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Archive for the ‘actress’ Category

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Angell Conwell (1983- ) is an American actress. She is best known as Omar Gooding’s girlfriend in John Singleton’s “Baby Boy” (2001) and as a stewardess in “Soul Plane” (2004). She has also been in music videos and has appeared on many television shows. In 2006 she made a swimsuit calendar.

According to this blog she is the tenth most beautiful black woman in the world. She is not tall and queenly like some on the list. Her beauty is more the sexpot sort. She looks much better on film or even on YouTube than in still pictures.

She is short (1.63 m) but has a great figure. She has high cheekbones and her eyes seem to be at an angle. This makes her look a bit strange, but the highest beauty often has an element of strangeness. Think of Angelina Jolie or Sophia Loren.

But while her figure is good for swimsuit calendars and music videos, it works against her when it comes to getting a good part in a film.

Most film producers and directors are white. Their idea of a pretty girl is someone who is tall and thin and, yes, white – or at least light-skinned like Halle Berry or Beyonce. I am afraid that to many of these whites Conwell looks like “some rap guy’s girlfriend”.

And this matters: Conwell is now at that delicate stage where to progress she must make the jump from playing the friend to playing the lead in a film that does well. Sanaa Lathan made that jump in “Love and Basketball” and Gabrielle Union in “Deliver Us From Eva”. Conwell has not, but she is still young and has time.

A mistake that she does seem to be making, however, is not carefully choosing which films she appears in. She is on course to becoming stuck playing a supporting character in bad films. True, there are not many parts for black women in Hollywood, but Sanaa Lathan, for example, has been careful about where she appears.

In 2004 Conwell was designing her own clothing line. I do not know what became of it.

In 2007 she has been working on becoming a singer.

Some of the music videos she has been in:

  • Cherish: Unappreciated (2006)
  • Guerilla Black: You’re the One (2005)
  • Erick Sermon: I’m Hot (2001)

Conwell was Omar Gooding’s girlfriend for about two years.

She will appear in the August/September 2007 issue Black Men magazine. She is currently in “Confessions”, a direct-to-DVD film that came out in July 2007. It stars Tamala Jones. You can also catch her in the upcoming films “Portal”, “Thug Passion” and “Queen of All Media”

She is clearly talented. She first appeared on television at age six in her native state of South Carolina. At age 12 she was a model for the Wilhelmena Agency in New York. When she was age 14 she and her mother moved to Hollywood. There she began appearing on countless television shows. With “Baby Boy” she began her move to film.

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Sophia Loren (1934- ) is an Italian film actress. She starred in dozens of films in the 1950s and 1960s, both in Italy and in Hollywood. Most were between bad and forgettable, but what people remember is her amazing beauty.

According to this blog she is the most beautiful woman in the world. I have never seen a more beautiful woman than Sophia Loren at her height. Not in any other country nor in any other age. She is more beautiful than I thought a woman could be.

She was tall (1.74 m). Counting her shoes and her hair, she was taller than most men. She had large breasts and an hourglass figure with plenty of meat on her bones. She had high cheekbones, thick lips, black hair and, most of all, big, beautiful eyes.

“Beauty is how you feel inside,” she once said, “and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”

Growing up she was so thin she was called Stick and Toothpick. “I was tall, thin, ugly and dark like an Arab girl. I looked strange. All eyes. No flesh on my bones.” Her figure filled out later: “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”

Jean Negulesco, who directed “Boy on a Dolphin”, said: “She was beautiful: she was big, big eyes, big nose, big lips, big body. It was Mother Earth in all her glory.”

She grew up in poverty and war in Naples without a father. Her beauty was the road out, the road to Rome where she and her mother went to become actresses. Her mother had once won a Greta Garbo look-alike contest.

In 1950 she came in second in the Miss Italy beauty contest. She tried her luck at becoming Miss Rome, but again came in second. But this time one of the judges who was taken by her beauty was a film producer – and her future husband: Carlo Ponti.

Ponti got her an acting teacher. He also wanted her to do something about her big nose and her big hips, but Loren, thankfully, thought better of it.

He put her in dozens of films and also broke her into Hollywood. He made sure she starred opposite the leading men of Hollywood of the time, like Cary Grant and Gregory Peck.

Loren was also in eight films by Vittorio de Sica and starred in over a dozen films opposite Marcello Mastroianni.

But despite all this, and despite her undoubted beauty and acting talent, she was never the box office hit that Elizabeth Taylor was. And, unlike Taylor or even Cary Grant, hardly anyone watches her films any more. No one was able to turn her beauty and acting into a fortune or even a film for the ages.

Because she was so beautiful many did not take her seriously as an actress. But her performance in De Sica’s “La ciociara” (1960) was so good that, even though it was all in Italian, she still won the Oscar for Best Actress in America.

Even at 71 she still looked great: good enough to make the Pirelli calendar for 2007 with the likes of Penelope Cruz and Hilary Swank.

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Gabrielle Union (1972- ) is an American film and television actress. She became known in 2000 after playing opposite Kirstin Dunst in the cheerleader film “Bring It On”. She was Will Smith’s love interest in “Bad Boys II” (2003) and LL Cool J’s in “Deliver Us From Eva” (2003) – a loose remake of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”.

According to this blog she is the tenth most beautiful woman in the world. She often makes AskMen.com’s top 99 and similar lists in men’s magazines like Maxim and Stuff.

Apart from her more obvious attributes, she has perfect skin and a warm, beautiful smile that can light up a room.

She is a Catholic schoolgirl from Omaha, Nebraska. When she was eight her family moved to California. She was a cheerleader and loved sports. She wanted to go into law, but while she was at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) she worked at a model agency answering telephones. She was so beautiful people assumed she was a model! And so she became a model herself. She appeared in Teen magazine.

It was soon discovered that she had not only beauty but acting talent as well.

Television: Her first acting part was on the television show “Moesha”. She landed small parts on a number of other television shows. She was on “Night Stalker” (2005) and “City of Angels” (2000), but neither show lasted long. She was even a Klingon on “Deep Space Nine”.

She was also in “Football Wives”, which was not picked up by ABC for 2007. It is something she knows first-hand: she married Chris Howard of the Jaguars. They separated after four years.

Film: The film that got her noticed was “Bring It On”, where she played opposite Kirstin Dunst. She did not do much acting in that film: for the most part she was just being herself. In “Deliver Us From Eva” (2003) she showed that she could play a leading lady. She often plays a beautiful but headstrong woman who thinks she knows it all – but does not!

For Christmas 2007 she appeared in “The Perfect Holiday”. Her daughter asks Santa Claus to find Union a new husband.

She has lost leading parts to Beyonce (“Austin Powers in Goldmember”), Aaliyah and, understandably, to the seventh most beautiful woman in the world, Sanaa Lathan (“Love and Basketball”). Being rejected, she says, is the worst part of acting.

When she was 19 she worked at Payless ShoeSource. A man walked in one day and forced her into a back room. She thought she was going to die. She was raped instead. Later when she was famous she went to Washington to speak before Congress to tell them how rape counselling saved her life.

Her family name, Union, comes from the civil war days when the Union army freed the slaves. Many freed slaves changed their name to that of a president, like Washington, Jefferson and Jackson. Her family named themselves after the army that freed them.

Last updated: Sunday January 13th 2008.

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Shilpa Shetty

Shilpa Shetty (1975- ) was until a few weeks ago a middling Bollywood actress. Now she is famous in both Britain and India for the hateful things three white women said about her Indianness on the British television show “Celebrity Big Brother.” This week she won “Big Brother”.

Britain thinks of itself as an enlightened country open to people from all over the world, that it is beyond feelings of race, that it is a friend of India and understands it better than most.

But to many in India the Shetty affair only proved what seemed to be true all along: that the British still look down on Indians, who they once ruled, and do not like them much.

The story has struck a nerve in India. The BBC says that no news story has affected its Indian listeners so much – not Kashmir, not the rise of the BJP, not even Pakistan getting the bomb.

Yet whites in Britain read the Shetty affair the other way round: it shows what good open-minded people they are. After all, who won Big Brother? And who voted for her? The good white people of Britain.

Shetty herself defended the three women, even though they had driven her to tears. She said they were ill-mannered and driven by envy, not by feelings of race. Race was just an easy way to hurt her. She was very gandhigiri about the whole thing.

Jade Goody, one of the three, was already well-known for not biting her tongue. The Daily Mirror called her “a vile fishwife”. She was put on the show to make it more interesting. It soon became too interesting.

More than winning Shetty wanted to maintain her dignity (an easy thing to lose on “Big Brother”) and make her country proud of her. That she did. And more.

In Bollywood Shetty does not have the star power of, say, Aishwarya Rai. She is good-looking and it is a treat to watch her dance, but most of her 50 or so films are nothing great. The last one to do well was more than six years ago.

Having got as far as she could in Bollywood, she has come to Britain to make her name there and then move on to Hollywood. That is why she appeared on “Big Brother” in the first place.

Since her win, offers have been pouring in from both India and Britain. Even the BJP wants her to stand for parliament in India.

“Baazigar” (1993) made her name at 18. “Dhadkan” (2000) was her best film. In “Phir Melenge” her character has no make-up and suffers from Aids.

Her father has been accused of having underworld connections. He says it is a lie to ruin his daughter’s name, but telephone records show that he has talked to underworld figures.

She has not yet met the perfect man, but hopes to marry in 2010. (Time is running out if she wants children.)

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