Robert Downey, Sr., by Wikipedia

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Robert Downey, Sr., by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:53 pm

ROBERT DOWNEY, SR.
by Wikipedia

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Robert Downey, Sr.
Born Robert John Elias
(1935-06-24) June 24, 1935 (age 77)
United States
Occupation Director, actor, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer
Years active 1961–present
Influenced by Federico Fellini,
Preston Sturges,[1]
Influenced Paul Thomas Anderson,
Louis C.K.
Spouse(s) Elsie Ford (div. 1975)
Laura Elizabeth Ernst (1991–1994; her death)
Rosemary Rogers (1998–present)
Children Robert Downey, Jr.,
Allyson Downey


Robert John Downey, Sr. (born Robert John Elias; June 24, 1935) is an American actor, writer, and film director, and the father of actor Robert Downey Jr. He is best known as an underground filmmaker, serving as director and/or writer of such cult classics as Putney Swope, a satire on the New York Madison Avenue advertising world.

Personal life

His father, Robert Elias, was of Russian Jewish descent, and his mother, Betty McLoughlin, was of Irish Catholic background.[2][3][4][5][6] Downey was born Robert Elias, but changed his last name to Downey for his stepfather, James Downey, when he wanted to enlist in the United States Army but was underage at the time.[7][8]

Downey has been married three times. His first marriage was to actress Elsie Downey (née Ford), with whom he had two children: actress/writer Allyson Downey and actor Robert Downey, Jr. The marriage ended in divorce in 1975. Downey Sr.'s second marriage, to actress-writer Laura Ernst, ended with her 1994 death from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. He currently lives in New York City with his third wife, Rosemary Rogers, whom he married in 1998.[9]

Career

By the age of 22, Downey had served in the Army, played semi-pro baseball, become a Golden Gloves boxing champion, and an Off-Off-Broadway playwright. In 1961, working with the film editor Fred von Bernewitz, he began writing and directing low-budget 16mm films which gained an underground following, beginning with Ball's Bluff (1961), a fantasy short about a Civil War soldier who awakens in Central Park in 1961. He moved into big-budget filmmaking with the surrealistic Greaser's Palace (1972).[10] His most recent film was Rittenhouse Square (2005), a documentary capturing life in a Philadelphia park.

Downey Sr.'s movies were often family affairs. His first wife, Elsie, appears in four of his movies (Chafed Elbows, Pound, Greaser's Palace, Moment to Moment) as well as co-writing one (Moment to Moment).[11] Daughter Allyson and son Robert Jr. each made their film debuts in the 1970 absurdist comedy Pound at the ages of 7 and 5, respectively; Allyson would appear in one more film by her father, Up the Academy.[12] Robert Downey Jr.'s lengthy acting resume includes appearances in eight films directed by his father (Pound, Greaser's Palace, Moment to Moment, Up the Academy, America, Rented Lips, Too Much Sun, Hugo Pool) as well as two acting appearances in movies where his father was also an actor (Johnny Be Good, Hail Caesar).[13]

Filmography

Balls Bluff (1961) (short film)
A Touch of Greatness (1964)
Babo 73 (1964)
Sweet Smell of Sex (1965)
Chafed Elbows (1966)
No More Excuses (1968)
Putney Swope (1969)
Pound (1970)
Greaser's Palace (1972)
Sticks and Bones (1973)
Moment to Moment (retitled Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight) (1975)
Up the Academy (1980)
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) (actor, credited as Robert Downey)
America (1986)
Rented Lips (1988)
Johnny Be Good (1988) (actor)
Too Much Sun (1991)
Hail Caesar (1994) (actor)
Hugo Pool (1997)
Boogie Nights (1997) (actor)
The Family Man (2000) (actor)
Rittenhouse Square (2005)
Tower Heist (2011) (actor)

References

1. "Interviews From Post Script". http://www.scribd.com. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
2. Robert Downey Jr. – Inside The Actors Studio Pt. 1. youtube.com
3. Interfaith Celebrities: On Jake Gyllenhaal's Jewish-ishness and Robert Downey Jr. the Jubu. interfaithfamily.com
4. Daisy Fried (May 1, 1997). "Senior Class". Philadelphia City Paper. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
5. Jamie Diamond (December 20, 1992). "Robert Downey Jr. Is Chaplin (on Screen) and a Child (Off)". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
6. Top 100 Irish America's Finest in Dance • Music • Acting. irishabroad.com
7. Diamond, Jamie. (December 20, 1992). "FILM; Robert Downey Jr. Is Chaplin (on Screen) and a Child (Off)". New York Times.
8. "Rosemary Rogers, Robert Downey". New York Times. May 10, 1998. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
9. Fulton, Rick. (October 27, 2010). "Daily Record interview; robert-downey-jr-i-don-t-even-know-what-it-s-like-to-be-stoned-any-more". Daily Record.
10. Vincent Canby. "Review: Greaser's Palace". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
11. "IMDb Credits List for Elsie Downey". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
12. "IMDb Credits List for Allyson Downey". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
13. "IMDb Credits List for Robert Downey, Jr.". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
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Re: Robert Downey, Sr., by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:54 pm

Fred von Bernewitz
by Wikipedia

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Fred von Bernewitz (b. 1938, Washington, D.C.) is a film editor, currently with HBO. His work in film editing over four decades ranges from TV commercials to features, including several Robert Downey, Sr. films.

Interviewed in 2008 by film critic Stuart Klawans for The New York Times, Downey recalled obtaining a camera and working with von Bernewitz during the 1960s:

The apparatus turned out to be spring-wound, so the takes could last no longer than 16 seconds, and the film stock was hundred-foot spools of Air Force surplus, salvaged from a dump behind an air base. (Film history can now account for the energetic montage and Scotch tape cinematography of Babo 73.) Postproduction was equally thrifty. “This friend of mine, Fred von Bernewitz, worked as an editor, so we’d sneak into movie editing rooms on the weekend and later send ’em some money.” It becomes evident that Mr. Downey begins most stories with the words, “This guy, a friend of mine.” Does that mean he felt he was part of a community? “Somewhat,” he said, then added: “There were possibilities. People back then were saying, ‘Let’s try this.’ It wasn’t a career. It was just fun.[1]


Tales of Terror!

Image

With Grant Geissman, von Bernewitz is the co-author of Tales of Terror! The EC Companion (Gemstone Publishing/Fantagraphics Books, 2000). In Rambles, Chet Williamson reviewed Tales of Terror!:

First and foremost, there's the art: color reproductions of every EC comic ever, and not just the great ones. Here you'll find the covers and complete contents listings, including artists and writers, for everything from Picture Stories from the Bible to the last 1956 issue of Confessions Illustrated. That just scratches the surface of what's inside this nearly 300-page oversized slab of a book. There are tons of historical material, including Bill Gaines' complete testimony before the Senate Sub-Committee investigating the dismal influences of EC comics. There are plenty of other contemporary documents, photographs and interviews, as well as looks at where EC got the raw material for their stories. I was delighted to see that the chapter of horror stories in the Bennett Cerf collection Try and Stop Me, which terrified me when I was a kid, was mined assiduously by the EC crew. There are oodles of little nuggets like this, including features on the Ray Bradbury adaptations, plenty of non-EC art by EC artists, material about early EC fandom, a complete index by story title and a fascinating interview with Russ Cochran, describing his efforts to get the original artwork out of Bill Gaines' storage vault so that he could reproduce it.[2]


Von Bernewitz compiled the original edition of The Complete EC Checklist (1955). The first index to EC Comics, it has been reprinted several times with updates, and it served as a basis for Tales of Terror! For Mad publisher Bill Gaines, he compiled three volumes of The Complete Mad Checklist (1961, 1964, 1970).[3]

References

1. Klawans, Stuart. "The Resurrection of a Renegade’s Scotch-Tape Films," The New York Times, August 29, 2008.

2. Williamson, Chet. Review of Tales of Terror!, Rambles

3. Fred von Bernewitz
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Re: Robert Downey, Sr., by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:56 pm

Grant Geissman
by Wikipedia

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Grant Geissman (born April 13, 1953) is a crossover jazz, contemporary jazz and new age guitarist and an Emmy-nominated composer for network TV series and TV movies. An in-demand studio musician, he has recorded extensively for several labels since 1976, and he can be heard playing guitar on the theme for Monk and other TV series.

Geissman was born in Berkeley, California. Growing up in San Jose, California, Geissman took guitar lessons from a succession of San Jose musicians, including Geoff Levin (of the pop group People!) and local jazz favorites Bud Dimock, Don Cirallo and Terry Saunders. Encouraged by these teachers to learn jazz standards and to improvise, he began playing in rock bands on weekends and also with small jazz groups and big bands.

As a high school senior, he entered formal study with avant-garde guitarist Jerry Hahn, who introduced him to the music of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. After graduating from Prospect High School, Geissman attended De Anza Junior College, where he played in both De Anza's jazz band and the Daddio Band (of older professionals). Both were led by well-known jazz educator Dr. Herb Patnoe, who was the director of Stan Kenton's Jazz Clinics.

Since the Kenton band at that time had no guitar player, Patnoe recommended Geissman to teach at Kenton's summer clinics in both Sacramento and in Southern California. While teaching at these clinics for several summers, Geissman first met (and played with) drummer Peter Erskine and pianist Dan Haerle. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1973, Geissman attended one semester at Cal State Fullerton, where he played in the band led by pianist/clarinetist Tom Ranier.

Recordings

Transferring to Cal State Northridge in 1974 to be closer to the Hollywood studio scene, Geissman joined the Northridge "A" band led by jazz educator Joel Leach. While at Northridge, he began playing in both Gerald Wilson's Big Band and with Louie Bellson's Big Band, recording several albums with Bellson. For Louie Bellson's Live at the Concord Summer Festival, Geissman contributed an original composition, "Starship Concord." He began playing in local jazz joints with Tony Rizzi's guitar band, recording Tony Rizzi's Five Guitars Play Charlie Christian (1976), which featured Tom Ranier and Pete Christlieb.

Geissman's first gig with fluegelhornist/composer Chuck Mangione was at the Santa Monica Civic auditorium on November 9, 1976. A short tour of the Pacific Northwest followed, and soon after Mangione asked Geissman to become a permanent member of the band. Mangione's new band included Geissman, Charles Meeks on bass, Chris Vadala on woodwinds and James Bradley, Jr. on drums, and the first album with Mangione's new band was Feels So Good (1977), which sold two million albums and remains one of the top-selling instrumental albums today. On radio, the single "Feels So Good", featuring Geissman's now legendary guitar solo, was a huge international hit with many airplays, and a 1980 issue of Current Biography called it the most recognized tune since "Michelle" by The Beatles.

In 1978 Geissman released his first album as a leader, "Good Stuff" (Concord Jazz), which featured fellow Northridge alumnus Gordon Goodwin on sax, Tom Ranier on piano, Bob Magnussen on bass and Steve Shaeffer on drums. Grant left Mangione's band in 1981 to pursue other endeavors, including his own albums, session work and composing.

Geissman has released 13 albums as a leader. Two of his albums (Flying Colors and Time Will Tell) rose to the number one position in the Gavin and Radio and Records Contemporary Jazz airplay charts, and most of his recent recordings have cracked the top ten. He has recorded with such artists as Quincy Jones (Q's Jook Joint, 1995), Keiko Matsui, 3rd Force, David Benoit, Cheryl Bentyne, Lorraine Feather and Dianne Schur. He also had a guitar solo as a separate track on the Tiffany album Hold an Old Friend's Hand.

He was reunited with Mangione in 2000 when they recorded the album Everything for Love (Chesky Records). Geissman's early musical influences came full circle in 2003 when he played Dobro on Ringo Starr's Ringorama album. In 2006, he released his 13th album as a leader, Say That!, on his own label, Futurism Records. A throwback to the jazz music that first influenced him, he has described the sound of this album as "Wes Montgomery meets Horace Silver meets Jimmy Smith." John Kelman, in All About Jazz, reviewed:

It’s a shame that the words smooth jazz have become an oxymoron. Say That!, with its relaxed pace and easy-on-the-ears approach, is as smooth as it gets. But smooth jazz it ain’t. Geissman’s clear roots in the jazz mainstream, and a less-is-more style that reveals greater depth, makes Say That! a welcome return to the fold for a guitarist who’s always deserved more street cred than he’s received.


The Grant Geissman Quintet in 2006 included Brian Scanlon (woodwinds), Emilio Palame (piano), Kevin Axt (acoustic bass) and Ray Brinker (drums). After headlining the Playboy Summerfest at Pasadena's Rose Bowl, the Quintet followed with a debut at Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland, California and a performance in the Friday Night Jazz series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Television

With Mangione, Geissman appeared on many of the major television/variety shows of the time, including The Tonight Show, Dinah Shore, Merv Griffin, Phil Donahue, The Midnight Special, Don Kirshner's Rock Concert and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Geissman's other albums with Mangione include Children of Sanchez (1978), Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1979) and Fun and Games (1980).

His playing has been heard on numerous television series, including Dawson's Creek, Family Affair, Boy Meets World, Touched by an Angel and Lizzie McGuire. He can be heard playing the Djangoesque acoustic guitar on the theme for the television series Monk, starring Tony Shalhoub. Nominated for a 2001 Emmy for co-writing the song "No Puedo Olvidar" for the daytime drama Passions, he received an Emmy nomination in 2004 for another Passions song, "Momma, Gotta Let Her Go". In 2003, he was nominated for an Annie award for producing Van Dyke Parks' songs for HBO's Harold and the Purple Crayon. He has written additional music for films and television movies, including The Ponder Heart (2001), Call Me Claus (2001), Monday Night Mayhem (2002), Die, Mommie, Die! (2003) and The Mojo Cafe (2004). Dennis C. Brown and Geissman collaborated on the underscore for the hit CBS-TV sitcom Two and a Half Men. The show’s theme, co-written by Geissman, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2004.

Books

Apart from his musical career, Geissman is an authority on Mad magazine and EC Comics and has written three books on the subject: Collectibly Mad (Kitchen Sink Press, 1995); Tales of Terror! The EC Comics Companion, co-authored with Fred von Bernewitz (Fantagraphics, 2000); and Foul Play! The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s E.C. Comics! (HarperDesign, 2005). He has also compiled and/or written annotations for ten other Mad-related books, and he appears in Chip Selby's documentary, Tales from the Crypt: From Comic Books to Television (2004). In 2011, Geissman teamed with Russ Cochran to launch a publishing company, GC Press, LLC, to continue the hardcover EC Archives series originally published by Gemstone.

Recordings as a leader

Good Stuff (Concord Jazz, 1978)
Put Away Childish Toys (Pausa, 1983)
Drinkin' from the Money River (TBA, 1986)
Snapshots (TBA, 1987)
All My Tomorrows (TBA, 1988)
Take Another Look (Mesa/Bluemoon, 1989)
Flying Colors (Mesa/Bluemoon, 1990)
Reruns (Mesa/Bluemoon, 1991)
Time Will Tell (Mesa/Bluemoon, 1992)
Rustic Technology (Mesa/Bluemoon, 1993)
Business As Usual (Positive Music, 1995)
In with the Out Crowd (Higher Octave Music, 1998)
Say That! (Futurism, 2006)
Cool Man Cool (Futurism, 2009)
Bop! Bang! Boom! (Futurism, 2012)
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