posted by Ramon Lopez alias ramonlopez on Monday 25th of April 2011 09:43:50 AM
Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos (center) is flanked by World renowned pianist Mr. Van Cliburn and famous Hollywood actor Mr.George Hamilton in a party at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.. Hamilton was the youngest son of bandleader George "Spike" Hamilton and his first wife, Ann Stevens (formerly Mrs. William Potter). He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and lived in Blytheville, Arkansas. He won many awards as a student at Palm Beach High School, West Palm Beach, Florida. The 2009 film My One and Only is loosely based on Hamilton's early life and relationship with his mother. After moving to California, he was put under contract by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which showcased him in films such as Home from the Hill, All the Fine Young Cannibals, Light in the Piazza and Two Weeks in Another Town. His stepfathers were Carleton Hunt and Jesse Spalding; his stepmother was June Howard, with whom Hamilton has said he had an affair when he was 12, shortly after she married his father. His elder half-brother, William Potter, became an interior decorator for such prestigious firms as Eva Gabor Interiors in Palm Springs, where Hamilton owned a home a few blocks away from Elvis Presley and his manager Colonel Tom Parker, who became his good friend. Hamilton also has a younger brother, David Hamilton.  Career Hamilton began his film career in 1952. Although he has a substantial body of work in film and television, he is perhaps most famous for his debonair style and his perfect and perpetual suntan. With his matinee-idol looks, it was sometimes noted that he physically resembled Warren Beatty; Beatty's political satire Bulworth contained a running gag about this, with Hamilton appearing as himself in a brief cameo. One of his best-known MGM films was the 1960s' Where the Boys Are, a coming-of-age romantic comedy set during a college-student spring break in the Fort Lauderdale area of Florida in which Hamilton played a smooth Ivy League type. Hamilton received a Golden Globe award in 1960 as Most Promising Newcomer (Male). He went on to a starring role along with George Peppard as a soldier in 1963's The Victors, a World War II story, and as a Confederate captain who kidnaps the wife of a Union officer (Glenn Ford) in a 1967 drama, A Time for Killing. Hamilton made two memorable bio-pics: Your Cheatin' Heart (1964), in which he portrayed the country-western music legend Hank Williams, followed by Evel Knievel (1971), the life story of the motorcycle daredevil. A surprise blockbuster hit came his way in 1979 when Hamilton showed an unforeseen flair for comedy. Love at First Bite was the story of vampire Count Dracula's pursuit of a young Manhattan socialite, played by Susan Saint James. It included such funny scenes as Dracula and his conquest dancing to "I Love the Night Life" at a disco. That film's box-office success created a popularity surge for Hamilton, who followed it with a comic portrayal of a famed swordsman in 1981's Zorro, the Gay Blade. He was nominated for Golden Globe awards for both Love at First Bite and Zorro. Film leads dried up quickly, however. In the mid-1980s, Hamilton starred in the sixth season of the ABC Aaron Spelling-produced nighttime television serial Dynasty. Having once played a doctor who uses hypnosis to commit a murder on a 1975 episode of Columbo, Hamilton returned for a second homicide on that long-running Peter Falk detective series in 1991, this time playing the host of an America's Most Wanted-style television show. He later became a semi-regular panelist on the 1998 revival of Match Game. In 1998, Hamilton co-starred alongside future Disney darling Hilary Duff, in the direct-to-dvd, Casper Meets Wendy, playing the villain in the film. A big movie break for Hamilton came in 1990 when Francis Coppola cast him as the Corleone family's lawyer in a much-anticipated film, The Godfather, Part III. In 2003, he hosted The Family, a reality television series on ABC spanning one season in 2003. It starred 10 members from a traditional Italian-American family, each fighting for a $1,000,000 prize. In 2006, he competed in the second season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars and lasted until the sixth round before being voted off. At age 66 and recovering from knee injuries, Hamilton, unable to match the limber dance moves of his younger competitors, charmed the audience and judges with endearingly silly dances utilizing props including a Zorro mask and sword from Zorro, The Gay Blade. Also in 2006, it was rumored Hamilton would replace Bob Barker on The Price Is Right. He did an audition and in March 2007, TMZ reported that Hamilton was a frontrunner to replace Barker. According to Reuters, Hamilton was one of the final three contenders to host the show, alongside Mark Steines and Todd Newton. Soon thereafter, however, Drew Carey was named as Barker's successor. Subsequently, Hamilton has hosted the live stage adaptation of the show, The Price Is Right Live!. In August 2008, Hamilton co-starred in Coma, a web series on Crackle. Released in 2009, the film My One and Only is a dramatization of his earlier life. Hamilton was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on 12 August 2009 - his 70th birthday. Hamilton appeared as a contestant on the UK edition of I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here! (UK series 9) in November 2009. Hamilton walked out of the jungle on 30 November 2009, telling the other contestants that he wasn't there to win, but to have fun. Hamilton was considered one of the favorites to win the series. In 2010 Hamilton was chosen as one of David Hasselhoff's roasters in the Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff.  Personal life In 1966, Hamilton had a relationship with Lynda Bird Johnson, the daughter of the President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. Hamilton was married to actress Alana Stewart from 1972 to 1975. Their son, Ashley Hamilton, was born in 1974. George Thomas Hamilton is his younger son (born in January 2000) with his girlfriend Kimberly Blackford. The divorced Hamiltons reunited in the mid-1990s to co-host a daytime talk show, George and Alana. In I'm A Celebrity, he revealed he had dated at least four Miss Worlds. Hamilton had a well known social relationship with Imelda Marcos, the wife of former Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos. It was later revealed that he also had business ties to the Marcoses. In 1990, Hamilton was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal fraud and racketeering case against the Marcoses involving looting Philippine government funds. Mrs. Marcos was acquitted in the case. VAN CLIBURN is an American hero. He has been hailed as one of the most persuasive ambassadors of American culture, as well as one of the greatest pianists in the history of music. With his historic 1958 victory at the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, at the height of the Cold War, Van Cliburn tore down cultural barriers years ahead of glasnost and perestroika, transcending politics by demonstrating the universality of classical music. Returning home from Moscow, Mr. Cliburn received a ticker-tape parade in New York City, the only time a classical musician was ever honored with the highest tribute possible by the City of New York. Upon Mr. Cliburn's invitation, Kiril Kondrashin, the conductor with whom the pianist had played his prizewinning performances, came from Moscow to repeat the celebrated concert program with Van Cliburn at Carnegie Hall in New York, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, and in Washington, D.C. Their recording of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, made during Kondrashin's visit, was the first classical recording ever to be awarded a platinum record, and has now sold well over three million copies. Following his triumph in Moscow, Mr. Cliburn played in several cities in the Soviet Union. From that time on, he toured widely and frequently with every important orchestra and conductor, in the most renowned international concert halls. Mr. Cliburn toured the Soviet Union many times between 1960 and 1972 for extended periods. He made numerous timeless and beloved recordings, including many major piano concerti and a wide variety of solo repertoire. Early in his career, a group of friends and admirers began the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition as a living legacy to Mr. Cliburn's constant efforts to aid the development of young artists. The first competition was held in 1962. In 1987, at the invitation of President Ronald Reagan, Mr. Cliburn performed a formal recital in the East Room of the White House during the State Visit honoring Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's then general secretary. Two years later, and thirty-one years after his triumph at the Tchaikovsky Competition, Mr. Cliburn returned to the Soviet Union to perform at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and in the Philharmonic Hall of Leningrad. Carnegie Hall then requested that he play for its 100th anniversary season as soloist with the New York Philharmonic. Over the years, Mr. Cliburn has opened many U. S. concert halls, including the famous I. M. Pei Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas; the Lied Center for the Performing Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska; and the Bob Hope Cultural Center in Palm Springs, California. Mr. Cliburn has performed with all the great orchestras of the world. He considers the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth to be an architectural and acoustical triumph, and he appeared at the 1998 opening both in recital and as soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. To honor Mr. Cliburn, the RCA Victor label created an eight-disc Van Cliburn Collection to commemorate his world-revered interpretations of great classical works. The collection contains: Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1, Rachmaninoff Concerti Nos. 2 and 3, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Prokofiev Concerto No. 3, and Brahms' Concerti Nos. 1 and 2, as well as concertos by MacDowell, Grieg, Beethoven, Liszt, and Chopin. A documentary titled Van Cliburn, Concert Pianist has been featured on A&E and other venues. Mr. Cliburn has received more than twenty honorary doctorate degrees. He has provided scholarships at many schools, including Juilliard, the Cincinnati Conservatory, Texas Christian University, Louisiana State University, the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and the Moscow Conservatory. Mr. Cliburn has performed for every President of the United States since Harry Truman and for royalty and heads of state in Europe, Asia, and South America. He has received Kennedy Center Honors and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In a 2004 Kremlin ceremony he received the Order of Friendship from President Vladimir Putin, and in 2003 President George W. Bush bestowed upon him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony at the White House. On March 2, 2011 President Barack Obama honored Mr. Cliburn with the National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House. The National Medal of Arts is the highest honor given to artists and art patrons by the United States Government and acknowledges the extraordinary lifetime achievements of those individuals who have made a lasting impact on the country's cultural landscape. The award is presented by the President to those who have exhibited a commitment to the excellence, growth, and availability of the arts in the U.S. according to the White House press release. Watch the video of the award ceremony here. Van Cliburn was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on July 12, 1934. His father, Harvey Lavan Cliburn, was an executive with Magnolia Petroleum, now ExxonMobil. At the age of three he began piano studies with his mother, Rildia Bee O'Bryan Cliburn, a talented student of Arthur Friedheim, who was a pupil of Franz Liszt. He was twelve when he made his orchestral debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. After graduating from Kilgore High School in the spring of 1951, his mother wanted him to study with Madame Rosina Lhevinne at the famed Juilliard School in New York City. In 1954, Van Cliburn won the Levintritt Competition, which had not awarded a first-place prize since 1949. The prestigious Levintritt Competition offered important appearances with such major orchestras as Cleveland, Denver, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, as well as a coveted New York Philharmonic debut with the great Dimitri Mitropoulos, which took place in Carnegie Hall on November 14, 1954.
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