Robert Palmer

The late, great Grammy Award-winning English singer-songwriter Robert Palmer sadly passed away in Paris, France, on 26th September 2003 at the age of 54. Born 19 January, 1949 in Batley, Yorkshire. He was known for his distinctive voice and the eclectic mix of musical styles on his albums, combining soul, jazz, rock, pop, reggae and blues. He found success both in his solo career and in the musical act Power Station, and had Top 10 songs in both the US and the UK. His memorable music videos for the hits “Simply Irresistible” and “Addicted to Love”, which were directed by Terence Donovan feature identically dressed dancing women with pale faces, dark eye makeup and bright red lipstick, which resembled the women in the art of Patrick Nagel and have since become much-parodied. Sharp-suited, his involvement in the music industry commenced in the 1960s, & covers five decades.

He released his first album “Pressure Drop” in 1975, which mixed reggae and rock music. In 1978, he released Double Fun, a collection of Caribbean-influenced rock. Palmer’s next album 1979′s Secrets produced his second Top 20 single “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)”. During The 1980s Palmer became even more popular with his next album Clues, which contained the singles “Looking for Clues” and “Some Guys Have All the Luck”. In April 1983 Pride was released, which featured a cover of The System’s “You Are In My System”. Palmer also performed at Duran Duran’s charity concert at Aston Villa football ground where he became friends with members of Duran Duran which would spawn the supergroup Power Station, who had two hit singles “Some Like It Hot” and a cover of the T.Rex song “Get It On (Bang a Gong)”.

In 1985 Palmer recorded the album Riptide featuring the single “Addicted to Love“ which garnered him the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1987.The album also contained The singles “Hyperactive!” and “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On”. In 1987 he released Heavy Nova and returned to experimenting, this time with bossa nova rhythms, heavy rock and white-soul balladeering. He repeated his previous success with the video of “Simply Irresistible“, again with a troupe of female “musicians”. The ballad “She Makes My Day” was also a hit. In 1989, he won a second Grammy for “Simply Irresistible” which was featured in the Tony Award winning musical Contact. Rolling Stone magazine voted Palmer the best-dressed rock star for 1990. The same year Palmer expanded his range even further for his next album, Don’t Explain, which featured the Bob Dylan penned single “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”, in a collaboration with UB40. Marvin Gaye cover “Mercy Mercy Me”. Throughout the 1990s, Palmer ventured further into diverse material and his 1992 album Ridin’ High was a tribute to the Tin Pan Alley era.

Bryan Ferry CBE (Roxy Music)

English singer and songwriter Bryan Ferry CBE was born 26 September 1945 in Washington, County Durham, England. Ferry came to prominence as the lead vocalist and principal songwriter with the glam art rock band Roxy Music, achieving three number one albums and ten top ten singles in the UK between 1972 and 1982. Their singles included “Virginia Plain”, “Street Life”, “Love is the Drug”, “Dance Away”, “Angel Eyes”, “Over You”, “Oh Yeah”, “Jealous Guy” and “More Than This”. Ferry began his solo career in 1973. His solo hits included “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”, “Let’s Stick Together” and “This Is Tomorrow”. After disbanding Roxy Music, Ferry concentrated on his solo career, releasing further singles such as “Slave to Love” and “Don’t Stop the Dance”.

His voice has been described as an “elegant, seductive croon”. He also established a distinctive image and sartorial style; according to The Independent, Ferry and his contemporary David Bowie influenced a generation with both their music and their appearance. As well as being a prolific songwriter himself, Ferry has also gained attention for his many cover versions of other artists’ songs and for his re-working of standards, especially from the Great American Songbook, in albums such as These Foolish Things (1973), Another Time, Another Place (1974) and As Time Goes By (1999). When his sales as a solo artist and as a member of Roxy Music are combined, Ferry has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

Concorde

BAC Concorde

BAC Concorde

On 26 September 1973, Concorde, the iconic retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner made its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-breaking time. It is one of only two Supersonic planes to have entered commercial service; the other being the Tupolev Tu-144. Concorde was jointly developed and produced by Aérospatiale and theBritish Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights fromLondon Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK andWashington Dulles; it profitably flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type’s only crash in 2000, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support. Concorde’s name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the UK, any or all of the type—unusual for an aircraft—are known simply as “Concorde”, without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.

Scheduled flights began on 21 January 1976 on the London–Bahrain and Paris–Rio (viaDakar) routes, with BA flights using the “Speedbird Concorde” call sign to notify air traffic control of the aircraft’s unique abilities and restrictions, but the French using their normal callsigns. The Paris-Caracas route (via Azores) began on 10 April. The US Congress had just banned Concorde landings in the US, mainly due to citizen protest over sonic booms, preventing launch on the coveted North Atlantic routes. The US Secretary of Transportation,William Coleman, gave permission for Concorde service to Washington Dulles International Airport, and Air France and British Airways simultaneously began service to Dulles on 24 May 1976. When the US ban on JFK Concorde operations was lifted in February 1977, New York banned Concorde locally. The ban came to an end on 17 October 1977 when the Supreme Court of the United States declined to overturn a lower court’s ruling rejecting efforts by the Port Authority and a grass-roots campaign led by Carol Berman to continue the ban. In spite of complaints about noise, the noise report noted that Air Force One, at the time a Boeing VC-137, was louder than Concorde at subsonic speeds and during takeoff and landing. Scheduled service from Paris and London to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport began on 22 November 1977.in 1977, British Airways and Singapore Airlines shared a Concorde for flights between London and Singapore International Airport at Paya Lebar via Bahrain. The aircraft, BA’s Concorde G-BOAD, was painted in Singapore Airlines livery on the port side and British Airways livery on the starboard side. The service was discontinued after three return flights because of noise complaints from the Malaysian government; it could only be reinstated on a new route bypassing Malaysian airspace in 1979. A dispute with India prevented Concorde from reaching supersonic speeds in Indian airspace, so the route was eventually declared not viable and discontinued in 1980.

During the Mexican oil boom, Air France flew Concorde twice weekly to Mexico City’s Benito Juárez International Airport via Washington, DC, or New York City, from September 1978 to November 1982. However The worldwide economic crisis during that period resulted in this route’s cancellation; the last flights were almost empty. The routing between Washington or New York and Mexico City included a deceleration, from Mach 2.02 to Mach 0.95, to cross Florida subsonically and avoid creating a sonic boom over the state; Concorde then re-accelerated back to high speed while crossing the Gulf of Mexico. On 1 April 1989, on an around-the-world luxury tour charter, British Airways implemented changes to this routing that allowed G-BOAF to maintain Mach 2.02 by passing around Florida to the east and south. Periodically Concorde visited the region on similar chartered flights to Mexico City and Acapulco. From 1978 to 1980, Braniff International Airways leased 10 Concordes, five each from Air France and British Airways. These were used on subsonic flights between Dallas-Fort Worth and Washington Dulles International Airport, flown by Braniff flight crews. Air France and British Airways crews then took over for the continuing supersonic flights to London and Paris. The aircraft were registered in both the United States and their home countries; the European registration as covered while being operated by Braniff, retaining full AF/BA liveries. The flights were not profitable and typically less than 50% booked, forcing Braniff to end its tenure as the only US Concorde operator in May 1980

The fastest transatlantic airliner flight was from New York JFK to London Heathrow on 7 February 1996 by British Airways’ G-BOAD in 2 hours, 52 minutes, 59 seconds from takeoff to touchdown. Concorde also set other records, including the official FAI “Westbound Around the World” and “Eastbound Around the World” world air speed records.On 12–13 October 1992, in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ first New World landing, Concorde Spirit Tours (USA) chartered Air France Concorde F-BTSD and circumnavigated the world in 32 hours 49 minutes and 3 seconds, from Lisbon, Portugal, including six refuelling stops at Santo Domingo, Acapulco, Honolulu, Guam, Bangkok, and Bahrain. The eastbound record was set by the same Air France Concorde (F-BTSD) under charter to Concorde Spirit Tours in the USA on 15–16 August 1995. This promotional flight circumnavigated the world from New York/JFK International Airport in 31 hours 27 minutes 49 seconds, including six refuelling stops at Toulouse, Dubai, Bangkok, Andersen AFB in Guam, Honolulu, and Acapulco. By its 30th flight anniversary on 2 March 1999 Concorde had clocked up 920,000 flight hours, with more than 600,000 supersonic, much more than all of the other supersonic aircraft in the Western world combined.On its way to the Museum of Flight in November 2003, G-BOAG set a New York City-to-Seattle speed record of 3 hours, 55 minutes, and 12 seconds.

By around 1981 in the UK, the future for Concorde looked bleak. The British government had lost money operating Concorde every year, and moves were afoot to cancel the service entirely. A cost projection came back with greatly reduced metallurgical testing costs because the test rig for the wings had built up enough data to last for 30 years and could be shut down. Despite this, the government was not keen to continue. In 1983, BA’s managing director, Sir John King, convinced the government to sell the aircraft outright to British Airways for £16.5 million plus the first year’s profits. King recognised that, in Concorde, BA had a premier product that was underpriced. Market research had revealed that many customers thought Concorde was more expensive than it actually was; thus ticket prices were progressively raised to match these perceptions. It is reported that British Airways then ran Concorde at a profit, unlike their French counterpart. Between 1984 and 1991, British Airways flew a thrice-weekly Concorde service between London and Miami, stopping at Washington Dulles International Airport.Until 2003, Air France and British Airways continued to operate the New York services daily. Concorde routinely flew to Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados, during the winter holiday season. Prior to the Air France Paris crash, several UK and French tour operators operated charter flights to European destinations on a regular basis; the charter business was viewed as lucrative by British Airways and Air France.In 1997, British Airways held a promotional contest to mark 10th anniversary of airline’s move into the private sector. The promotion was lottery to fly to New York held for 190 tickets valued at £5,400 each, to be offered at £10. Contestants had to call a special hotline to compete with up to 20 million people.

Unfortunately On 25 July 2000, Air France Flight 4590, registration F-BTSC, crashed in Gonesse, France after departing from Paris Charles de Gaulleen route to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, killing all 100 passengers and nine crew members on board the flight, and four people on the ground. It was the only fatal accident involving Concorde.According to the official investigation conducted by the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA), the crash was caused by a titanium strip that fell from a Continental Airlines DC-10 that had taken off minutes earlier. This metal fragment punctured a tyre on Concorde’s left main wheel bogie during takeoff. The tyre exploded, a piece of rubber hit the fuel tank, and while the fuel tank was not punctured, the impact caused a shock-wave which caused one of the fuel valves in the wing to burst open. This caused a major fuel leak from the tank, which then ignited due to sparking electrical landing gear wiring severed by another piece of the same tyre. The crew shut down engine number 2 in response to a fire warning, and with engine number 1 surging and producing little power, the aircraft was unable to gain height or speed. The aircraft entered a rapid pitch-up then a violent descent, rolling left and crashing tail-low into the Hôtelissimo Les Relais Bleus Hotel in Gonesse. On 6 December 2010, Continental Airlines and John Taylor, one of their mechanics, were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but on 30 November 2012 a French court overturned the conviction, saying mistakes by Continental and Taylor did not make them criminally responsible. Prior to the accident, Concorde had been arguably the safest operational passenger airliner in the world in terms of passenger deaths-per-kilometres travelled with zero, but had a rate of tyre damage some 30 times higher than subsonic airliners from 1995 to 2000. Safety improvements were made in the wake of the crash, including more secure electrical controls, Kevlar lining on the fuel tanks and specially developed burst-resistant tyres.

The first flight after the modifications departed from London Heathrow on 17 July 2001, piloted by BA Chief Concorde Pilot Mike Bannister. During the 3-hour 20-minute flight over the mid-Atlantic towards Iceland, Bannister attained Mach 2.02 and 60,000 ft (18,000 m) before returning to RAF Brize Norton. The test flight, intended to resemble the London–New York route, was declared a success and was watched on live TV, and by crowds on the ground at both locations. The first flight with passengers after the accident took place on 11 September 2001, landing shortly before the World Trade Center attacks in the United States. This was not a revenue flight, as all the passengers were BA employees.Normal commercial operations resumed on 7 November 2001 by BA and AF (aircraft G-BOAE and F-BTSD), with service to New York JFK, where passengers were welcomed by then mayor Rudy Giuliani.. This aircraft flew for 22,296 hours between its first flight in 1976 and its final flight in 2000.On 10 April 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced that they would retire Concorde later that year. They cited low passenger numbers following the 25 July 2000 crash, the slump in air travel following 11 September 2001, and rising maintenance costs. Although Concorde was technologically advanced when introduced in the 1970s, 30 years later its analogue cockpit was dated. There had been little commercial pressure to upgrade Concorde due to a lack of competing aircraft, unlike other airliners of the same era such as the Boeing 747. By its retirement, it was the last aircraft in British Airways’ fleet that had a flight engineer; other aircraft, such as the modernised 747-400, had eliminated the role.

On 11 April 2003, Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson announced that the company was interested in purchasing British Airways’ Concorde fleet for their nominal original price of £1 (US$1.57 in April 2003) each. British Airways dismissed the idea, prompting Virgin to increase their offer to £1 million each. Branson claimed that when BA was privatised, a clause in the agreement required them to allow another British airline to operate Concorde if BA ceased to do so, but the Government denied the existence of such a clause. In October 2003, Branson wrote in The Economist that his final offer was “over £5 million” and that he had intended to operate the fleet “for many years to come”. The chances for keeping Concorde in service were stifled by Airbus’s lack of support for continued maintenance. It has also been suggested that Concorde was grounded because airlines could make more profit carrying first class passengers subsonically and that the Air France retirement of its Concorde fleet was the result of a conspiracy between Air France Chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta and Airbus CEO Noel Forgeard, In addition A lack of commitment to Concorde was cited as having undermined BA’s resolve to continue operating Concorde.

Stuart Tosh (10cc)

Stuart Tosh, (Stuart Mackintosh) Scottish singer-songwriter and drummer (10cc and Pilot) was Born 26 September 1951. Three of the founding members of 10cc were childhood friends in the Manchester area. As boys, kevin Godley and Lol Creme knew each other; Graham Gouldman and Kevin Godley attended the same secondary school; their musical passion led to playing at the local Jewish Lads’ Brigade .They achieved their greatest commercial success in the 1970s. The band initially consisted of four musicians—Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme—who had written and recorded together for about three years, before assuming the “10cc” name in 1972.

10cc featured two strong songwriting teams, one ‘commercial’ and one ‘artistic’, but both teams injected sharp wit into lyrically dextrous and musically varied songs. Stewart and Gouldman were predominantly pop-song-writers, who created most of the band’s accessible songs. By way of contrast, Godley and Creme were the predominantly experimental half of 10cc, featuring an Art School sensibility and cinematic inspired writing. Every member was a multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer and producer. Most of the band’s albums were recorded at their own Strawberry Studios (North) in Stockport and Strawberry Studios (South) in Dorking, with most of those engineered by Stewart. Among their best known songs is “I’m Not in Love“. Stuart Tosh also recorded and toured with a succession of other well-known and respected bands during the 1970s and 1980s, including Pilot, the Alan Parsons Project, 10cc, Camel, and Roger Daltrey.

a long time ago in a galaxy far away….

Star WarsAmerican actor, voice actor, producer, director, and writer Mark Richard Hamill was born September 25, 1951. He is best known for his performance as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as his voice role as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, its various spin-offs, and the video games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Hamill has also lent his voice to various other villains and anti-heroes in various other animated productions.

Mark atended Nile C. Kinnick High School in Yokosuka, and was a member of the drama club. After that he attended Annandale High School in Annandale, Virginia. He subsequently enrolled at Los Angeles City College and majored in drama. Hamill’s early career included voicing the character Corey Anders on the Saturday morning cartoon Jeannie by Hanna-Barbera Productions. He also portrayed the oldest son, David, on the pilot episode of Eight Is Enough, though the role was later performed byGrant Goodeve. He acted in TV series such as The Texas Wheelers, General Hospital, The Partridge Family, and One Day at a Time. One of his earliest films was the made-for-TV film The City. Robert Englund was auditioning for a part in Apocalypse Now when he walked across the hall where auditions were taking place for George Lucas’ Star Wars. After watching the auditions for a while, he realized that his friend, aspiring actor Mark Hamill, would be perfect for the role of Luke Skywalker. He suggested to Hamill that he audition for the part; Hamill did, and won the role. Released in the summer of 1977, Star Wars became hugely, successful and Hamill also appeared in Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) and the Star Wars sequels The Empire Strikes Back(1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). For each of the sequels, Hamill was honored with the Saturn Award for Best Actor given by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Films. He reprised the role of Luke Skywalker for the radio dramatizations of both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, but did not act in theReturn of the Jedi radio drama.

After the success of Star Wars, Hamill found that audiences identified him very closely with the role of Luke Skywalker. He attempted to avoid typecasting by appearing in Corvette Summer (1978) and the better-known World War II film The Big Red One (1980). Hamill also made a guest appearance on The Muppet Show as both himself and his role of Luke Skywalker. C3PO and R2-D2 were along with him on a search for Chewbacca in that episode. During the 1980s, Hamill did little film work outside of Star Wars. Instead, he acted on Broadway, starring in The Elephant Man, Harrigan ‘N Hart (for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination), The Nerd, and other stage plays. Hamill also played the antagonist Hawkins in the Swedish action movie Hamilton in 1998. Some of his other film credits include The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, Britannia Hospital, Slipstream, The Guyver, and the 1995 remake of Village of the Damned. In 1990, he played an escaped mental patient who terrorizes Michael Dudikoff and his wife in Midnight Ride. He also narrated The Sci-Fi Files, a four-part documentary about the influence of science fiction upon present society. In 2001, Hamill starred in Thank You, Good Night alongside Christian Campbell, John Paul Pitoc, and Sally Kirkland. Hamill appeared in the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and parodies Luke Skywalker, The Joker, The Trickster (of “The Flash” fame), and the rest of the vast array of super-villain voices he has done and himself all at the same time.

In live-action television, Hamill had recurring roles in General Hospital and The Texas Wheelers, and a small role in The Bill Cosby Show. He guest appeared in two episodes as the Trickster in the live-action television series of The Flash, a role he would later reprise in the animated series Justice League Unlimited. He has made cameo appearances on MADtv (where he played the estranged father ofMs. Swan), and appeared on Saturday Night Live (playing himself being sold on a Star Wars-themed home shopping sale). Hamill appeared on single episodes of 3rd Rock from the Sun and Just Shoot Me! He also had a guest spot on The Muppet Show as both himself and his “cousin” Luke Skywalker, along with C-3PO, Chewbacca and R2-D2. In 1986, he appeared in an episode of the TV seriesAmazing Stories (“Gather Ye Acorns”) in the role of Jonathan. He also had a recurring role as Tobias LeConte on seaQuest DSV. It has been recounted by Richard Hatch that, shortly after the filming of Star Wars, when Mark appeared on set for a guest appearance onStreets of San Francisco, he was asked by Richard about recent work, to which Mark had reportedly replied “I just finished a movie called Star Wars.”Hamill also directed and starred in the 2005 direct-to-DVD Comic Book: The Movie. A comic book fan who attended science fiction and comic conventions before he became famous, Hamill claimed that his character was based on an exaggerated version of himself. He and his crew shot most of the “mockumentary” film during the 2002 San Diego Comic-Con, and enlisted Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, andHugh Hefner in small roles. The movie won an award for Best Live-Action DVD Premiere Movie at the 2005 DVD Exclusive Awards.

Mark Hamill has gained a reputation as a prolific voice actor. He previously did voice acting work in the Ralph Bakshi film Wizards, where he played “Sean, leader of the Knights of Stardust,” which was released just three months before Star Wars in 1977. Though the voice-role he is most known for is Batman’s archenemy the Joker, his success as the Joker has led him to portray a wide variety of characters (mostly villainous) in television, film, anime, and video games including the Hobgoblin in the 1990sSpider-Man cartoon series, Lawrance “Larry” 3000, in Cartoon Network’s animated series Time Squad. He also guest starred in The Simpsons episode “Mayored to the Mob”, he played the Gargoyle in the animated series of The Incredible Hulk, the Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Maximus in Fantastic Four, Captain Stickybeard inCodename: Kids Next Door, and the deranged shock jock anchorman Dr. Jak in Phantom 2040. He even parodied his Joker role in theTom & Jerry Kids episode “Droopy Man Returns,” and in the Animaniacs episode “The Cranial Crusader”, as Johnny Bad-Note. He voiced Dr. Julius Pendecker in The Tick, and Niju the Evil Wolf in Balto II: Wolf Quest. He also voiced Christopher “Maverick” Blair in the animated series Wing Commander Academy. In 1999, he provided the voice of Van Ripper in The Night of the Headless Horseman.

He voiced the character of Chanukah Zombie for the 2007 straight-to-DVD release Futurama: Bender’s Big Score. He also voiced the character Adolpho in Loonatics Unleashed.Hamill was also the voice of Judah in the DreamWorks film Joseph: King of Dreams As well asSolomon Grundy and the Trickster in the DC animated universe seriesJustice League and Justice League Unlimited. He voiced the murderous gangster Tony Zucco in The Batman, an animated series unrelated to the various DCAU shows. He also voiced the Spectre, in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, another animated series unrelated to the DCAU.Hamill performs the voice of Undergrowth in the Danny Phantom episode “Urban Jungle.” He provided the voice of series antagonist Fire Lord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender and Skeleton King in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!. He also guest starred as The Moth in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode “Night Light”. Additionally, he played the latter character in the Mina and the Count shorts. In the Hanna-Barbera Productions cartoon SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron, Hamill voiced Jonny K., the Red Lynx, and Burke, among others. He is also a recurring voice actor on Seth Green’s Robot Chicken. He also voiced Cry Baby Clown in Sccoby Doo Mystery Incorporated And had a voice cameo in the NASA animated short “Robot Astronomy Talk Show: Gravity and the Great Attractor,” part of the web-series IRrelevant Astronomy, produced by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

he also appeared in Star Wars episode VII alongside Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, and is also doing voicework for several characters in the Metalocalypse animated series. He voices Skips in the animated series Regular Show and also voices Frank the Director in Random! Cartoons on Frederator Studios. He provided the voice for Abraham Kane in the new series, Motorcity. He voiced Colonel Muska in the English-language version of Castle in the Sky and the Mayor of Pejite in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, both directed by Hayao Miyazaki and distributed by Disney. Hamill provided the voice of Commander Taylor in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, the sequel to the 1980s adapted anime series Robotech. He was also in Afro Samurai Resurrection. Hamill provides the voice of Jameson Burkright in the miniseries comedy The Wrong Coast, and Yamma in the joint Cartoon Network/Production I.G anime series IGPX Immortal Grand Prix. In early 2010, he voiced as Dante’s father in the anime film version ofDante’s Inferno. Hamill also co-wrote The Black Pearl, a comic book miniseries published by Dark Horse Comics. He wrote an introduction to the Trade Paperback Batman: Riddler Two-Face which reprints various stories involving The Riddler and Two-Face to tie in with Batman Forever. He has also written several stories for Simpsons Comics, including “Catastrophe in Substitute Springfields!”, which parodies DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths and also references several other classic comics. It was confirmed that Hamill is also doing the voicework for Alvin the Treacherous, a villain who is appeared in DreamWorks Television Series, Dragons: Riders of Berk.

Christopher Reeve

American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, author & activist Christopher Reeve was born September 25, 1952. He achieved stardom for his acting achievements, in particular his motion-picture portrayal of the fictional superhero Superman. Reeve had been asked to audition for the leading role as Clark Kent/Superman in the big budget film, Superman: The Movie . A meeting between director Richard Donner, producer Ilya Salkind and Reeve was set in January 1977., Reeve was sent a 300-page script for the film. He accepted & was told that Marlon Brando was going to play Jor-El and Gene Hackman was going to play Lex Luthor. He based his portrayal of Clark Kent on Cary Grant in his role in Bringing Up Baby & felt that the new Superman ought to reflect a contemporary male image.Although Reeve was a talented all-around athlete, portraying the role of Superman would be a stretch for him, but he was tall enough for the role & had the necessary blue eyes and handsome features. However, his physique was slim & he went through an intense two-month training regimen supervised by former British weightlifting champion David Prowse, (Darth Vader). Despite landing the role, Reeve was never a comic book fan, though he had watched Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves.

The film was a worldwide hit & Reeve won a BAFTA Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles & became an instant international star. He also guest starred in Smallville, about Clark Kent/Superman’s childhood. He appeared as Doctor Virgil Swann, in two episodes titled “Rosetta” and “Legacy”, while his death was made known in the fourth season episode “Sacred”.Reeve’s first role after 1978′s Superman was as Richard Collier in the 1980 romantic fantasy Somewhere in Time which co-starred Jane Seymour . Sadly reviews savaged the film as overly sentimental & melodramatic, however thanks to screenings on cable networks and video rentals; its popularity began to grow and it has since gone on to become something of a cult classic. Director Jean-Pierre Dorléac was also nominated for an Academy Award in Costume Design for the movie.In 1980 Reeves played the lead in the successful play The Front Page,as well as a disabled Vietnam veteran in the critically acclaimed Broadway play Fifth of July. In his research for the role, he was coached by an amputee on how to walk on artificial legs. After The Fifth of July, Reeve played a novice playwright opposite Michael Caine in Sidney Lumet’s film Deathtrap, Reeve was then offered the role of Basil Ransom in The Bostonians alongside Vanessa Redgrave. In 1984, Reeve appeared in The Aspern Papers with Vanessa Redgrave and played Tony in The Royal Family and the Count in Marriage of Figaro.

In 1985, Reeve hosted the television documentary Dinosaur! having been Fascinated with dinosaurs since he was a kid. DC Comics also named Reeve as one of the honorees in the company’s 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great for his work on the Superman film series. In 1986 He starred opposite Morgan Freeman, in the film Street Smart, for which Freeman was nominated for his first Academy Award. The film also received excellent reviews.Reeve was very active and went sailing, scuba diving, skiing, aviation, windsurfing, cycling, gliding, parasailing, mountain climbing, Played baseball, tennis and went horse riding after learning to ride for the film Anna Karenina, he also built a sailboat, The Sea Angel, which he sailed from the Chesapeake to Nova Scotia. He was also a licensed pilot and flew solo across the Atlantic twice, & also raced his sailplane in his free time and joined The Tiger Club, a group of aviators who had served in the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, who let him participate in mock dogfights in vintage World War I combat planes. He was approached by The producers of the film The Aviator to fly a Stearman in the film, Reeve readily accepted the role and did all of his stunts.

He also served as a board member for the Charles Lindbergh Fund, which promotes environmentally safe technologies, & lent support to causes such as Amnesty International, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and People for the American Way. He joined the Environmental Air Force and was also awarded The Bernardo O’Higgins Order and the Obie Prize and the Annual Walter Brielh Human Rights Foundation award, for helping to save the lives of 77 Actors in Santiago during 1987. Reeve was a member of the Creative Coalition, an organization designed to teach celebrities how to speak knowledgeably about political issues. along with Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, and Blythe Danner. In 1990, Reeve starred in the Civil War film, The Rose and the Jackal, in which he played Allan Pinkerton, the head of President Lincoln’s new Secret Service, he was also offered the part of Lewis in The Remains of the Day. The film was deemed an instant classic and was nominated for eight Academy Awards. In 1994, Reeve was elected as a co-president of the Creative Coalition. Reeve was also asked by the Democratic Party to run for the United States Congress. He also went to New Mexico to shoot Speechless (co-starring Michael Keaton). Reeve also played a paralyzed police officer in Above Suspicion. He research the role at a rehabilitation hospital and learned how to use a wheelchair to get in and out of cars. Reeve was then offered the lead in Kidnapped and also planned to direct a romantic comedy entitled Tell Me True until his life took An unexpected turn…

Not long after making these plans, Reeve was invited to compete in the Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association finals at the Commonwealth Park equestrian center in Culpeper, Virginia . He took horse riding seriously and was intensely competitive with it and finished fourth out of 27 in the dressage, before walking his cross-country course. He was concerned about jumps sixteen and seventeen, but paid little attention to the third jump, which was a routine three-foot-three fence shaped like the letter ‘W’. Sadly during the event On May 27, 1995, Reeve’s horse refused to jump the 3rd fence and Reeve fell and sustained a cervical spinal injury that paralyzed him from the neck down. He had no recollection of the incident but landed headfirst on the other side of the fence. His helmet prevented any brain damage, but the impact of his 215-pound (98 kg) body hitting the ground shattered his first and second vertebrae which meant that his skull and spine were not connected. When paramedics arrived he was taken to the local hospital, then flown by helicopter to the University of Virginia Medical Center. He had an operation to reattach his skull to his spine.Reeve was taken to the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in West Orange, New Jersey. At the Institute, one of his aides was a Jamaican man named Glenn Miller, nicknamed Juice, who helped him learn how to get into the shower and how to use a powered wheelchair, which was activated by blowing air through a straw. Reeve had occupational therapy and physical therapy in rehab. In the therapy gym, Reeve worked on moving his trapezius muscle, every day he would try to do better. The most difficult part of rehabilitation was respiratory therapy, the ammount of air Reeve could inhale had to be 750 ccs before getting off the artificial respirator could even be considered. Initially, Reeve could hardly get above zero. By the end of October, he was able to get around 50 ccs. This inspired him, and he felt his natural competitive edge coming back. The next day, he went up to 450 ccs. He reached 560 ccs the day after, and by December 13, 1995, Reeve was able to breathe without a ventilator for 30 minutes.

In July 2003, Christopher Reeve’s continuing frustration with the pace of stem cell research in the U.S. led him to Israel,which was at the center of research in spinal cord injury, He was invited by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to seek out the best treatment for his condition. During his visit, Reeve called the experience “a privilege” and said, “Israel has very proactive rehab facilities, excellent medical schools and teaching hospitals, and an absolutely first-rate research infrastructure.” Throughout his intensive tour, Reeve visited ALYN Hospital, Weizmann Institute of Science, and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, among many other places. Israelis were very receptive to Reeve’s visit, calling him an inspiration to all and urging him to never give up hope.Reeve left Kessler feeling deeply inspired by the other patients he had met. Because he was constantly being covered by the media, he realized that he could use his name to the benefit of everyone with spinal cord injuries. In 1996, he appeared at the Academy Awards to a long standing ovation and gave a speech about Hollywood’s duty to make movies that face the world’s most important issues head-on.

He also hosted the Paralympics in Atlanta and spoke at the Democratic National Convention. He traveled across the country to make speeches, he narrated the HBO film Without Pity: A Film About Abilities. The film won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Informational Special.” He then acted in a small role in the film A Step Towards Tomorrow.Reeve was elected Chairman of the American Paralysis Association and Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability. He co-founded the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, which is now one of the leading spinal cord research centers in the world. He created the the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to speed up research through funding, and to use grants to improve the quality of the lives of people with disabilities. Reeve used his celebrity status for good causes.He lobbied on behalf of people with spinal-cord injuries and for human embryonic stem cell research, founding the Christopher Reeve Foundation and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Center. Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he visited terminally ill children. He joined the Board of Directors for the worldwide charity Save the Children. and has done more to promote research on spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders than any other person before or since.

In 1997, Reeve made his directorial debut with the HBO film In the Gloaming with Robert Sean Leonard, Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Bridget Fonda and David Strathairn. The film won four Cable Ace Awards and was nominated for five Emmy Awards including “Outstanding Director for a Miniseries or Special. In 1998, Reeve produced and starred in Rear Window, a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance. On April 25, 1998, Random House published Reeve’s autobiography, Still Me. The book spent eleven weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list and Reeve won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. In 2000, he also began to regain some motor function, and was able to sense hot and cold temperatures on his body, and was also able to move his left index finger on command, Reeve also lobbied for expanded federal funding on embryonic stem cell research. In 2002, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center, a federal government facility created through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention non-compete grant, was opened in Short Hills, New Jersey. Its mission is to teach paralyzed people to live more independently. In 2004, Reeve directed the A&E film The Brooke Ellison Story. The film is based on the true story of Brooke Ellison, the first quadriplegic to graduate from Harvard University Reeve’s second book, Nothing is Impossible was also published, Reeve also directed the animated film Everyone’s Hero.

During his recovery He experienced a number of illnesses, including mononucleosis, malaria, and superior mesenteric artery syndrome. He also suffered from mastocytosis, a blood cell disorder and fought off a number of serious infections believed to have originated from bone marrow. He also had asthma and many allergies and More than once he had a severe reaction to a drug. In Kessler, he tried a drug named Sygen which helps reduce damage to the spinal cord. The drug caused him to go into anaphylactic shock and his heart stopped, He fell into a coma and was taken to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York. Eighteen hours later, on October 10, 2004, Reeve died of cardiac arrest at the age of 52. His doctor, John McDonald, believed that it was an adverse reaction to the antibiotic that caused his death. During the final days of his life, Reeve also urged California voters to vote yes on Proposition 71, which would establish the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, & allot $3 billion of state funds to stem cell research. A memorial service for Reeve was held at the Unitarian Church in Westport, Connecticut, which his wife attended. Reeve was cremated & his ashes scattered. Proposition 71 was also approved less than one month after Reeve’s death.