special Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia (1984), then struck out on his own in other made-for-TV productions. He made his big-screen debut as the youngest crew member in the interstellar romp SpaceCamp (1986), then won his first starring turn in the Cold War-era drama Russkies (1987). In the late '80s, the Phoenix clan decided to pull up stakes and relocate again--this time to Florida. River's film career had enough momentum to sustain the move, but Joaquin wasn't sure what lay in store for him in the Sunshine State. As it happened, Universal Pictures had just opened a new studio in the area and he was cast almost immediately as an angst-ridden adolescent in Parenthood (1989). His performance was very well-received, but Joaquin decided to withdraw from acting for a while--he was frustrated with the dearth of interesting roles for actors his age, and he wanted to see more of the world. His parents were in the process of separating, so he struck out for Mexico with his father. Joaquin returned to the public eye three years later under tragic circumstances. On October 31, 1993, he was at The Viper Room (a Los Angeles nightclub partly-owned by Johnny Depp) when his brother River collapsed from a drug overdose and later died. Joaquin made the call to 911, which was rebroadcast on radio and television the world over. Months later, at the insistence of friends and colleagues, Joaquin began reading through scripts again, but he was reluctant to re-enter the acting life until he found just the right part. He finally signed up to work with Gus Van Sant (who had directed River in My Own Private Idaho (1991) and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)) to star as Nicole Kidman's obsessive devotee in To Die For (1995). The performance made Joaquin (who had dropped Leaf and reverted to his birth name) a critics' darling in his own right. His follow-up turn in Inventing the Abbotts (1997) scored more critical kudos and, perhaps more importantly, introduced him to his one-time fiancée Liv Tyler. (The pair dated for almost three years.) He returned to the big screen later that year with a supporting role in Oliver Stone's U Turn (1997), then played a locked-up drug scapegoat in Return to Paradise (1998). He and "Paradise" co-star Vince Vaughn re-teamed almost immediately for the small-town murder caper Clay Pigeons (1998), which Joaquin followed with a turn as a porn store clerk in 8MM (1999). The film that confirmed Phoenix as a star was the historical epic Gladiator (2000). The Roman epic cast him as the selfish, paranoid young emperor Commodus opposite Russell Crowe's swarthy hero. Determined to make his character as real as possible, Phoenix gained weight and cultivated a pasty complexion during the shoot. He received international attention and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for that role. Later that year, he appeared in two indies, playing a dock worker in The Yards (2000) (which he counts among his favorite experiences--and one of the only films of his that he can sit through) and the priest in charge of the Marquis de Sade's asylum in Quills (2000). He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor as the legendary musician Johnny Cash in the biography Walk the Line (2005). He also recorded an album, the film's soundtrack, for which he received the Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.More
Reese WitherspoonActorLaura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born on March 22, 1976 at Southern Baptist Hospital (now Memorial Medical Center) in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the second child of Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Reese) and Dr. John Draper Witherspoon, Sr. Her father was a military surgeon specializing in ear, nose and throat. Her mother was a Registered Nurse who later became a Ph.D in pediatric nursing. Reese spent the first four years of her life in Wiesbaden, Germany, where her father served as a lieutenant colonel in the US Army reserves. Shortly after, John moved the family back to the States, settling in Nashville, Tennessee. Reese was introduced to the entertainment industry at a very early age. At age 7, she began modeling. This led to appearances on several local television commercials. At age 11, she placed first in a Ten-State Talent Fair. In 1990, she landed her first major acting role in Robert Mulligan's The Man in the Moon (1991). Her role as a 14-year old tomboy earned her rave reviews. Roles in bigger films such as Jack the Bear (1993) and A Far Off Place (1993) followed shortly after. Following high school graduation in 1994 from Harpeth Hall, a Nashville all girls school, Reese decided to put her acting career on hold and attend Stanford University where she would major in English literature. However, her collegiate plans were shortly dashed when she accepted roles to star in two major motion pictures: Fear (1996), alongside Mark Wahlberg, and Freeway (1996) with Kiefer Sutherland. Although neither film was a huge box-office success, they did help to establish Reese as a rising starlet in Hollywood and open the door for bigger and better film roles. Those bigger roles came in movies such as Pleasantville (1998), Election (1999) and Cruel Intentions (1999). Her breakthrough role came as Elle Woods in the 2001 comedy, Legally Blonde (2001). The movie was huge box-office smash and established Reese as one of the top female draws in Hollywood. The next year, she scored a follow-up hit with Sweet Home Alabama (2002), which went on to gross over $100 million dollars at the box office. In 2006, she took home the best actress Oscar for her role as June Carter Cash in the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line (2005). In the late 2000s and early 2010s, Reese continued to star in more romantic comedies, such as Four Christmases (2008) and How Do You Know (2010). In December 2010, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the year 2014, she produced both Gone Girl (2014) and Wild (2014), for which she got nominated for best actress Oscar again for her role as Cheryl Strayed. Off the screen, she was married to Ryan Phillippe from 1999 to 2007. They met at her 21st birthday party and subsequently worked together in Cruel Intentions (1999). They have two children: a daughter, Ava Elizabeth (born 9 September 1999) and a son, Deacon (born 23 October 2003). In March 2011, Reese remarried talent agent Jim Toth. She gave birth to a second son, Tennessee (born 27 September 2012).More
Lucas TillActorLucas Daniel Till was born in Fort Hood, Texas, to Dana Lyn (née Brady) and John Mark Till, a lieutenant colonel in the army. He spent most of his childhood growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Lucas's family quickly noticed, when he was at a very young age, that he had an affinity for impersonating voices and characters. When he was 11 years old, his mother enrolled him in local acting classes, and it wasn't long before he was discovered by an Atlanta agent, Joy Pervis. Lucas began booking almost immediately in print, local, regional, and national commercials. Soon after, he was cast in his first movie role as Harry Vanderbilt in The Adventures of Ociee Nash (2003), starring Keith Carradine and Mare Winningham. He was a natural for film roles and continued his success by landing his first co-starring role in Lightning Bug (2004) with Laura Prepon and Bret Harrison. Lucas made his first trip to Los Angeles when he was 13 year old. Shortly after returning to Atlanta, he booked the sought-after role of Jack Cash, older brother of Johnny Cash, in the award-winning biopic Walk the Line (2005), directed by James Mangold and starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. With high school quickly approaching, Lucas made the decision to stay in Atlanta to attend and experience public high school. He continued acting and was cast in movies for Lifetime Television and several independent features, including Dance of the Dead (2008), which was directed by Gregg Bishop and hand-picked by director Sam Raimi for distribution through Lionsgate and Ghost House Pictures. Three weeks before graduating from high school with honors, Lucas auditioned for Disney's Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009) and was cast in the lead role of Travis Brody. After only one week on the set, Lucas flew back to Atlanta to graduate with his high school class of 2008. Lucas now resides in Los Angeles pursuing his career.More
Ginnifer GoodwinActorGinnifer Goodwin was born Jennifer Michelle Goodwin on May 22, 1978, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Linda (Kantor), who worked at FedEx, and Tim Goodwin, who had a recording studio. Bright and talented, Ginnifer carried her love for theater and acting through her high school years. She graduated from Lausanne Collegiate School in 1996 and spent a year at Hanover before going to Boston University where she received her BFA in Acting. She went on to receive accolades in London, including receiving a Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and trained with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She lived briefly in New York before moving to California, where she lives. She made her television debut on the series Law & Order (1990) but had her first recurring television role on Ed (2000) in 2001. Her first movie role was Maya in the first Comedy Central original movie Porn 'n Chicken (2002). She then went on to shine as Connie Baker in the major motion picture hit Mona Lisa Smile (2003). Ginnifer appeared in the movie Walk the Line (2005), where she played Johnny Cash's first wife. She also worked on the television drama Big Love (2006) with Bill Paxton and Jeanne Tripplehorn. In 2016 Ginnifer voiced bunny officer Judy Hopps in the hit Disney movie 'Zootopia'. Ginnifer married actor Josh Dallas in 2014. Their first child, a son, was born that year. She is English (father) and Ashkenazi Jewish (mother) ancestry.More