Friday, June 8, 2012

Celebrity Best Friends

Celebrity best friends, Today's National Best Friends Day honors those friends who've been there through thick and thin. Crank up the "Golden Girls" theme song as you try to guess which famous folks the following celebrities count among their nearest and dearest.



Ben Affleck+Matt Damon

While his Hollywood wife is likely his closest confidante, Affleck's right-hand-man is his Academy Award co-winner.


Despite his all-American persona, actor Matt Damon thrived in roles that ran counter to his mom-and-apple pie image. Whether playing a combative mathematics genius, a serial killer hunting the rich and famous, or a lethal spy unable to recall his identity, Damon built a strong and respected career tackling characters that went against type. After appearing in several supporting roles, Damon forged his own path with best friend Ben Affleck by writing and starring in "Good Will Hunting" (1997), which earned the duo an Academy Award for Best Screenplay while opening numerous doors. From there, he delivered a brief, but acclaimed performance as the titular soldier in "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), followed by a more devious part as a social-climbing killer in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999). Though he stalled a bit with "The Legend of Bagger Vance" (2000) and "All the Pretty Horses" (2000), Damon became a bona fide star by aptly trading one-liners with the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt in the stylish action comedy, "Ocean's Eleven" (2001) and its sequels. But Damon became his own man with "The Bourne Identity" (2002), which allowed him to solo drive a successful action franchise that earned big box office dollars and critical acclaim across the board. By the time he landed a meaty leading role in Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning thriller, "The Departed" (2006), Damon was one of the biggest stars working in Hollywood.

Damon was born on Oct. 8, 1970 in Cambridge, MA and raised in nearby Newton. His father, Kent, was a stockbroker and his mother, Nancy, a professor of early childhood education at Lesley College. When Damon was two years old, his parents divorced, leaving him to be reared by his mother in a commune-style home back in Cambridge. Because of the open and creative environment, Damon developed a taste for artistic endeavors at an early age. Although he acted onstage in school plays and declared his intention to pursue that career when he enrolled at Harvard University, Damon found it difficult at first. He made his feature debut screen with a one-line role of Adam Storke's younger brother in "Mystic Pizza" (1988). In 1991, Damon ditched Harvard 12 credits shy of his bachelor's degree in English, choosing instead to co-star opposite Brian Dennehy as a medical school dropout in the made-for-cable movie, "Rising Son" (TNT, 1990).

With his acting career on the rise, he excelled as an anti-Semitic preppie in "School Ties" (1992), but later stated that the competition for the roles in his age range was fierce. Nearly all the young men in "School Ties" had auditioned for the co-starring role in "Scent of a Woman" (also 1992), but that plum role opposite an Oscar-winning Al Pacino went to Chris O'Donnell. In fact, Damon and O'Donnell often competed for roles, with the latter generally winning out. Meanwhile, Damon proved adequate as the narrator of Walter Hill's revisionist Western "Geronimo: An American Legend" (1993), only to be overshadowed by more seasoned actors, notably Gene Hackman and Wes Studi. On the other hand, he all but pulled the rug out from under Denzel Washington in "Courage Under Fire" (1996), offering a vivid turn as a guilt-ridden veteran of the Persian Gulf War tormented by an incident in battle. He even lost 40 pounds to achieve the gaunt, haunted look of the character.

When he was at Harvard, Damon began writing a script about a troubled mathematics genius with childhood buddy Affleck. They fashioned a screenplay that soon became the talk of Hollywood, with studios bidding competitively for the project. Old friend and director Kevin Smith did his best to get it noticed by the Weinstein brothers at Miramax, going to bat for his two buddies. In 1994, Castle Rock initially purchased the rights for over a half-million dollars in a pay-or-play deal. The story then focused on Will, a South Boston resident with superior intelligence whom the government attempts to recruit. A year later, with the project in turnaround, Miramax purchased the rights and the script evolved to focus more strongly on the emotional difficulties of the leading character. Before "Good Will Hunting" went before the cameras, however, Damon landed his first screen lead as a newly-minted crusading attorney in Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of "John Grisham's 'The Rainmaker'" (1997). The one-two punch of the two leading roles - undoubtedly assisted by the resulting mythology building for Damon and Affleck as writers and actors - solidified the actor's status as the so-called "It" boy of 1997, along with Affleck. Earning a Best Actor Academy Award nomination and sharing an Oscar win for Best Screenplay with Affleck only upped his profile and provided Academy Award history with one of its most fairy tale-like moments when, as their respective mothers sat in the audience, the two young men ran cheering to the stage, breathlessly thanking everyone in funny, quick succession. The twosome came off as simply normal guys who had struggled to make it in showbiz and finally hit the big time - something many people could relate to, thus making their win that much sweeter.

Director Stephen Spielberg tapped Damon to play the title role in the World War II epic "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), a film worthy of critical praise for its showy camerawork and impressively staged battle set pieces. As the soldier whose three brothers have been killed in action, the all-American looking Damon was in only the last third of the film, but still managed to make a significant impression. He fared less well as the poker hustler-turned-law student who agrees to help his ex-con best friend in "Rounders" (1998). In this redux of Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets" (1974), Damon relied on his winning personality, warm smile and good looks than on his acting ability, giving more of a movie star portrayal than a real performance. Repaying writer-producer-director Kevin Smith for his assistance on "Good Will Hunting," he joined Affleck to play a pair of fallen angels trying to get back into heaven in the oddly dark comedy, "Dogma" (1999). Damon followed by undertaking the more challenging title role of an American who decides to murder his traveling companion (Jude Law) and assume his identity in Anthony Minghella's well-crafted "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999), resulting in one of the actor's most intense performance. Newcomer Law received the lion's share of the spotlight after giving a charming performance, but it was Damon's obsessive, bespectacled killer who was the glue that held the beautifully shot film together.

Damon's career hit a brief but worrisome slump with the release of three creative and box office duds in a row: director Robert Redford's lethargic "The Legend of Bagger Vance," with Damon as a washed up golf pro opposite wise caddy Will Smith; "All the Pretty Horses," director Billy Bob Thornton's failed adaptation of novelist Cormac McCarthy's romantic Western; and a small supporting turn in Van Sant's by-the-numbers "Finding Forrester" (2000). The actor recaptured his A-list caché when he joined the all-star cast of Steven Soderbergh's remake of "Ocean's Eleven," playing pick-pocket and aspiring big-time thief, Linus Caldwell, in the popular hit - a role he returned to for the sequels "Ocean's Twelve" (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen" (2007). His next film was a complete about-face from a polished crowd-pleaser: Damon and Casey Affleck starred (and co-wrote) the largely improvised drama "Gerry" (2002), a little-seen effort directed by Van Sant about two men named Gerry who are stranded in the desert during a hiking mishap. Although an intriguing experiment, it proved to be unfit for mainstream audiences.

Over the years, Damon cultivated a reputation as one of the most affable movie actors in Hollywood and frequently collaborated with friends to give their projects a boost. His desire to help others get their careers off the ground led he and Affleck to create the HBO reality series, "Project: Greenlight" (2001-02), which documented and bankrolled untried aspiring filmmakers' attempts to create a motion picture to be released by Miramax; the show resulted in the films "Stolen Summer" (2002) and "The Battle of Shaker Heights" (2003), both executive produced by Affleck and Damon. The duo also created and produced the short-lived "Push, Nevada" (ABC, 2002-03), an interactive mystery show that gave viewers the chance to solve the crime and win $1 million. Damon also had a cameo in films by his friend, Kevin Smith, including "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back" (2001) and "Jersey Girl" (2004); and in films from his "Ocean's Eleven" collaborators, including "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002); and up-and-coming filmmaker pals, such as the creators of the comedy "Eurotrip" (2004). As a voice actor, Damon lend his distinctive vocals to the films "Titan A.E." (2000), "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron" (2002), "The Majestic" (2001), and "Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train" (2004).

Demonstrating his increasing diversity and believability, Damon took on the role of the amnesiac über-spy Jason Bourne in the film adaptation of Robert Ludlum's sprawling espionage novel, "The Bourne Identity" (2002), a crackerjack thriller that did solid box office business and became a mega-hit on home video. The actor would reprise the role for the equally well-crafted but ultimately unsatisfying sequel "The Bourne Supremacy" (2004). Demonstrating a flair for goofball comedy, Damon delivered a wickedly funny turn on the small screen as Jack's scheming rival to join the gay men's chorus in a 2002 episode of the hit NBC sitcom "Will & Grace;" a role he reprised the following season. Damon next literallyjoined Greg Kinnear to play one-half of a pair of conjoined twins in the flawed but still winning comedy, "Stuck On You" (2003), a silly romp from the Farrelly Brothers that proved to be a rare miss for the filmmaking duo.

His next film cast him opposite Heath Ledger as a fictionalized version of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, the Bavarian fairy tale spinners known as "The Brothers Grimm" (2005), reimagined by director Terry Gilliam as a pair of curse-removing con artists who are suddenly tasked with solving a genuine mystery that will ultimately inspire their famous stories. Damon showed a great deal of panache and charisma as practical scoundrel Wilhelm, but the story ultimately left him too little to do; the film itself lacked the spark and imagination expected of a Gilliam project. Behind the scenes, Damon was credited with frequently playing peacemaker between the embattled Gilliam and the films' producers, the Weinstein brothers. At the end of that year Damon delivered a fine turn in the complex potboiler, "Syriana" (2005), playing an oil industry analyst living a comfortable life in Geneva until the death of his son while visiting an oil-rich country, drives him to obsession with helping the country's benevolent prince (Alexander Siddig) raise his nation with sound business dealings.

Damon next joined an all-star cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson for "The Departed" (2006), playing a hardened criminal employed by a crime syndicate who infiltrates the police while his counterpart (DiCaprio) on the force g s undercover in the mob. Based on the excellent Hong Kong action thriller, "Infernal Affairs" (2002) and directed by Martin Scorsese, "The Departed" earned a huge helping critical kudos prior to its release as well as several Academy Award wins. In "The Good Shepherd" (2006), a historical look at the beginnings of the CIA, Damon played Edward Wilson, a bright, idealistic Yale student recruited by the OSS to work intelligence during World War II. While later helping to form the CIA, he becomes disenfranchised during the heightened suspicions and deep-rooted paranoia of the Cold War. In 2007, Damon revived two favorite characters for a second time, appearing as Linus Caldwell in the much-improved "Ocean's Thirteen" (2007), and Jason Bourne for "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007), who comes out of retirement to defeat arch rival, The Jackal, in a once-and-for-all showdown.

In 2009, Damon made a cameo appearance on the hit Hollywood sitcom, "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-2011), playing a hyper-real version of himself in an effort to pressure Vince Chase (Adrian Grenier) into donating money to his real-life charity, OneXOne, only to grow more and more angry as Vince continues to avoid him. Back in features, he reunited with Steven Soderbergh to star in "The Informant!" (2009), a dark political comedy in which he portrayed Mark Whitacre, a former high-ranking executive at Archer Daniels Midland who blew the whistle on the company's illegal price-fixing scheme, only to find himself in trouble with the FBI himself when they discover he has embezzled $9 million. The role earned Damon a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in Musical or Comedy. He next starred in "Invictus" (2009), director Clint Eastwood's compelling sports drama about how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with South African rugby star Francois Pienaar (Damon) to unite their country. Damon earned his second Golden Globe nomination that year, this time for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, as well as Screen Actors Guild and Oscar nominations in the supporting category.

After reteaming with Greengrass for the war thriller "Green Zone" (2010), Damon played a factory worker who communicates with the dead in Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter" (2010). Also that year, he delivered a fine performance as Texas Ranger La Boeuf, who joins a determined 14-year-old (Hailee Steinfeld) and a gruff bounty hunter (Jeff Bridges) in tracking down a notorious gunman (Josh Brolin) in the Coen Brothers' Oscar-nominated Western, "True Grit" (2010). In a rare small screen turn, Damon played the pilot boyfriend of Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) in episodes of "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ), which earned him an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. He also served as the narrator for "Inside Job" (2010), the Academy Award-winning documentary that explored the root causes and high-level players involved in the 2008 economic crisis that revealed widespread corruption by U.S. financial services. The following year, Damon starred in "The Adjustment Bureau" (2011), a romantic thriller about a man fighting for his own destiny that was loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story, "The Adjustment Team." The film proved to be a moderate hit with both critics and audiences.

Not done by a long shot, Damon had much more to offer that year. He reteamed with Soderbergh once more for a 21st century updating of the disaster movie with "Contagion" (2011), in which he played a father desperately trying to save what remains of his family after a deadly pandemic rapidly depopulates the earth. On a lighter note, he lent his voice to the microbial Bill the Krill, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery with his pal Will (Brad Pitt) in director George Miller's animated sequel "Happy Feet Two" (2011). The industrious filmmaker then capped off the year by starring in director Cameron Crowe's family comedy-drama "We Bought a Zoo" (2011), the story about a man and his family whose recently purchased home contains a fully-stocked zoo that has fallen into disrepair.


Lance Armstrong+Matthew McConaughey

The seven-time Tour de France winner may cycle through girlfriends — from singers, to starlets, to his current ladylove — but one relationship has remained constant.


A true original, Texas-born and bred actor Matthew McConaughey stood out in Hollywood for his down-to earth optimism and his fun-loving lifestyle, embodied by his signature catch phrase "just keep livin'." But McConaughey's laid-back persona was deceiving, as he was one of the most focused and hard-working of the emerging young actors of the 1990s - in addition to possessing a naturally compelling screen presence. His southern "aw-shucks" charm was popular in romantic comedies, he brought a real-life passion for risk and physicality to adventure films, and he lent expressive features and a junior philosopher's way of analyzing human behavior to serious dramas. He could play up his handsome looks to essay a heartbreaker or disappear into a timeless everyman. McConaughey survived peaks and valleys as he explored his strengths as an actor and eventual producer, but Hollywood generally forgave him for his trespasses, as his humility and exuberant spirit were as contagious onscreen as off.

McConaughey was born in the South Texas city of Uvalde on Nov. 4, 1969. He was the youngest son of Kay, a kindergarten teacher, and Jim, a former pro football player who ran a gas station before starting an oil pipe fitting company. The venture was a rapid success, and when McConaughey was 10 years old, the family relocated to the booming East Texas oil town of Longview. It was here that the charismatic kid grew up ingrained with that unique Texas independent spirit and solid values of honesty, respect, and hard work. As a teenager, he was serious and accomplished in school, but attacked his time off with as much gusto, spending his Friday afternoons raising beer money for the weekend party and jumping at any chance for travel-related adventures. After graduating from Longview High School in 1988 - where he was voted Most Handsome - McConaughey signed on for an exchange student program, spending a year living in New South Wales, Australia. His openness and natural gift of gab failed to translate overseas, so for the first time in his young life, he found himself spending a great deal of time alone, soul-searching. Both of his older brothers had gone on to join the family business, but McConaughey was cut from a different cloth - he was the hell-raiser; the big dreamer destined to break away from the pack and who loved movies. With the idea of studying law, he returned to Texas and enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin.

For two years, frat brother McConaughey balanced partying with admirable achievements in heady courses like property law and philosophy. After a particularly grueling round of final exams at the end of his sophomore year, he happened across a slim self-help volume entitled, The Greatest Salesman in the World. McConaughey realized that he was not following his passion. One of his best friends was a film student and the future actor had been experiencing major envy for quite some time. So he changed his course and began taking drama and screenwriting classes, feeling instantly at home. At the time, Austin was enjoying a burgeoning young film scene and McConaughey easily landed roles in several commercials and music videos. One night at a bar, he met casting agent Don Phillips, who was working for local hero Richard Linklater on "Dazed and Confused" (1993). Following a lively five hour conversation that led to their expulsion from the bar, Phillips told McConaughey to stop by the production office and perhaps he could find a role in the film for him.

With his performance as Wooderson, a laid-back 20-something townie with a penchant for high school girls and stoner wisdom, McConaughey was a certified scene-stealer in a film with plenty of competition. Linklater immediately recognized his electric screen presence and expanded the role from a few lines to a few hundred lines. McConaughey followed up with supporting roles in more local productions, including "My Boyfriend's Back" (1993), "Angels in the Outfield" (1994), and "Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (lensed 1995), in which his maniacal performance was shelved for two years until he and the film's co-star, Renee Zellweger, had become famous and there was a dollar to be made. With his optimism and sense of adventure in peak form, McConaughey left Texas for Hollywood in 1995 and gave a breakout performance as Drew Barrymore's by-the-book policeman boyfriend in "Boys on the Side" (1995). Again, his unique charisma brought him considerable notice; his straight-arrow character nuanced by a believable undercurrent of dangerous unpredictability that made the relationship seem plausible.

Plenty of directors had their eyes on the promising Hollywood newcomer, with John Sayles first in line to sign McConaughey to play a rising young Texas sheriff in the highly acclaimed drama, "Lone Star" (1996). J l Schumacher had been searching in vain to satisfy John Grisham's requirements for a lead in "A Time to Kill" (1996). The role was based on Grisham's early years as a Southern lawyer, so he turned down all the young A-listers in favor of the virtual unknown McConaughey, who he believed best embodied the spirit of the young lawyer defending a black man accused of murder. McConaughey was suddenly transformed from character player to lead in a Hollywood blockbuster, earning respectable critical reviews in the process. He shrewdly formed his own production company, j.k.livin', and signed a deal with Warner Bros. As producer, he rolled out his first feature the following year - the surprisingly entertaining documentary about an endurance contest at a Texas car dealership called "Hands on a Hardbody" (1997). It was a pretty down-to-earth move for someone who had incited a near-media frenzy as "the next big thing" and appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, but it was becoming clear that McConaughey - who was living in a trailer park in Malibu, CA - was a breed apart from the usual earnest, self-absorbed young stars.

McConaughey returned to the big screen opposite Jodie Foster in Robert Zemeckis' sci-fi drama, "Contact" (1997). Unfortunately, the film and McConaughey missed the mark with the ambitious project, in which he played Foster's love interest - a former seminarian now acting as a spiritual adviser to the U.S. president. He was also unconvincingly cast as an 18th-century New England lawyer in Steven Spielberg's fact-based account of the infamous slave uprising "Amistad" (1997), though the film received mostly positive reviews and brought in strong holiday season box office numbers. A more modern period piece - the 1920s-set "The Newton Boys" (1998) - reunited him with Linklater and showcased McConaughey's talent to better effect, allowing his natural twang back in the speech of Willis Newton, the brains behind a real-life band of Texas bank-robbing brothers. Having co-produced and co-starred in Sandra Bullock's short "Making Sandwiches" (1997), McConaughey helmed his own, "The Rebel" (1998), before starring in Ron Howard's "EDtv" (1999), a picture which enabled him to draw on his own brush with overnight fame. His good-looking doofus Ed Pekurnay experiences a similar fate when he agrees to let a TV crew document his life for a show that unexpectedly takes off in the ratings. Hampered at the box office by its perceived similarity to the previous year's "The Truman Show," it still offered the actor a chance to carry a picture, and he managed quite well, thanks to the natural zaniness he brought to the part. He switched gears to play a Naval lieutenant helming a daring rescue of a top-secret decoding device from a German U-boat in the World War II suspense thriller, "U-571" (2000), which was a sizeable hit with audiences.

In 2002, McConaughey's devilish charm, comic talent, and good looks were finally tapped for the first of several romantic comedies. He played the love interest of Jennifer Lopez in the wildly popular "The Wedding Planner" and was the targeted subject of Kate Hudson's love-researching journalist in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003), which was a huge hit, largely due to the onscreen chemistry between the likeable pair. McConaughey next served as executive producer and co-star of "Sahara," an ambitious action/comedy/romance adaptation of Clive Cussler's best-selling novel. Despite its blockbuster ticket sales in excess of $100 million dollars, the film received flak for a bloated budget that constituted financial failure. Further gossip surrounded the off-screen romance between McConaughey and his leading lady, Penelope Cruz - an actress who seemed only too happy to live with her boyfriend in his Airstream trailer.

McConaughey's next outing, "Two For the Money" (2005), earned hardly as much ink, and quietly sank like a stone, despite the power of co-star Al Pacino and male-demographic hugging plot about a former college basketball star taken under the wing of a bookie after a career-ending injury. But obviously the female demographic was paying attention, and in 2005 People magazine named McConaughey its 20th annual "Sexiest Man Alive," calling him a "one-man endorphin rush," despite his disinterest in using deodorant - preferring, instead, to go au natural.

Revisiting his evergreen popularity in the romantic comedy genre, in 2006 McConaughey co-starred with Sarah Jessica Parker in "Failure to Launch," in which he played a 30-something bachelor unwilling to give up the benefits of living at home with his parents. Predictably, it was a smash with audiences, but skewered by critics. The fact-based "We Are Marshall" (2006), however, seemed to hold more promise, with McConaughey portraying a football coach brought in to rebuild a school team after a tragic plane crash left the entire squad, coaching staff, and a large group of supporters dead. The tearjerker was a moderate theatrical hit that left critics divided; some feeling that McConaughey failed to dig deep into the role, and gave an energetic but ultimately superficial performance.

The following year, it was announced that McConaughey had been cast to play iconic TV detective Thomas Magnum in a 2009 film adaptation of series "Magnum P.I." (CBS, 1980-88). McConaughey prepped for his impending tropical adventure by reuniting with Kate Hudson for the sunken treasure action-romance "Fool's Gold" (2008). Later that year McConaughey's j.k. livin' production company was slated to release "Surfer Dude," in which he would play the lead of a surfer undergoing an existential crisis. McConaughey would also be seen in a supporting role in the Ben Stiller comedy, "Tropic Thunder" (2008).

Tyra Banks+Kimora Lee Simmons

The model & media mogul and her fabulous friend both know a thing or two about parlaying a modeling career into big business.
Though she's occassionally appeared in bit film parts, former-model Kimora Lee Simmons is best known for her eight-year marriage to music mogul Russell Simmons. Despite the couple's 2006 separation and 2008 divorce, they remained partners in their fashion venture, Baby Phat. In 2007, Simmons began starring in her own reality show, Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, on the Style Network.
Mario Batali+Joe Bastianich

This celebrity chef and his fine-dining friend are partners in several hot-spot restaurants from NYC to LA.

For Restaurateur Joe Bastianich, a life in the culinary industry seems predestined. Growing up in parents Felice and Lidia’s traditional Italian restaurants in Queens and Manhattan, Bastianich was expected to help out with everything from dish washing to morning runs to the meat market. These early experiences taught Bastianich plenty about what it takes to turn a profit in the restaurant business. These lessons helped him to later create an empire of Italian wine and cuisine, which now counts Del Posto, Babbo, Eataly, and Lupa in its ranks.

But before fully succumbing to his fate as a restaurant man, Bastianich thought he could escape his Italian heritage and the culinary industry. After studying philosophy and political science at Boston College, his first job was on Wall St on the Merrill Lynch trading floor. A year passed by, and Bastianich realized that this was not the path for him. He resigned from his job, and armed with a one-way ticket to Italy, he ate, drank and worked his way for over a year, experiencing the majesty of Italian cuisine and receiving a hands-on education in wine. Inspired by what he saw and tasted in Europe, Bastianich returned to New York City and opened Becco with Lidia as his partner.

Since then, Bastianich has teamed up with Lidia and Mario Batali on numerous occasions, focusing on wine programs and operational side of things at some of the most distinguished Italian restaurants in the country. In 2005, Bastianich won the Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional award from both James Beard and Bon Appétit. He also owns three wineries in Italy, judges for the TV show “MasterChef,” and published his tell-all memoir Restaurant Man in 2011.


Naomi Campbell+Victoria Beckham

The supermodel and her fellow Brit seem more like "frenemies," with the tabloids reporting ups and downs between them over the years.
After forming in 1993, each of the five members of the Spice Girls developed her own persona, with Victoria Beckham as "Posh Spice." They released their debut album, Spice, in 1996, and it sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Beckham later explored her love of fashion, developing a line of jeans called VB Rocks in 2004. In 2007, Beckham went on a reunion tour with the Spice Girls.
George Clooney+Brad Pitt


From playing partners in crime on the big screen to waging prank wars on each other, these two are a match made in A-list heaven.


Despite his leading man looks and movie star charisma, actor Brad Pitt spent most of his career trying to avoid bloated box office roles in favor of riskier, lower profile work. After achieving heartthrob status with revealing performances showing off his six-pack abs in "Thelma and Louise" (1991) and "Legends of the Fall" (1994), Pitt actively subverted his hunky image by taking on ugly and often crazed characters, most notably in "12 Monkeys" (1995), "Fight Club" (1999) and "Snatch" (2001). While en route to becoming one of the top box office draws of his generation, Pitt generated a substantial amount of tabloid press, particularly for his headline-grabbing romances, which provided ample fodder for supermarket stands across the country. His high-profile marriage to "girl next door" Jennifer Aniston - once considered the Hollywood ideal - publicly imploded after he separated from his wife and began dating proverbial bad girl, Angelina Jolie. The result, however, was a new image of Pitt as multiracial father and globetrotting activist, thanks to Jolie's adoption of impoverished orphans from around the world. It was this transformation that was underscored by strong and mature performances in the meditative "Babel" (2006) and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008), as well as more escapist fare like the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise. The public's fascination with the beloved actor both on screen and off proved that beneath the pretty boy exterior, Pitt only improved with age.

Born on Dec. 18, 1963 in Shawnee, OK, Pitt was raised in a devout Baptist home headed by William, a trucking company manager, and Jane, a high school counselor. The family moved to Missouri, where Pitt attended Kickapoo High School. After graduating, he went to the University of Missouri, where he studied journalism and belonged to the Sigma Chi fraternity. Two weeks prior to earning his degree, however, Pitt suddenly decided to pile into his Datsun with $300 in his pocket and move to Los Angeles to become an actor. He started out in television guest spots, including a recurring role on the CBS primetime soap "Dallas" in 1987 that tended to capitalize on his wiry good looks. He co-starred in "Glory Days" (Fox, 1990), a short-lived drama about post-high school angst. Pitt entered features via the well-traveled low road, appearing in supporting roles in such standard teen fodder as slasher flicks, sex comedies and family-oriented sports dramas.

In that rarest of film moments, Pitt gained instant stardom as the hitchhiking hunk - part charmer, part thief - who seduces Geena Davis while brandishing a hairdryer and sporting a cowboy hat in the female buddy movie, "Thelma & Louise" (1991). The following year, he achieved leading man status while sporting a formidable pompadour as the fictitious, aspiring teen idol "Johnny Suede;" he maintained the hairstyle as a soft-hearted yet hard-boiled vet-turned-cartoon cop in "Cool World," Ralph Bakshi's uneven blend of live-action and animation. Pitt gained some critical esteem playing the troubled younger brother who casts a mean fishing line in Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It" (1992), but fared less well as a bearded psycho killer in "Kalifornia" (1993). He provided a delightful character turn as the stoner roommate of a struggling actor (Michael Rapaport) who connects his Detroit buddy (Christian Slater) with a Hollywood producer (Saul Rubinek) for a coke deal gone bad in the Quentin Tarantino-scripted "True Romance" (1993). Despite his relative minor degree of celebrity at that time, there was already considerable interest in Pitt's romantic involvements. Around the release of "True Romance," he called off a reported engagement to three-year girlfriend, actress Juliette Lewis.

Pitt subsequently played his first high-profile lead in a Hollywood blockbuster as Louis, the lachrymose narrator of "Interview with the Vampire" (1994). His depressed bloodsucker seemed all the more anemic when paired with a lively Tom Cruise. Pitt's star qualities were better displayed as the wild, middle brother of a colorful Western clan in "Legends of the Fall." In a change of pace from glamour roles, and to subtly downplay his being dubbed the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine, the actor played a scruffy, arrogant policeman tracking a serial killer with Morgan Freeman in "Seven" (1995), before earning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination as a twitching mental patient/animal rights activist in Terry Gilliam's futuristic dystopia, "12 Monkeys" (1995). It was on the set of the former film that Pitt met his onscreen wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom he began the first of his high-profile romances. After a turn as a prosecutor in Barry Levinson's "Sleepers" (1996), Pitt adopted a passing Belfast accent as an IRA gunman seeking refuge in the home of a New York City cop (Harrison Ford) in "The Devil's Own" (1997). What had been a long a troubled shoot resulted in a muddled and uneven drama. Pitt caused some controversy with a Newsweek interview, in which he made disparaging remarks about the film's script.

With "Seven Years in Tibet" (1997), he adopted an Austrian accent to play an egotistical man who undergoes a spiritual conversion when he is befriended by the youthful Dalai Lama. That film was also the subject of debate when it was revealed that Heinrich Harrer (Pitt) had been a Nazi Party member; the resulting negative publicity and mixed reviews hurt the film's box office. Pitt followed up by reuniting with his "Legends of the Falls" co-star Anthony Hopkins in the languid "Meet Joe Black" (1998), a loose remake of "Death Takes a Holiday" (1934), with Pitt playing the Grim Reaper in human form. Further downplaying his attractive facade, Pitt was cast as Tyler Durden, the straight-shooting but charismatic mastermind behind "Fight Club" (1999), an underground society of disaffected young men who engage in brutal fisticuffs as a means of reclaiming their masculinity. He continued in a similar vein with a turn as an Irish gypsy with a flair for bare knuckles boxing in "Snatch" (2000). In both of these films, Pitt's muscular physique was on display, but in "Fight Club," he favored a scruffy look; while in "Snatch," he was covered in tattoos. Off-screen, however, Pitt's celebrity status as a hunky Hollywood icon soared into the stratosphere, after his romantic relationship with the equally beautiful and popular "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004) TV star Jennifer Aniston culminated in 2001 with a storybook wedding in Malibu. The golden couple's every move quickly became fodder for entertainment-oriented media outlets everywhere.

In "The Mexican" (2001), Pitt offered a relaxed, loose turn as a somewhat dim, low-level gangster sent south - over the objections of his long-time girlfriend, played by Julia Roberts - to retrieve the title object, an antique pistol that supposedly carried a curse. He remained busy portraying the protégé of a retiring CIA operative (Robert Redford) in "Spy Game" (2001), before joining George Clooney and an equally beautiful ensemble cast for Steven Soderbergh's wildly fun remake of "Ocean's Eleven" (2001). That year, Pitt also made two notable TV guest appearances; first, on his wife's sitcom, "Friends," playing a now-thin high school pal of Monica's (Courteney Cox) who has long harbored an animosity toward Rachel (Aniston); secondly, in a much discussed slot on MTV's stunt-prank series - and a personal Pitt favorite - "Jackass," where the actor was violently "kidnapped" from L.A.'s Pink's hot dog stand, as several dumbfounded witnesses observed. In 2002, Pitt made brief cameo appearances in Soderbergh's experimental film "Full Frontal" and Clooney's directorial debut, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind." In 2003, he made the jump to animated features, voicing the title character in the quickly forgotten "Sinbad." After years of downplaying his handsome, heroic looks by appearing in scruffy beards and long hair, Pitt finally took a role that cast him as every bit the Golden Boy, playing legendary Greek hero Achilles in director Wolfgang Petersen's epic, "Troy" (2004), a role that inspired excitement among his male and female fans alike. The actor also agreed to rejoin Clooney, Soderbergh, et al, for the sequel romp "Ocean's Twelve" (2004), this time with his own love interest (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Unfortunately, the male camaraderie was wearing thing and the film lacked much of the charm of the first outing.

In early 2005, the film work became secondary, when Pitt found himself at the center of an intense media whirlwind when he announced he was splitting from Aniston. One of the speculated reasons for the divorce of the dream couple centered on rumors of an on-set relationship with Angelina Jolie during his next film, the Doug Liman-helmed action-fest "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (2005). Long hours spent choreographing fight scenes and special effects could have done the trick, when onscreen, the actors played a bored married couple surprised to learn that they are each secretly assassins and are ultimately hired to kill each other. Though both actors initially refuted rumors of their affair - and after frequently being photographed together in their private lives, took a less coyer stance later on, with Pitt petitioning to adopt Jolie's two children, Maddox and Zahara - the intense media and public interest in their possible relationship propelled the film to huge box office receipts, thanks in large part to their palpable onscreen chemistry. Their "are they or aren't they?" coupling captivated star watchers and was the most written-about celebrity story of 2005, even prompting the coining of the term "Brangelina." As their relationship gradually emerged in the public eye, Pitt accompanied Jolie on her missions of mercy to third world nations to adopt children. The couple ultimately revealed that they were expecting their own biological child together, daughter, Shiloh Nouvel, while articles trumpeting Aniston's reportedly ongoing anguish over the loss of Pitt continued to propel the spectacle forward. In fact, the public's intense interest in the split-turned-love affair heard round the world eventually came down to camps, with Team Aniston and Team Jolie T-shirts being sold off the shelves that summer. Ultimately, Pitt and Jolie would go on to adopt another child, Pax, a Vietnamese orphan in 2007, and give birth with much fanfare to their biological twins, Vivienne and Knox in 2008.

After a noted absence from the big screen - but not the tabloid pages, which seemed to concoct a new and ridiculous story about Brangelina every week - Pitt returned with a strong and rather mature performance in "Babel" (2006), a dense and heartbreaking look at confusion, fear and the depths of love. Set on different continents Asia, Africa and North America, "Babel" told three separate stories brought together by a single random act of violence. Pitt played an American tourist traveling to Morocco, when a stray bullet from a rifle crashes through a bus window and seriously wounds his wife (Cate Blachett), touching off a series of events. Meanwhile, Pitt reunited with Soderbergh, Clooney, Damon and the rest one final time for "Oceans 13" (2007), the third installment to the hipster caper series that saw the gang exacting revenge on a ruthless Las Vegas casino owner (Al Pacino) after becoming the victims of a double-cross. He then delivered a touching performance in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008), playing a man born in his eighties during World War I who ages backwards into the 21st century. Pitt earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actor. Also that year, he was the one bright spot in the Coen Brothers' black comedy "Burn After Reading" (2008), in which he played a none-too-bright fitness instructor who finds what he believes to be valuable CIA secrets.

Pitt next starred in Quentin Tarantino's return to prominence, "Inglorious Basterds" (2009), playing an American officer who assembles a team of Jewish soldiers to hunt down and brutally kill Nazis during World War II. After voicing Metro Man in the animated "Megamind" (2010), Pitt delivered two award-worthy performances in 2011; first in Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" (2011), as a strict 1950s father whose son tries to reconcile their damaged relationship, and then in "Moneyball" (2011), in which he played Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland As who turned his small market team into a playoff winner. Pitt's performance earned him a slew of award nominations, including nods at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards for Best Actor. Of course, Pitt was in the spotlight outside the purview of his movies, causing waves when he publicly stated his life was "uninteresting" while with Aniston - leading him to publicly apologize to her - and creating panic when he announced in November that he declared his interest in retiring from acting, though he declined to put an end date on his career.




Courteney Cox+Jennifer Aniston


Cox and her close gal pal made TV history together and have weathered highly publicized heartache by each other's sides.
Thanks to a rare combination of winsome girl-next-door charm and vulnerability, as well as wholesome sex appeal and whip-smart comic timing, actress Jennifer Aniston found television stardom playing Rachel Green, the spoiled rich girl making her way in life as a waitress and fashion buyer on the hit sitcom, "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004). Perhaps one of the most popular television actresses of her era, Aniston emerged from relative obscurity after toiling in the backwater of television on several comedy series that failed to survive long enough to make an impression. But with "Friends," Aniston suddenly found herself at the top of the celebrity heap while dominating much of the publicity of an ensemble cast that boasted the likes of Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry. Meanwhile, she began a strong second career in features that allowed her to display a wider array of talent. Aniston essayed both dramatic and comedic roles in films like "The Object of My Affection" (1998), "Office Space" (1999) and "The Good Girl" (2002), which confirmed that she was not to be confined by mere sitcoms. But aside from her career, she was the subject of sometimes unfortunate tabloid coverage - mainly over her very public divorce from husband Brad Pitt, as well as her shorter relationships with Vince Vaughn and John Mayer - confirming that Aniston was in a celebrity class all her own.

Born on Feb. 11, 1969 in Sherman Oaks, CA, Aniston was raised in New York City by her father, longtime daytime soap actor John Aniston, and her mother, Nancy, a former model-actress turned photographer. Despite her father's television career, Aniston was actively steered away from watching TV, though she found ways around the prohibition. When she was six, Aniston began attending the Rudolf Steiner School, a Waldorf educational school that applied the Rudolf Steiner philosophy of integrating artistic and analytic learning to fulfill a child's unique and untapped destiny. In perhaps a sign of thing to come, Aniston's father left her mother for another woman when she was nine. Meanwhile, after discovering acting at 11 while attending Rudolf Steiner, Aniston enrolled at the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, where she joined the school's drama society. After graduating, she began performing in several off-Broadway productions, including "For Dear Life" at the Public Theater, while working as a bicycle messenger - among other odd jobs - to pay the rent.

Following a stint as a regular on Howard Stern's terrestrial radio show, Aniston moved to Los Angeles and immediately began landing supporting roles on several short-lived sitcoms, mainly playing the spoiled or bratty sibling on the likes of "Molloy" (Fox, 1989) and "Ferris Bueller" (NBC, 1990-91). After making her television movie debut in "Camp Cucamonga" (NBC, 1990), Aniston had a short stint on the Fox variety sketch series "The Edge" (1992-93), which helped to further hone her comedic chops, especially in a memorable skit as a member of the paranoid, weapons-toting "Armed Family." Though she was landing enough roles to qualify as a working actress - including episodes of "Quantum Leap" (NBC, 1988-1993), "Herman's Head" (Fox, 1991-94) and "Burke's Law" (CBS, 1993-95) - by the time she appeared in the widely-rejected film "Leprechaun" (1993), Aniston was prepared to call it quits. But when an agent suggested she drop 30 pounds - which apparently was preventing her from landing better roles - Aniston decided to continue making the push. Her persistence paid off when in 1994 she landed the role of Rachel Green on a new sitcom called "Friends."

No one who was a part of the "Friends" phenomenon could have ever predicted beforehand the show's unbridled success and substantial influence on the cultural zeitgeist. From the first season until its last a decade later, "Friends" was one of the most watched and discussed sitcoms on television. The show focused on six close-knit Gen-X friends struggling to make good in Manhattan: Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), a would-be chef with an obsession for neatness and order; Rachel Green (Aniston), Monica's pampered best friend from high school who walks out on her groom; Ross (David Schwimmer), Monica's older brother and a paleontologist with an age-old crush on Rachel; Chandler (Matthew Perry), a lovable wiseguy who works as a corporate numbers cruncher; Joey (Matt LeBlanc), a struggling actor and resident airhead; and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), an offbeat folk singer and massage therapist. Throughout the course of the show's 10 seasons, Aniston's Rachel - one of the standout characters - went from being a pampered daddy's girl to an assured, self-reliant woman whose on-again, off-again romance with Ross was the hot topic around office water coolers. But perhaps the character's greatest influence in the first few seasons was her shag hairdo - known simply as The Rachel" - that was widely copied by young women in the mid-1990s.

In 1995, her mother went on national television and divulged personal childhood information that infuriated Aniston to the point of cutting off communication. Four years later, her mother exacerbated the estrangement by publishing a book, From Mother and Daughter to Friends (1999), which documented their strained relationships while detailing her own life's ups and downs. Meanwhile, Aniston reveled in the success of "Friends," which helped launch a second career in mainly independent feature films. She landed a supporting turn as the unhappily married wife of a womanizing stockbroker in Edward Burns' "She's the One" (1996), then had an acerbic cameo as an overwhelmed young woman juggling career and motherhood in the otherwise forgettable "'Til There Was You" (1997). Her first lead, playing an ambitious advertising executive who creates a fake boyfriend to insure her climb up the corporate ladder, in "Picture Perfect" (1997) proved both a critical and box-office disappointment. But Aniston bounced back in the more dramatic role of a pregnant woman who forms a bond with her gay roommate (Paul Rudd) in the modest hit, "The Object of My Affection" (1998).

To the delight of film geeks everywhere, Aniston had a memorable supporting role in "Office Space" (1999), Mike Judge's hilarious satire on the drudgery and absurdity of corporate life. Aniston played Joanna, a dissatisfied waitress who meets a bored office drone (Ron Livingston) acting out his inner slacker fantasies after a mishap with a hypnotist. Meanwhile, in 1998, Aniston became romantically linked to Hollywood's resident golden boy, Brad Pitt, which immediately became the obsession du jour of tabloids around the world. In fact, the two were Hollywood's reigning "It" couple for the next several years, especially after they were married in fairy tale-like fashion in July 2000. For a spell, they were considered a Hollywood oddity - a down-to-earth married couple who seemed destined to remain together for the rest of their lives. Despite their constant appearances together in the public eye, the couple worked together professionally only once when Pitt appeared on a 2001 episode of "Friends" as a formerly fat high school classmate with a long-simmering resentment of Rachel. Meanwhile, Aniston's film career continued unabated, as she appeared as the love interest of a salesman (Mark Wahlberg) who joins a heavy metal band in "Rock Star" (2001), anchoring the lightweight, high-concept film as its most convincing and emotional presence.

In 2002, Aniston had an impressive turn on the indie-film scene in "The Good Girl," playing a bored and forlorn Midwestern housewife dissatisfied with her life and pot-smoking husband (John C. Reilly), who discovers that bucking her staid life is harder than she imagined. For her subtly measured performance, Aniston rightly earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead. The following year, Aniston paired with Jim Carrey for the hit comedy feature "Bruce Almighty" (2003) as the girlfriend of a man gifted with God's powers. She fared even better in her follow-up, "Along Came Polly" (2004), playing against type as a free spirit who teaches her risk-fearing new beau (Ben Stiller) how to take chances. That year, Aniston and company made their final bows on "Friends." A hit during its first few seasons, "Friends" lagged a bit in the middle, only to make a dominant resurgence in the latter seasons, exiting the airwaves at the top of its ratings and comedic game. Meanwhile, the role made Aniston a superstar, earning her four consecutive Emmy nominations (2000-03) - twice as Best Supporting Actress and twice as Best Lead Actress - which led to a win in the Lead Actress category in 2002, as well as a Golden Globe the following year.

As she moved on to her next projects, Aniston found herself in the center of a media tempest when she announced her separation from husband Brad Pitt, who allegedly began a romance with actress Angelina Jolie on the set of their film "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (2005) - a rumor that later proved to be true. The drama played out in the entertainment media for several months, with Aniston finally giving a teary-eyed interview to Vanity Fair that - while taking some pains to play fair and amicable - decidedly cast her as the unsuspecting victim, Pitt as the cad and Jolie as the home wrecker. As the media story took shape, Aniston soon became ridiculed by some who saw her as desperately holding on to Pitt's flame, while her ex - they finalized their divorce in October 2005 - traipsed around the world with Jolie, donating to world relief efforts and adopting children from impoverished countries. Some of her friends like Cox and singer Sheryl Crow rose to her defense, claiming the media portrayal was unfair - and in some cases misogynist - but by then, the damage was done to Aniston's reputation.

Ironically, during the media firestorm surrounding her painful public split from Pitt, Aniston was shooting "The Break-Up" (2006) in Chicago with actor Vince Vaughn, playing a couple struggling to continue to cohabitate in the condo both refuse to leave, despite having ended their relationship. Rumors swirled of a budding relationship between the two stars, and despite denials, they did appear to be a couple by fall of 2005 when Aniston had two films hitting theaters - "Derailed," which cast the actress and Clive Owen as two married business executives who are blackmailed by a violent criminal after they have had an affair; and Rob Reiner's "Rumor Has It," which starred Aniston as a woman who learns that her family was the inspiration for the book and film "The Graduate" (1967). Meanwhile, more rumors swirled that her and Vaughn were engaged, but by October 2006, it was clear the couple was no longer together. In April 2008, Aniston was then linked to songwriter and notorious playboy, John Mayer, who later hinted to reporters that the rumors were indeed true. Four months after Aniston and Mayer were no longer together, back-and-forth stories over who dumped who plagued the tabloids, as Aniston was again unfairly portrayed as the "desperate girl" who was unlucky in love.

Thankfully, Aniston had no shortage of projects lined up to take her mind off of personal tribulations. The often cruel blog press took gleeful delight in the title of her next project, "He's Just Not That Into You" (2009), based on the best-selling guidebook for women in bad relationships, written by former "Sex and the City" (HBO, 1998-2004) scribe, Greg Behrendt. Beating the romantic comedy into the theaters was Aniston's turn in the tender love story of a man and his dog, again based on a bestseller, "Marley & Me" (2008), co-starring Owen Wilson. Back on the small screen, Aniston earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for an episode of "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ), in which she played the former roommate of Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) who develops a stalker-like obsession with Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin).


Cameron Diaz+Drew Barrymore

Diaz and her Hollywood homie have been tight since they starred in a 2000 action-comedy together.


Actress, producer and director Drew Barrymore rode a career rollercoaster before hitting the age of 25, surviving childhood stardom and adolescent drug addiction - to say nothing of a tragic family legacy of great talent, but also great pain - only to work her way up to Hollywood A-lister. Steven Spielberg's science fiction blockbuster "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) first launched the dimpled and precocious seven-year-old, though her image was shattered by tabloid photos of her partying at New York night clubs and three stints in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction by the time she was just 13 years old. Following several years of teen angst typecasting in low-budget features like "Poison Ivy" (1992), Barrymore's big, open smile resurfaced and she was tapped by filmmakers for the free-spirited energy she brought to the screen. A naturally charming lead in romantic comedies, Barrymore won over male and female audiences by playing slightly offbeat but sincere sweethearts in hits like "The Wedding Singer" (1998), "50 First Dates" (2004) and "Music and Lyrics" (2007). Her down-to-earth appeal also led to popularity in empowerment-themed chick flicks, ranging from the melodramatic "Boys on the Side" (1995) to the sublimely fun "Charlie's Angels" film franchise, which she also produced as co-owner of her own Flower Films. Well after her dark years were behind her, Barrymore continued to make entertainment news for the occasional spontaneous nudity incident or whirlwind marriage, but nothing could mar her hard-won status as a perennially popular actress and successful producer-turned-director.

Born Feb. 22, 1975, in Los Angeles, Barrymore was the product of a five-generation strong acting dynasty that included her grandfather, Shakespearean actor John Barrymore, silent film star grandmother Dolores Costello, great-uncle and Oscar winner Lionel Barrymore, and a stage actress and Oscar-winning great-aunt Ethel Barrymore, among others. Her father John Barrymore, Jr., a Bohemian screen actor known for his drug arrests and hippie lifestyle during the 1960s, and Barrymore's mother, actress and model Ildyko Jaid, split up before the youngest Barrymore was even born. Raised by a struggling single mom, Barrymore made her screen debut at two and a half quite by accident; a favor by her mother to director of the TV film "Suddenly Love" (1978) starring Cindy Williams. More than just another cute, dimpled blonde, Barrymore showed an unusual amount of concentration and overall understanding of her job on the set. Her mother had concerns, but the girl who loved creating fantasy worlds and playing dress-up begged her mother to let her act more. She was cast in a number of commercials, hit theaters in a small role in "Altered States" (1980), and became America's sweetheart at the age of seven for her refreshingly wry, scene-stealing performance as wide-eyed Gertie in the Steven Spielberg family classic, "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial." The film went on to become one of the top-grossing of all time, earning Barrymore a BAFTA nomination for Most Promising Newcomer, a Young Artist Award for Best Young Supporting Actress, and instant fame.

While Barrymore's lineage was responsible for some of the notice, her precocious charisma propelled her career onto the next phase, where she was promptly cast against-type in the sci-fi offering "Firestarter" (1984) as a destructive, telekinetic tot in the Stephen King adaptation. In the comic but somber "Irreconcilable Differences" (1984), Barrymore played a nine-year-old Hollywood daughter who sues for emancipation from her self-involved, high profile parents, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The story struck home with the young actress because while Barrymore appeared to be America's lovable, precocious scamp, off-screen her peripatetic lifestyle, absent father, and rocky relationship with her mother made for an emotionally starved kid who turned to drugs and alcohol to escape the loneliness and chaos. Meanwhile, Spielberg tapped his protégé (who credited him with being a wonderful father figure to her during that era) for another King adaptation, "Cat's Eye" (1985) and she appeared in more TV movies including "Babes in Toyland" (1986). But before long, Barrymore was attracting less attention for her appearances on screen than for stories about her pre-adolescent cocaine and alcohol abuse, complete with tabloid photos of the 10-year-old out at nightclubs.

After a three-month stint in rehab at age 12, Barrymore relapsed, attempted suicide and was again sent back to the facility. She relapsed a second time and upon her third release, she moved in with sober musician David Crosby (of Crosby, Stills & Nash) and his wife where she remained committed to sobriety. Struggling to make sense of her tumultuous youth (and to set the records straight before the tabloids dragged her through the mud), she co-wrote the memoir, Little Girl Lost (1989). She returned to the screen to star, appropriately enough, in the CBS Schoolbreak Special "15 and Getting Straight" (1989) and, in a case of life imitating art, successfully filed for emancipation from her nightlife-loving mother. She began the long road of rebuilding her career by taking advantage of her troubled, fast-living image with Lolita-like roles in low budget thrillers like "Poison Ivy" (1992) and Tamra Davis' "Guncrazy" (1992), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. She was similarly cast as an angsty teen in "2000 Malibu Road" (CBS, 1992) a short-lived trashy soap, as well as the TV movie "The Amy Fisher Story" (ABC, 1993), based on the sordid case of the Long Island teenager who shot the wife of her former lover. Off-screen, the 18-year-old actress' engagement to one-hit wonder Jamie Walters and her new collection of tattoos assured audiences that her wild days were not entirely behind her, even if her unhappiness was.

Re-entering the big budget mainstream and putting teen characters behind her, Barrymore was cast alongside respected actresses Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson and Andie McDowell in the female-fuelled Western, "Bad Girls" (1994). She had a whirlwind, 11-month marriage to Hollywood bar owner Jeremy Thomas, followed by a number of memorable public displays of irreverence - including flashing her breasts at talk show host David Letterman while standing on his desk, and posing for Playboy magazine - that cemented her image as a free-spirited, irrepressible, but good humored antidote to the mopey-young-adult-trend of the 1990s. Her ensuing film roles reflected the spunky survivor's appeal, beginning with her charming, funny, and touching role in "Boys on the Side" (1995), a chick flick road movie co-starring Whoopi Goldberg and Mary-Louise Parker. Barrymore impressed with an acting depth not previously seen, and planted a new stake in Hollywood as a producer, forming Flower Films with partner Nancy Juvonen. Following a cameo as the glitzy but inherently childlike femme fatale Sugar in "Batman Returns" (1995), Wes Craven hired her for a pivotal role in his tongue-in-cheek slasher flick "Scream" (1996), which bucked the preset conventions of horror films and begat a new era of the well-worn genre. Her opening scene, in which she died a gruesome and horrifying death, became one of the most famous opening scenes in cinema history - certainly in the horror genre.

In a show of screen credibility, Barrymore was cast in the ensemble of Woody Allen's philosophical musical "Everyone Says I Love You" (1996), gracefully and sympathetically portraying a tony New York City daughter of privilege. In the first of many successful romantic comedies, she had a huge hit with 1998's "The Wedding Singer," where she was sweetly captivating as a New Jersey waitress who falls for Adam Sandler's aspiring entertainer. The same year, she happily took on the character of Cinderella in the charming and affirming romance "Ever After," embroidering the story with an empowering, modern sensibility that would become a common theme throughout her career, as it mirrored her own hard-won evolution. After receiving positive notices for the smart, sensitive, non-traditional fairy tale heroine, Barrymore proved she could attract audiences as a film lead, headlining the quirky comedy "Home Fries" (1998). Another romantic comedy success, the film found Barrymore playing a pregnant fast food worker who falls in love with her unborn child's adult would-be stepbrother, played by Barrymore's then-boyfriend, Luke Wilson. She veritably lit up the screen with her inimitable spirit and radiance, which led to a production deal with Fox 2000, Flower Films and the unveiling of its first partnering - "Never Been Kissed" (1999). Another comedy with an undertone of girl power, the film starred executive producer Barrymore as a twenty-something reporter posing as a high school student for an undercover assignment.

In a big budget follow-up that secured Barrymore a firm place on Hollywood's A-list, Flower Films produced and Barrymore starred in an updated version of the 1970s "jiggle TV" series, "Charlie's Angels" (2000). The stylish, tongue-in-cheek actioner co-starring Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu was a box-office hit, luring in a considerable male audience, as well as Barrymore's usual female fan base. She did make a successful visit to tearjerker territory the following year, undertaking a demanding role as a pregnant teenager who raises her child as a single mother in Penny Marshall's poignant "Riding in Cars with Boys" (2000). Playing a character who ages from 16 to her mid-30s, Barrymore offered a strong turn that showed a previously untapped range and depth. Barrymore next served as executive producer of the acclaimed indie cult favorite, "Donnie Darko" (2001), which starred then-unknown Jake Gyllenhaal as a high school student who is haunted by troubling visions of the end of the world. The film was acclaimed on the festival circuit, nominated for the Jury Prize at Sundance, and the ever-unpredictable Barrymore paired this professional success with a surprise elopement to juvenile comic prankster and TV star, Tom Green. The pair had been in the news earlier that year when a fire destroyed the home they shared in Los Angeles, but the couple escaped safely, thanks to a warning by their dog.

In 2002, Barrymore was well-cast by first time director George Clooney to portray a Bohemian but grounding force in the fictionalized bio of game show king, Chuck Barris in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind." Displaying her usual warmth, Barrymore was also mature and vulnerable and gave a powerhouse performance that spanned over 30 years and the emotional range of a long-term, tumultuous relationship. Off-screen, she and Green filed for divorce and Barrymore was promptly linked to Fabrizio Moretti, lead singer of the hip New York rock group, The Strokes. She reunited with Diaz and Liu for the successful but critically lambasted sequel, "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" (2003), the trio again demonstrating their expertise as masters of espionage, martial arts and disguise. As producer of the film, Barrymore scored a major coup by personally luring Hollywood expatriate Demi Moore out of semi-retirement to play the villainess. She made a rare misstep, however, when Barrymore produced and co-starred in "Duplex" opposite Ben Stiller. The stale, predictable comedy lacked chemistry, and Barrymore playing a young yuppie spelled a box office bomb.

Just days after becoming the sixth member of her family to receive a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, Barrymore reteamed with Sandler in "50 First Dates" (2004), a runaway screwball hit that cast her as a woman without a short term memory and the smitten veterinarian (Sandler) who has to win her heart anew every 24 hours. Again wearing the hats of both producer and star, Barrymore next rolled out "Fever Pitch" (2005), directed by the Farrelly Brothers from the Nick Hornby novel. A winsome, appealing effort, Barrymore played a corporate climber whose idyllic romance with a schoolteacher (Jimmy Fallon) is threatened by his insane devotion to the Boston Red Sox. Next she generously made an all-important appearance in low budget filmmaker Brian Herzlinger's shameless "My Date With Drew" (2005), a documentary chronicling his attempts to meet the object of his supposed lifelong crush before having to return the video camera he purchased. In 2005, Barrymore began a recurring voice role on the animated cult TV hit "Family Guy" (Fox, 1999-2002, 2005- ) and made a long-overdue return to family fare by voicing Maggie in the animated "Curious George" (2006). Barrymore scored another romantic comedy hit with "Music & Lyrics" (2007), an international favorite that paired her with Hugh Grant as a washed-up pop star and ever-sparkling Barrymore as an unlikely songwriting partner who fuels his comeback, as well as a romance.

However, Curtis Hanson's drama "Lucky You" (2007), co-starring Barrymore as an aspiring singer and Eric Bana as a professional gambler, folded almost instantly amid a flurry of flashier summer releases. Barrymore's five-year relationship with rocker Moretti ended that same year, leading to a quick rebound with director Spike Jonze and ensuing relationship with actor and Mac computer hawker, Justin Long, whom she met on the set of the romantic comedy "He's Just Not That Into You" (2008). She was "just not into him" by the time the film hit theaters in early 2009, though audiences flocked to the tongue-in-cheek big screen adaptation of the humorous self-help tome, populated by favorites Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Aniston. The 34-year-old actress continued to push the boundaries of her career, delving into dramas like "Grey Gardens" (HBO, 2009), based on the 1975 cult documentary about a pair of eccentric, wealthy New Yorkers (also Jessica Lange) related to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (Jeanne Tripplehorn). The made-for-cable movie earned numerous kudos and accolades, including Emmy and Screen Actors Guild award wins over Lange for Barrymore.

On the big screen, she was featured in "Everybody's Fine" (2009), a dramedy starring Robert De Niro as the widowed father trying to reconnect with his grown daughter (Barrymore). Meanwhile, Barrymore made her directorial debut in 2009, where she was a perfect choice to helm the story of a teen who escapes humdrum small town Texas life by joining a roller derby team. "Whip It," starring Ellen Page, also included Barrymore, Juliette Lewis and Kristen Wiig strapping on skates to play cutthroat rivals.


Will Ferrell+John C Reilly

Hollywood's class clown found the perfect partner in his 2006 comedy co-star.


Oscar and Tony-nominated actor John C. Reilly earned his stellar reputation with supporting roles in respected dramas like "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (1993) and "Georgia" (1995), before a string of work with Paul Thomas Anderson - "Hard Eight" (1996), "Boogie Nights" (1997) and "Magnolia" (1998) - brought his unique talent for playing the Everyman to the forefront. Finely nuanced characterizations in Anderson's artful fare led to an Oscar-nominated performance in the musical "Chicago" (2002) and roles in Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" (2002) and "The Aviator" (2004). In Adam McKay's "Talladega Nights" (2006), Reilly showcased his comedic talent and began to establish himself as a leading man, taking center stage the following year in Judd Apatow's biopic parody, "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" (2007), which showcased both the actor's music and comedy chops as well as his mainstream appeal. An unconventional Hollywood star, Reilly earned the respect of critics and the adulation of fans.

Born on May 24, 1965, and raised in a working-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, Reilly became interested in theater early on and debuted in his first stage production at the age of eight. As a teen, he migrated between school cliques, but felt most at home in school plays and regional theatres - with his older brothers "taking care of" anyone who had a problem with their kid brother singing in musicals. After graduating from an all-boys Catholic school, Reilly was accepted into Chicago's DePaul University, home of the famed Goodman School of Drama. The quick-witted and admittedly soft-hearted actor still had not considered the theater as a career option, but after several years in the drama program, he decided there was probably nothing else he was better suited to do, so he would try to make a living in the Windy City's unusually fertile theater scene.

Reilly made his professional debut with Chicago's Organic Theatre, where he also wrote and directed a series of monologues called "Walkin' the Boogie." He graduated from DePaul in 1987 with a BFA in Drama and was asked to join the prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he appeared in "Othello" and was part of the 1988 premiere of "The Grapes of Wrath," alongside fellow future star Gary Sinise. Not long after the well-received run of "Grapes," Reilly's agent suggested he send an audition tape for an upcoming Brian De Palma film. Reilly had never been in front of a camera or considered doing film, but he obliged, finding himself flown to Southeast Asia - also marking the first time he'd ever left Chicago or been on a plane - to shoot a minor walk-on as a Vietnam War soldier in "Casualties of War" (1989).

Once on the set, Reilly was immediately bumped up to a supporting role. During a rehearsal, he stepped in to play stand-in to an absent 80-year-old Vietnamese man, leaving both director De Palma and star Sean Penn taken by Reilly's stage-quality commitment to an offhand request. He was bumped up again to a major supporting role opposite Sean Penn. The same week, he met his future wife, Penn's assistant Alison Dickey. Within seven days, Reilly had unwittingly launched his future, both professional and personal. He immediately reteamed with Penn to play a young monk in "We're No Angels" (1989), before debuting on Broadway with Steppenwolf's production of "Grapes of Wrath," which went on to earn a Tony Award for Best Play.

Reilly began to appear in a steady stream of supporting roles, playing Tom Cruise's pit crew chief in the NASCAR drama, "Days of Thunder" (1990) and more memorably alongside respected thespians Penn and Gary Oldman in the Irish mob tale, "State of Grace" (1990). The newcomer was also given a vote of confidence when he was cast in Woody Allen's German expressionist tribute "Shadow and Fog" (1992). Reilly gave a classic performance as an aspiring small-town fry cook and friend of Johnny Depp's title character in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (1993), before landing a co-starring role with Kevin Bacon as a pair of deceptively friendly outlaws in "The River Wild" (1994).

By 1995, ardent moviegoers were beginning to recognize Reilly as "that guy" - that guy who looked and acted like a real person and balanced big stars with his rich, subtle characterizations in minor roles. That year, he appeared in the highly-acclaimed films "Dolores Claiborne" and "Georgia" - in which he was especially convincing in the latter as the drug-addicted drummer of a local bar band. However, it was the friendship he formed with then unknown director Paul Thomas Anderson that caused the actor's film career to blossom. Anderson had apparently seen every film Reilly had done to date, and recognized the actor's underused talent. He cast Reilly alongside Philip Baker Hall as a gambler's protégé in his directorial debut, "Hard Eight" (1996). Reilly and the film received positive reviews, but the indie had a limited release that did not reach a large audience. The same could not be said for Anderson's next outing.

Following their auspicious beginning, Anderson wrote a role for Reilly in his next film, "Boogie Nights," (1997). Anderson scored a commercial and critical hit with this stylized tale about the rise and fall of a John Holmes-like star (Mark Wahlberg) during porn's last days before video. Reilly's performance as fellow porn star and aspiring magician, Reed Rothchild, was a standout among a powerful ensemble cast that also included Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore and Heather Graham. With this role, Reilly's profile enjoyed a considerable raise, leading director Terrence Malick to tap him to join the ensemble of the Oscar-nominated World War II drama, "The Thin Red Line" (1998) - a film that Hollywood's best actors were all scrambling to be a part of. In 1999, Reilly again played a custom-made role given him by Anderson as a lonely police officer in "Magnolia." The highly-analyzed film was revered by some critics and hailed as too overwrought by others, but it was definitely one of the most talked-about and nominated films of the year, with Reilly serving as one of its most grounding forces.

Reilly continued to nab supporting roles opposite Hollywood's top stars, playing a major league catcher in Kevin Costner's "For Love of the Game" (1999) and exploring a different world of male dynamics aboard a doomed boat in the blockbuster, "The Perfect Storm" (2000) co-starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. He returned to Broadway the same year in Sam Shepard's "True West," with Reilly and co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman both receiving Tony nominations for their portrayal of feuding brothers. Then known as two of the best supporting actors of their generation, as well as favorites of Paul Thomas Anderson, the nontraditional-looking leading men displayed their extraordinary range by alternating their roles throughout the show's four-month run. Film directors who had been reluctant to entrust lead roles to the two outstanding actors began to rethink their position.

In the wildly entertaining ensemble indie, "The Anniversary Party" (2001), Reilly earned an Independent Spirit nomination for his role as a partygoer whose foolish accident triggers near-death angst in his fellow guests. He followed up with another lesser-seen gem, "The Good Girl" (2002), playing a loser pothead house painter and spouse of discount store checkout girl, Jennifer Aniston. In 2002, Reilly surfaced in three of year's five Oscar nominees for Best Film. In "The Hours," he was riveting as the clean-cut, controlling spouse of Julianne Moore. He transformed into poor and hapless husband Amos Hart opposite Renee Zellweger in the musical "Chicago," where his gentle charm may not have taken audiences by surprise, but his vocal chops were a revelation that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Finally, Reilly was tapped to play a corrupt copper in Martin Scorsese's bloody epic about Irish gangsters, "The Gangs of New York." Few actors enjoyed that kind of Oscar-caliber trifecta in one year.

Reilly was enjoying the best of both worlds - steady acting work in quality film productions and a level of anonymity that allowed him to continually recreate himself, without battling the distraction of a public persona. He returned to the musical stage, this time in Boston, for a starring role as lonely butcher "Marty," reviving a role made famous onscreen by Ernest Borgnine and earning excellent reviews. Onscreen, he was entrusted in his first truly starring role in "Criminal" (2004), a remake of the Argentinean hit "Nine Queens," which followed con man Reilly and a grifter protégé (Diego Luna) during 24 hours in Los Angeles. In "The Aviator" (2004), Scorsese's critically hailed epic about maverick billionaire Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio), Reilly portrayed Noah Dietrich, Hughes' right-hand man and protector of his disintegrating public image. Never failing to surprise with his versatility, he went on to play half of a western music duo in Robert Altman's Lake Wobegon chronicle, "A Prairie Home Companion" (2006).

One of his most mainstream, high profile appearances was custom made for Reilly's sympathetic everyman charm, co-starring with Will Ferrell as the loyal, left-in-the-dust best friend in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" (2006). Reilly's winning comic performance led to first billing in Jake Kasdan and Judd Apatow's "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" (2007). The riotous rock biopic parody featured Reilly and his fantastic vocal versatility as he chronicled the life of a fictional singer through decades of musical trends, tossing off Roy Orbison falsetto, Johnny Cash baritone, and the classic nasal whine of Bob Dylan with equal genius. His performance was so impressive, he earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. Continuing with his resounding success in broad comedies, Reilly would reteam with Ferrell and director Adam McKay in "Step Brothers" (2008). The following year, Reilly took on a pair of unusual roles for him: a voiceover part in the computer-animated dystopian fantasy "9" (2009) and as a vampire father figure in "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" (2009). He received many good reviews and an Indie Spirit Award nod for Best Actor as the beleaguered everyman whose attempts to date Marisa Tomei are complicated by her son Jonah Hill as "Cyrus" (2010) in the Duplass Brothers comedy.

Reilly lent his unique brand of goofy charisma to the role of Mr. Fitzgerald, an unconventional assistant principal who takes an interest in helping a depressed, overweight high school student (Jacob Wysocki) in the comedy-drama "Terri" (2011). His turn as a lonely insurance convention attendee - by turns both caustic and endearing - opposite Ed Helms in the raunchy comedy "Cedar Rapids" (2011) earned Reilly an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Male. Continuing to work with film's premier talents, he joined actors Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and director Roman Polanski for "Carnage" (2011), an adaptation of the acclaimed stage play. He then began the new year with a performance alongside Tilda Swinton as a loving father trying to come to terms with a horrendous act committed by his troubled son (Ezra Miller) in the psychological drama "We Need to Talk About Kevin" (2012).


Tina Fey+Amy Poehler

Fey and fellow "SNL" alum are two well-matched wits who keep sitcom audiences laughing throughout NBC's Thursday night line-up.


One of the best-known comediennes to emerge from the improvisational comedy scene of the 1990s, Amy Poehler performed tirelessly on Chicago and New York stages before making her mainstream breakout as a cast member of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ). She had previously starred in "The Upright Citizens Brigade" (Comedy Central, 1998-2000), a sketch comedy show created by the improv group of the same name, which morphed into a hotbed of emerging talent. During her seven-year run on "SNL," Poehler skewered celebs like Kelly Ripa, Avril Lavigne and Sharon Osbourne; served as co-anchor of Weekend Update; and delivered a memorable impression of then-Senator and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. Poehler transitioned successfully to the big screen with a pair of Tina Fey-scripted features, "Mean Girls" (2004), and "Baby Mama" (2008). Maintaining a foothold in television, Poehler was the creator of the charming animated series "The Mighty B" (Nickelodeon, 2008- ) and the star of the small town-set sitcom "Parks and Recreation" (NBC, 2009- ), while her additional in-demand status as a voiceover actor made her one of the most successful cross-media comics of her generation.

The daughter of former high school teachers Bill and Eileen Poehler, Amy Poehler was born in Burlington, MA on Sept. 16, 1971. Possessed of a hyper-energetic verve since early childhood, Poehler seemed destined for a life in the comedic arts. Known by the less-than-subtle moniker, "Crazy Amy," in high school, Poehler headed off to Boston College after graduating in 1993. At Boston, Poehler pursued a degree in media and communications by day, and performed stand-up at local comedy clubs by night. With her big smile and frenetic charm, Poehler quickly became a known commodity around the Boston comedy scene.

After graduation, Poehler moved to Chicago, IL and got involved in acting and improvisational workshops at Second City and later, the ImprovOlympics, where she studied under famed comedy coach Del Close - mentor to such famed "SNL" alums as Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and Chris Farley. During her stint in Chicago, Poehler joined the Upright Citizens Brigade, a sketch improv group formed by Matt Besser and Horatio Sans. Mindful of Chicago's much lower ceiling for rising talent, Poehler and fellow U.C.B.-er Matt Walsh spearheaded the effort to move the troupe to New York City in the late 1990s. Once in the Big Apple, it was not long before the troupe got its own television show on Comedy Central - "The Upright Citizens Brigade" (1998-2000) - where Poehler did double-duty as both a performer and a writer. Operating from a headquarters known as the "Inner Sanctum," the show's mission was to spread chaos wherever and whenever possible, undermining figures of authority and disrupting an unstable world. During its three-season run, "The Upright Citizen's Brigade" became a cult favorite, gaining a loyal fan base.

On television, Poehler created the recurring character of Stacey Richter - the fictional kid sister of co-host Andy Richter - on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (NBC, 1993-2009). In 2001, Poehler made a move up in the world when she landed at "Saturday Night Live," starting out as a featured player. Promoted to a full regular less than six months later, Poehler became only the second performer in "SNL" history to earn a field promotion mid-season - with Eddie Murphy being the first. As a testament to her obvious talent, Poehler was given the much-coveted co-anchor spot on "Weekend Update," replacing the über-popular Jimmy Fallon.

Poehler continued her film work throughout her tenure as a Not-Ready-for-Primetime Player. One of her earliest film projects - the dark comedy "Martin & Orloff" (2001) - never got a theatrical release, but was screened at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2002. Poehler's next role, in the Ben Stiller-Jack Black comedy "Envy" (2004), was another misfire, but Poehler struck gold with her next project - the Lindsay Lohan vehicle, "Mean Girls" (2004). Released the same day as "Envy," "Mean Girls" - written by Poehler's fellow "SNL" cast member, Tina Fey - went on to take the top spot during its opening weekend. After making a cameo appearance as a snotty waitress in 2006's "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny," Poehler appeared as herself in director Barry Levinson's "Man of the Year" (2006).

On a feature film roll, she appeared in "Blades of Glory," a goofball comedy about two rival ice skaters (Will Ferrell and Jon Heder) who - after being banned-for-life from competition - must reluctantly join forces to form a couple's routine. In the film, Poehler played one-half of the Van Waldenbergs - a scheming brother-sister duo who are the pair's main competitors. In an inspired bit of casting, the part of Stranz Van Waldenberg - the partner/brother of Poehler's character, Fairchild Van Waldenberg - was played to hilarious results by none other than Poehler's real-life husband, Arnett.

In 2007, Poehler joined fellow funny girls Amy Sedaris and Cheri Oteri as one of three classic fairy tale princesses imprisoned by Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) in the highly anticipated sequel, "Shrek the Third." Cast as the voice of Snow White, Poehler lent her signature sarcasm to a character best known for her virtue and earnestness. Alongside Sedaris' Cinderella and Oteri's Sleeping Beauty, Poehler formed one-third of a high-maintenance trinity that provided a deliciously amusing counterpoint to the movie's selfless heroine, Princess Fiona (played by Cameron Diaz). As expected, "Shrek the Third" did phenomenal business opening weekend, breaking the record the first sequel had smashed three years prior.

Poehler also appeared in a supporting role in the romantic comedy "The Ex" (2007) before going on to take the lead in the successful female-powered comedy, "Baby Mama" (2008). In a classic Poehler performance, she starred as a sassy, immature woman hired by a busy professional (Tina Fey) to be a surrogate mother. Naturally, lies lead to complications, which force the pair to become mismatched roomies in what became one of the most successful feature films to originate from female "SNL" alum. During that busy year, Poehler bid her "SNL" job goodbye to co-create and star in "The Mighty B," a sweet and funny animated series following a feisty young bee scout on her quest to snare scouting achievement badges. The series was a solid ratings earner for Nickelodeon. Concurrently, Poehler moved into primetime to star as a small town administrator in "Parks and Recreation" (NBC, 2009), a mildly successful offering that played down the actress' high energy unpredictability in favor of a less well-suited "Office"-like irony.

A sought-after voice acting talent, Poehler maintained her multi-media domination with roles in the blockbuster family hits "Horton Hears a Who!" (2008) and "Monsters vs. Aliens" (2009), as well as "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel" (2009). In 2009, Poehler was recognized for her work on her final season of "SNL" with an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, which featured several memorable appearances as Hillary Clinton - even alongside the Senator herself - and a hilarious skit in which she played Katie Couric to Tina Fey's Sarah Palin. The following year, she earned another Emmy Award nomination, this time for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on "Parks and Recreation," a feat she repeated in 2011.


Salma Hayek+Penelope Cruz

Hayek teamed with her sultry friend for a straight-to-video 2006 shoot-'em-up and plans to work with her again on an upcoming book-to-film project.


It was divulged by Penelope Cruz that her mother, Encarna, has offered the best advice to her especially during the time when she was really saddened after portraying the role that required her to do nude scenes in her first film ‘Jamon Jamon’.
It was the first and only moment in the life of the 37-year-old actress to do some bare scenes in the movie where Javier Bardem also starred in.
Cruz was not able to deal with the nude scenes of her first movie ‘Jamon Jamon’ well but stated that her mother understood her frustrations. She cut her hair short and never did any love or kissing scenes at all for a long time.
Most of the people have told Cruz that she is putting her career at risk but she just ignored them and instead followed what her heart desired.
Her mother was at ease after Cruz came up with the decision and she even gave her inspiration to move forward and do some other things.
She had come to the realization now that the person who directed the movie ‘Jamon Jamon’, Bigas Luna, was just giving her the opportunity which she is now grateful of. It was also the time when she first encountered Javier on that film whom she considered as one of the best actors in the world.


LeBron James+Dwyane Wade

This NBA forward and his teammates have a courtside camaraderie that's more like a "work friendship."


After only three years in the NBA, guard Dwyane Wade led the Miami Heat to the 2006 championship and was drawing comparisons to basketball legend Michael Jordan. Wade grew up around Chicago, Illinois and was a stand-out player at Richards High School in Oak Lawn. Recruited by Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he was a star college player for two seasons before becoming the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. Wade, considered an undersized guard at 6' 4", averaged 35 minutes and 16.2 points per game in his first season with the Heat. While playing with Miami center Shaquille O'Neal, Wade emerged as one of the league's best players, a fearless competitor whose speed and athleticism offset what critics call an unreliable mid-range shot. He has been an All-Star twice, played for the U.S. team in the 2004 Olympics and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Finals. He had knee and shoulder surgery in 2007, but returned for the new season. Miami had a bad season in 2007-08, O'Neal was traded to the Phoenix suns and Wade's knee was enough of a problem he didn't finish the season after March. Despite the rocky season, Wade averaged almost 25 points per game (51 games).

Extra credit: Wade, called "Flash" or "D-Wade," endorses Converse shoes... He is off-court pals with fellow competitors LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, both of whom joined the NBA the same year Wade did... His first name is pronounced "Dwayne."


Rashida Jones+Natalie Portman

This sitcom star has a true-blue gal pal in Hollywood who shares her twee appeal.


Hailed as a child prodigy for her uncommonly skilled performances in Luc Besson's "The Professional" (1994) and Michael Mann's "Heat" (1995), Natalie Portman dodged the "child star curse" bullet to become a major big screen draw in her twenties. Even as a teen, Portman's talent for portraying sensitive old souls reflected her own grounded, emotionally evolved persona, as well as her ability to plan her career and choose roles wisely. She offered a Golden Globe-nominated performance as the level-headed daughter of flighty single mom Susan Sarandon in "Anywhere But Here" (1999), before transforming into a sci-fi pin-up as regal queen Padme Amidala in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy (1999, 2002, 2005). Her foray into mega blockbuster territory - including "V for Vendetta" (2006) - proved Portman's screen appeal as an empowered, intelligent and irresistibly cute screen star. Throughout her career Portman maintained "acclaimed actress" status with a Golden Globe-winning turn in Mike Nichols' "Closer" (2004) and Oscar-winning performance in Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" (2010), as well as returned regularly to independent films like "Garden State" (2004), where her charm, emotional accessibility and increasing dramatic range made her one of the most bankable young women on the big screen.

Born Natalie Hershlag in Jerusalem, Israel, on June 9, 1981, the only child and her family immigrated to the United States when she was still a toddler; first to Washington D.C. and Connecticut before settling on New York's Long Island. Portman loved dancing and singing lessons as a child, and was already dreaming of the Broadway stage when she was discovered at age 10 by a modeling scout at a local pizza place. When she expressed her interests in acting rather than modeling, she was put in touch with acting agents and began developing her dramatic skills at theater camps. In 1993, she landed her first professional acting job in an off-Broadway musical production. Less than a year later, the 11-year-old was on a plane to Paris to shoot her first feature film. Her star quality and a maturity beyond her age were already evident in Luc Besson's "The Professional" (1994), where she played an orphan apprenticed to a hit man (Jean Reno) who serves as her mentor, while she serves as his savior. The auspicious debut won Portman plenty of positive notices, even by those who found the characters' oddly matched (but platonic) relationship troubling.

The remarkably mature performer's follow-up was a supporting turn opposite Robert De Niro as the troubled stepdaughter of a career thief in "Heat" (1995), a blockbuster from Michael Mann. While hers was a smaller, less expository role than her debut, it nevertheless confirmed Portman's natural ability and ease onscreen, with the actress capably evincing her character's desperate dysfunction with limited dialogue and screen time. Proving her ability to balance a regular school schedule (where she earned straight A's) with a blossoming acting career, the following year Portman was afforded more screen time and used it well with her charming turn as a wise-beyond-her-years teen who forms a tender (and again, platonic) friendship with a conflicted thirty-something pianist (Timothy Hutton) in Ted Demme's "Beautiful Girls" (1996). Again, Portman's embodiment of a tough but sensitive old soul seemed to reflect the actress' own grounded maturity, a maturity in evidence with the thoughtful way in which she considered the impact of her many film offers on her future, politely declining an explicit remake of "Lolita" (1997) with Adrian Lyne, and passing on "The Ice Storm" (1997) as well.

Instead, Portman chose to work with filmmaking legend Woody Allen in his ensemble musical "Everyone Says I Love You" (1996), returning to Paris to shoot a storyline in which she played the daughter of wealthy Manhattanites Alan Alda and Goldie Hawn. The acclaimed film reportedly sparked the film star's first showbiz romance with co-star Lukas Haas, though the spotlight-shunning teen kept it well-hidden and steered the focus towards her next performance as the bright and collected daughter of a besieged United States president (Jack Nicholson) in Tim Burton's wacky "Mars Attacks!" (1996). The following year Portman declined a co-starring role as the daughter of rancher Kristin Scott Thomas in the Robert Redford-directed "The Horse Whisperer" (1997), a role that would mark the breakout of Scarlett Johansson. Instead, Portman opted for Broadway and "The Diary of Anne Frank," where she brought a refreshing humanism to the persecuted World War II Jewish teen as a somewhat disagreeable, silly and vain young girl - a far more interesting characterization than Frank's saintly reputation as history had created. Portman received positive notices for her Broadway debut, with critics noting her grace as well as her unfettered talent and youthful exuberance.

Meanwhile, Portman attempted to carry out a relatively normal life, commuting from Broadway to her Syosset, Long Island high school, where she wrote a scientific research paper that was entered into the Intel Science Talent Search competition. At age 14, Portman faced the biggest decision of her life up until that time when she was offered a 10-year, three-picture contract to star as Queen Amidala in the forthcoming "Star Wars" prequels. Aware that the films would place her squarely in the spotlight and forever alter her treasured private life; possibly compromising her desire to attend college or even how she might be pursued in Hollywood after a slightly campy long-term portrait, Portman was up for the challenge of evolving personally and professionally along with the character. At that time, it was a rare actor, indeed, who would have turned down an offer to star in the "Star Wars" prequels - perhaps the most highly anticipated films in the history of the medium. After several years of production - most of it acting in front of a green screen or talking to imaginary creatures - Portman hit the screen in "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999), playing the wise and responsible teenaged leader and future mother of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. The film event marked the first "Star Wars" offering in over 16 years, and the hi-def landmark drew a staggering $900 million dollars at the box office, even as critics were lukewarm over the script and several of the performances. Portman opted to skip the film's Hollywood premiere to study for her final exams, but overall fared well in the over-hyped film's mixed reviews. In fact, compared to child star Jake Lloyd, the annoying, CGI'd creature Jar Jar Binks, and Lucas himself, Portman was probably the least scathed by the overall apathy of diehard "Star Wars" fans who were beyond disappointed in the prequels.

That same year, Portman starred opposite Susan Sarandon in the considerably smaller, character-based Wayne Wang film "Anywhere But Here" (1999), based on Mona Simpson's novel about a single mother and daughter who move from small town Michigan to Beverly Hills. Portman earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as the more mature, practical-minded of the pair. Despite the acclaim, she made the decision that fall to move her film career to the back burner in order to further her education at Harvard. Her final pre-college film, the offbeat romance "Where the Heart Is," hit theaters in the spring of 2000, earning Portman a YoungStar Award for Best Young Actress as well as nominations from the Young Artist and Teen Choice Awards for her portrayal of a pregnant teen who makes a new start far from home. The Harvard psychology student managed a stint on the New York stage alongside Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Chekhov's "The Seagull" at the Public Theater, but was absent from theaters until "Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones" (2002). The second of three sequels found Portman's Senator Amidala the target of an assassination plot, and cast her opposite future father of her children - and, unfortunately, the future Darth Vader - Hayden Christensen, in a chemistry-impaired match that was not missed by critics nor even the most rudimentary moviegoers. Christensen's poorly written and delivered declarations of love and teen angst to Portman were painful for viewers to watch. Even Portman could not salvage any sense of reality in a world filled with computer-generated backgrounds and clunky writing. Like the previous outing, character and performance were secondary to visual effects, and this time that spelled fewer ticket sales by several hundred million dollars.

Portman returned to earth in a supporting turn as a young Civil War widow and mother who has an encounter with a psychologically scarred soldier (Jude Law) in "Cold Mountain" (2003). From that well-received offering from filmmaker Anthony Minghella, the freshly minted Harvard grad went on to star in the writing and directing debut of sitcom actor Zach Braff, "Garden State" (2004). With this role, Portman finally put teen roles behind her and offered a vivacious, charming performance as an open-hearted young woman who helps an emotionally-stunted aspiring actor grieve his mother's death (Braff) and break out of his shell. The hip, fresh, mini-budget indie was a hit at Sundance, earned Best First Feature from the Independent Spirit Awards, and excellent box office receipts in over 30 countries. It also helped to revive Portman's acting reputation following the derided "Star Wars" films. Further announcing the girl was now a woman, was her offscreen relationship with Oscar-nominated Mexican actor, Gael Garcia Bernal.

Portman earned an Oscar nod of her own in addition to a Golden Globe win for Supporting Actress in Mike Nichols' oft-brutal battle-of-the-sexes, "Closer" (2004), in which she played a stripper who becomes involved in a messy, flip-flopping quadrangle involving a cheating boyfriend (Jude Law) and another couple (Julia Roberts and Clive Owen). In a much-buzzed-about incident, Portman allowed Nichols to film a brief nude scene with her character, but after finding the nudity distracting, Nichols replaced the scene with a more discreetly filmed version at her request. Returning to a galaxy far, far away in 2005, Portman provided tragic closure for the prequel trilogy in "Star Wars: Episode III - The Revenge of the Sith" (2005). The actress and her character were not particularly well served by George Lucas' script, but the film was the best received of the trilogy and topped that year's box office records. With her high profile contract in the high-profile films behind her, Portman returned her focus to independent films, with a starring role in "Free Zone" (2006) from Israeli director Amos Gitai and an appearance in German filmmaker Tom Twyker's contribution to the film collection, "Paris Je T'Aime" (2006).Following a starring role as the model and muse of famous Spanish painter Francisco Goya (Javier Bardem) in Milos Forman's "Goya's Ghosts" (2006), a bald-headed Portman went mainstream again in the Wachowski brothers' comic book adaptation, "V for Vendetta" (2006). The dark political thriller was a box office hit, earning Portman a Best Actress honor from the Saturn Awards for her leading role as a heroic woman who plots to overthrow a totalitarian regime. The role also cemented her reputation - along with that of Queen Amidala in years past - as every sci-fi/comic geek's dream girl. Portman's follow-up appearance in Wong Kar-Wai's road dramedy "My Blueberry Nights" (2007) made little impact, while her teaming with Dustin Hoffman as the recipient of a magical toyshop in the family film "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" (2007) was an extravagant failure. Portman was singled out, however, for the depth she brought to her portrayal of Tudor royal Anne Boleyn in the costume drama "The Other Boleyn Girl" (2007), co-starring Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana. Portman created her own production company, Handsome Charlie Films, and began building a resume as a producer with the short film "Eve" (2008), which debuted at the Venice Film Festival and starred Lauren Bacall and Olivia Thirlby.

She made her directorial debut with a segment in the film compilation "New York, I Love You" (2009), also starring as a Hasidic diamond broker and bride-to-be in another segment directed by Mira Nair. Portman went on to serve as producer and co-star alongside Rainn Wilson and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt in the indie film "Hesher" (2009) before starring with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire in "Brothers" (2009). Directed by Jim Sheridan, the drama was a remake of Scandinavian filmmaker Susanne Bier's film about the results of a soldier's wartime disappearance on the wife, children and brother he left behind. In 2010, Portman teamed with Mila Kunis to portray rival dancers in "Black Swan" (2010), a psychological thriller from director Darren Aronofsky. Almost immediately, Portman was touted as a possible front runner for an Academy Award, which later became a reality following an Indie Spirit nod and Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe wins for Best Actress. At the same time she was enjoying intense critical success culminating in an Oscar nomination, the actress announced she was pregnant and engaged to Benjamin Millepied, a choreographer she had met on the set of "Black Swan." Her new year was topped with a Best Actress Oscar win, followed by the female lead in the comic book fanboy favorite, "Thor" (2011), followed by the birth of her son in June.


Peyton Manning+Todd Lynn Helton

Denver's QB and this friend have maintained a friendship since their college football days.


Todd Lynn Helton was born on August 20, 1973 in Knoxville,Tennessee. (Click here for a complete listing of today's sports birthdays.) The second of Jerry and Martha Helton’s three children, Todd already had an older brother, Rodney. Younger sister Melissa rounded out the family (not including the Helton's two beloved dogs, Boz and Nike).

The Helton home was an intriguing mix of brains and brawn. Martha’s father, Don Ferguson, was an internationally recognized scientist who ran the Chemical Technology Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratories. He also helped develop the atomic bomb in the 1940s. Martha’s apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Jerry, by contrast, was the classic jock. During his teenage years, he was one of Knoxville’s best athletes.

Rodney displayed real potential as a youngster, and Todd showed even more. Jerry wanted to make sure his sons utilized their talent to the fullest. Both liked baseball, so he spent countless hours throwing BP, pounding out ground balls for fielding practice and teaching them drills to increase their agility.

From a young age, Todd seemed more mature—physically and mentally—than his friends. Jerry set up a batting cage, and Todd was taking his cuts by his fifth birthday. His dad also crafted a batting tee from a washing machine hose, which Todd used in the garage. He learned to go the other way with the ball, because pulling it usually meant a dent in the family boat. Todd loved to work hard. At age six, when he suited up for his first taste of organized ball, he was easily the league’s top hitter.

Baseball wasn’t Todd’s only game. He also played football and basketball, and grabbed his fishing pole whenever he had spare time. His favorite angling spot was a chunk of land called “Big Foot.”

Todd was definitely a chip off the old block. Jerry, an All-State performer in football and baseball, chose the latter coming out of high school in 1968 and signed a deal with the Minnesota Twins. A power-hitting catcher, he rattled around for a couple years in the minors, playing next to future major leaguers Steve Brye and Ray Corbin. In 1970, when Jerry realized that pro ball wasn’t in the cards, he called it quits and got a sales job to support his growing family.

Martha’s influence on Todd was seen in the way the youngster attacked his schoolwork. Todd’s family can remember only once when he came home with a grade lower than an A on his report card. His teachers adored him, and he got along extremeley well with his classmates.

Todd also had a great role model in Rodney. A football star at Knox Central High School, he accepted a scholarship to the University of Alabama, where he shared the field with future NFL stars Derrick Thomas and Bobby Humphrey.

By the time Todd entered Knox Central, in the fall of 1988, he suspected his future lay in sports, but he didn’t know whether it would be football or baseball. On the gridiron, he starred at quarterback and defensive back for the Bobcats. On the diamond, he was the team’s ace on the hill and a devastating hitter.

As a senior, Todd put together one of the greatest two-sport years in Tennessee prep history. In the fall, he piled up 2,458 yards of total offense, intercepted seven passes and scored 33 touchdowns. The following spring, he batted .655 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs. Todd was voted Player of the Year for his region in football and baseball, and the National Football Foundation named him its Scholar Athlete of the Year. Baseball America selected him to its High-School All-America team.

The recruiting war waged over Todd was fierce, but the hometown Tennessee Volunteers held the clear advantage. Like every kid growing up in Knoxville, Todd had dreamed about donning the orange and white since he could walk.

Todd’s life became much more complicated in June of 1992 when the San Diego Padres called. They took him in the second round of the draft, and then waved a signing bonus of $450,000 in front of him. It was the largest ever offered to a second-round pick at the time.

Everyone in the family advised Todd to forget the money and head to Tennessee. He ultimately agreed—though he didn’t completely close the door on the Padres.

Todd’s first fall at Tennessee found him second-guessing his decision. Though he was one of new coach Phillip Fulmer’s top recruits, he was buried on the depth chart. After a few practices, Todd was unhappy on the football field. Without telling his parents, he called the Padres and asked about re-opening negotiations. When Jerry learned of his son’s decision, he sat him down and set him straight.

Todd spent the ’92 season watching from the sidelines. Heath Shuler emerged as the starting quarterback and led Tennessee to a 9-3 record and a win in the Hall of Fame Bowl. For Fulmer, the season was a major success. For Todd, it was a learning experience.

Todd’s spring was far more satisfying. Coach Rob Delmonico made the freshman a regular in the batting order and also used him on the mound every now and then. Todd came through in both roles. At the plate, he hit .348 with 11 homers and finished third in the SEC with 66 RBIs. Working as a starter and reliever, he also notched six victories. At season’s end, Todd was named to the All-Conference team and was a Freshman All-American.

Despite his success on the field, Todd’s freshman year may have been most notable for something that happened off it. In a biology class, he met Kristi Bollman, a soccer player for the Lady Vols. Todd asked her out, she said yes, and the two were hardly ever separated after that.


Steve Brye, 1975 SSPC


Todd entered his second fall with the Vols battling Jerry Colquitt for the #2 spot behind Shuler, who was quickly gaining attention as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Though the team lost its best receiver, Cory Fleming, the running game was strong with Charlie Garner and James Stewart sharing the workload. On defense, Fulmer welcomed back six starters, which gave the unit plenty of depth.

Tennessee looked good in the regular season, winning nine games for the second year in a row. In the Citrus Bowl, however, the Vols were trounced by Penn State. Todd again had a clear view of the action from the bench, as Shuler lived up to his preseason press clippings. After finishing second in the Heisman voting to Charlie Ward, he checked out of Tennessee early for the riches of the NFL.

ON THE RISE

As a sophomore on the diamond, Todd showed the kind of talent that gets a college player noticed by big-league scouts. He won the starting job at first base, and then tore it up at the plate. Todd batted .355 and set a school record with 80 RBIs, a total that topped the SEC as well. Todd was also handed the ball more often in the late innings with the game on the line. As Tennessee’s closer, he posted five wins and 11 saves against a microscopic 0.89 ERA.

Todd’s sterling performance earned him a spot on Team USA during the summer of 1993, along with other future major leaguers Dustin Hermanson, Danny Graves, Todd Walker and A.J. Hinch. The squad traveled extensively, including the World University games in Buffalo and the International Cup in Italy. The Americans played particularly well on Italian soil, finishing as the runner-up to Cuba. It was the first time in five years that the U.S. had advanced to the final of a major tournament. Though Todd had to cut his tour short because of football, he still ended up fourth on the squad in hits and RBIs.

Todd began the ’94 football campaign as the back-up to Colquitt. Waiting in the wings, however, was stud Peyton Manning. Todd could tell right away that the frosh was the real deal. When Colquitt hurt his knee seven plays into the opener, Fulmer turned to his junior to run the team. A short time later, Todd also suffered a knee injury, which opened the door for Manning. Once the young gun took control of the squad, he never let go. The Vols went 7-1 under Manning, including a blowout of Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl. After the season, Todd sensed his football career was over.

That didn’t seem to bother him on the baseball field. In fact, if Todd ever reached diamond perfection, it was in his junior year at Tennessee. Totally focused, he produced a season for the ages, batting .407 with20 home runs and 92 RBIs. Todd came within one hit of winning the SEC’s triple crown. No one in the conference could handle him with the stick in his hands. Todd led the conference in hits, runs, doubles, RBIs and slugging percentage.

He also enjoyed another marvelous campaign on the hill. Out of the pen, Todd won four times and saved 12 games. On four occasions, Delmonico was forced to use Todd as a starter. Every time, he twirled a complete-game victory.

Thanks to Todd, Tennessee’s baseball program had been reborn. For the first time in four years, the Vols made it to the College World Series.

Todd’s mammoth junior season made him a hot commodity in the June draft. The Rockies tabbed him with the eighth pick in the first round, and then assigned him to the Class-A Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League. A manageable drive from Knoxville, Asheville had its pluses and minuses. The good news? Hitting in front of slugger Derrick Gibson, Todd saw plenty of fat pitches. The bad news? Being so close to home proved a distraction. While Todd put up decent numbers in 54 games—a .254 batting average with 11 doubles and 24 runs scored—he and the Rockies wondered whether he would develop faster farther from the creature comforts of Knoxville.


Charlie Garner, 2003 SI for Kids


To test that theory, the club sent Todd to Hawaii over the winter, where he suited up for the Maui Stingrays. Facing a good sampling of hurlers ticketed for the majors, he batted .291.

Todd earned a promotion to the New Haven Ravens of the Eastern League in the spring of 1996. He went 3-for-4 in his debut, and never stopped hitting Doulble-A pitching. Todd’s power increased, he peppered the gaps with line drives and cut down his strikeouts. He also opened eyes with his improved work on defense. Representing New Haven in the All-Star game, Todd launched a long home run that ESPN replayed again and again. A short time later, the Colorado brass bumped him to Triple-A. With the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in the Pacific Coast League, Todd continued his offensive assault, batting .352 in 21 games.

Todd entered 1997 knowing the Rockies were set at first base with Andres Galarraga—the Big Cat was coming off a year of 47 homers and 150 RBIs. Though Todd was ready for the majors, the club believed he would benefit from an everyday spot in the lineup with the Sky Sox. Todd’s first few months with Colorado Springs were phenomenal. An edict was passed down to manager Paul Zuvella to teach his slugger to play left field. After a month or so, Todd felt comfortable, and the Rockies called him up. At the time, he was hitting .352 with31 doubles, 16 home runs and 99 RBIs.

In his first big-league game, against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, Todd started in left and hit fifth in the order. In his second at-bat, he singled off Francisco Cordova. A few innings later, he belted a solo homer off Marc Wilkins. Todd went deep again the following day. For the year, he hit .280 in 35 games, demonstrating beyond a doubt that he belonged in the big leagues.

The Rockies responded by letting Galarraga walk in the off-season. With Todd at first and Viny Castilla, Larry Walker, Ellis Burks and Dante Bichette also in the lineup, the team had more than enough offense. For manager Don Baylor, the problem would be pitching. The club signed Darryl Kile and backed him up with Pedro Astacio and John Thomson, but the end of the rotation was shaky and Jerry DiPoto was no sure thing as the closer. Things got worse when injuries felled Burks and Walker, which robbed Baylor of two potent bats. When the starting staff and relief corps floundered, the Rockies were done, ending the year at 77-85.

In a season of disappointment, Todd was a definite bright spot. He started slowly, hitting just .250 with no homers into May, but then worked himself into a groove. Baylor began the year platooning Todd at first with Greg Colbrunn, trying to protect Todd from tough lefties. By the end of July, it was clear the youngster could handle just about anyone in the league, and Colorado shipped Colbrunn to Atlanta.

August was Todd’s best month when he hit in 24 of 29 games fora .398 average, tops in the majors. Though a sprained right wrist derailed him for a short time in September, he finished strong, leading all rookies in batting average (.315), homers (25), RBI (97), multi-hit games (49), total bases (281), slugging percentage (.530) and extra-base hits (63). Todd was particularly effective with runners in scoring position, boasting a team-best .386 average. In the closest balloting in 16 years, he was edged out by Kerry Wood in the NL Rookie of the Year race.

Key to Todd ‘s success was the detailed notebook he kept on pitchers. As the season wore on, he learned what to expect in most situations, and his stats reflected his growing knowledge. The Rockies were impressed enough to ink him to a new four-year deal worth $12 million.

The biggest change in Colorado heading into 1999 was in the dugout, where Jim Leyland was hired to run the team. Among the new manager’s first moves was inserting Todd into the heart of the batting order with Castilla and Walker. With Darryl Hamilton now batting leadoff, the lefty was certain to have lots of RBI opportunities. Once again, Todd stumbled out of the gate, but he turned things around in May with a 10-game hitting streak.

By then, however, the season was already lost for the Rockies. The pitching staff was a mess that even Leyland couldn’t figure out. Despite topping the NL in team batting, slugging and home runs, the club limped home at 72-90.

Todd had a good deal to do with Colorado’s eye-popping power numbers. In June, he went on a multi-week tear that included hitting for the cycle against the Florida Marlins. Todd came to plate in his last at-bat needing a triple and hammered a ball off the right field wall to complete his magical day. After struggling through July, he heated up in August, batting .364 with eight homers and 28 RBIs.

Todd wound up the campaign as his team’s top offensive weapon. At .320 with 35 HRs, 113 RBIs and 39 doubles, he beat opponents seemingly anyway he wanted. Also, for such a powerful hitter, Todd struck out surprisingly few times. In nearly 600 plate appearances, he whiffed just 77 times.

MAKING HIS MARK

The plan for the Rockies in 2000 was to give the team a facelift, starting at the top. Dan O’Dowd took over for Bob Gebhard as GM, and Buddy Bell was brought in as manager. With Todd as the team’s primary building block, Colorado tried to assemble a credible supporting cast around him. On paper, it was hard to tell if the team was any better. Walker was still in right, but Tom Goodwin and Jeffrey Hammonds now filled out the outfield. In the infield, Jeff Cirillo was acquired to man the hot corner. The pitching staff was a strange collection of arms, with Astacio serving as ace.


Todd Helton, 1999 Upper Deck



Somehow, Bell made it work. The Rockies improved by 10 games in the win column, finishing above .500 at 82-80.

The story all season long, however, was Todd. In one of the most stirring individual performances in recent memory, he mounted a five-month assault on .400. For the first time in his career, he swung the bat well in April, opening the year with a 10-game hitting streak. He recorded another 10-gamer in May and ended the month at a scorching .421. The media attention began in earnest soonafter. Features on Todd appeared in most every newspaper and magazine nationwide. Shutting out the distraction was nearly impossible.

Oh-fers became headline news, and when Todd's average sagged halfway through June, reporters speculated that the pressure was getting to him. He remained composed and got hot again in July. He was named to the All-Star team for the first time, and then was voted NL Player of the Week later in the month.

After the break, Todd's average dipped below .400, and it seemed that his tank was running on empty. But August had always been his best month. At one point, he hit safely in 14 straight. For the month, he went 50 for 105 (.476) with seven homers and 32 RBIs. That proved to be his last hurrah.

Todd ended the campaign at .372, capturing the NL batting crown by a whopping 17 points. He posted 216 hits, 59 doubles and 147 RBIs, all three of which topped the majors, and established personal highs with 42 homers and 103 walks. Just for good measure, Todd led NL first basemen in games (160), putouts (1,326), assists (149), total chances (1,482) and double plays (143).

Todd was an easy choice as AP Player of the Year, and Baseball Digest recognized him, too. He also took home the Hank Aaron Award and Walter Fenner "Buck" Leonard Legacy Award, and was honored as Colorado’s Roberto Clemente Man of Year.

The next three seasons were reasonable facsimilies of ’00. In other words, Todd was fantastic, but the Rockies weren’t. In 2001, Colorado sunk back to last in the NL West, despite a new emphasis on pitching and defense. Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle were signed to bolster the top of the rotation, while Juan Pierre grabbed the center field job. Bell, however, couldn’t piece together a consistent club. At 73-89, the Rockies ended six full games back of fourth-place San Diego.

Todd battled for another batting crown in ’01, losing to his teammate, Walker. He nearly matched his RBI total from the previous season with 146 and refined his power stroke to the tune of 49 long balls. Todd's 54 doubles made him only the seventh player in history to record 50 doubles in consecutive seasons. He did it with the glove as well—his .999 fielding percentage was highest in the majors among first basemen. That effort earned him his first Gold Glove.

One question that Todd began hearing more and more explored the “Coors Field” effect. The suggestion that he compiled all his numbers in Colorado’s thin air annoyed him to no end. Without question, Todd took full advantage of his home ballpark, but he didn't exactly turn into a pumpkin on the road. For example, 22 of his 49 dingers in 2001 came in enemy ballparks.


Todd Helton, 2000 Baseball Digest


After their disastrous finish in ’01, the Rockies slashed payroll and decided to get by with cheap, unproven talent. The results were predictable. Colorado fnished with the same record as the year before.

Todd produced despite the lack of bats around him in the lineup. After a typically quiet April, he banged out a typically loud May, knocking 10 balls out of the park. In June, with his 670th start at first, he passed Galarraga on Colorado’s career list for the position. Todd suffered through an uncharacteristic power outage in July, and then homered in three straight as the month was drawing to a close. He wound up with solid stats in 2002, including a .329 average, 30 homers, 107 runs, 109 RBIs and more than 300 total bases. Also added to his resume was a second Gold Glove.

The happiest news of the year for Todd was the birth of his first child, a girl named Tierney Faith, in September. He and Christy, now married, were overjoyed by the arrival.

Todd returned to form in 2003—.358 with 49 doubles, 33 homers and 117 RBIs. In turn, he matched Joe DiMaggio as the only other player in the history to deliver such lofty numbers in each of his first six full seasons.

Todd also made another run at a batting title. In the closest race in NL history, he was beaten by Albert Pujols on the season’s final day. The St. Louis slugger went 2-for-5 to finish at .35871, while Todd ended at .35849. His average was amazing considering the Colorado lineup. With little protection, Todd was seeing fewer and fewer pitches to hit. In all, he was issued 21 intentional passes, the third-highest total in the league.

The Rockies, under new manager Clint Hurdle, looked to their pitching staff to keep them in games, but all too often they were working from behind in the count. With a team ERA of 5.20, Colorado was lucky to go 74-88.

Obviously, Todd didn’t play in many important contests. In fact, the biggest of the year for him may have been the All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. In a match-up to determine homefield advantage in the World Series, Todd put the NL ahead in the fifth inning with a two-run homer off Shigetoshi Hasegawa. Later, a rally by the AL turned the contest around for a dramatic 6-5 victory.

Todd’s '03 campaign ended with reports that the Rockies would listen to trade offers for him and slugging outfielder Preston Wilson. While Todd didn't fight the notion, he seemed eager to open the 2004 season in his familiar Rockies uniform. He got his wish and opened the year in Colorado.

After a solid start, Todd was hit by a sore back at the end of May. For the first time in his career, he missed four consecutive starts. When he returned, Todd showed no ill effects, batting .379 with 27 RBIs in June. Resurgent years from Castilla and Jeremy Burnitz, plus production at the top of the lineup from Aaron Miles, made Colorado a tough team for opposing pitchers.

Getting quality innings from the ptiching staff was entirely a different matter. The Rockies were third in the NL in runs scored, but worst in all of baseball in runs allowed. Newcomer Joe Kennedy showed promise until an injury sidelined him, while Shawn Estes and Jason Jennings were eratic. Colorado went 68-94 and was only saved by a last-place finish by the dreadful Arizona Diamondbacks.

All in all, the '04 campaign was more of the same for Todd, impressive individual statistics for an unimpressive team. He batted .347 for the year with a .469 on-base percentage and 1.088 on-base plus slugging percentage, numbers that were second in the lague only to Barry Bonds. Despite those stats, however, Todd failed to reach the 100-RBI mark for the first time since 1998. In his defense, opponents often pitched around him.


Todd Helton, 2003 SI for Kids


The Rockies committed fully to a rebuilding effort in 2005, bringing along young players like Brad Hawpe, Matt Holliday, Garrett Atkins and Cory Sullivan. The lineup now afforded Todd even less protection, and his numbers sank to .320 with 20 homers and 79 RBIs. Once again, he walked more than 100 times, and became the first player other than Bonds to lead the NL in on-base percentage since 2000. Nonetheless, Todd publicly endorsed the team's plan to build from within, even as reporters tried to prod him into criticizing Colorado management.

Ironically, in the topsy-turvy NL West, the '05 Rockies were probably good enough to contend for the division crown, but a rash of injuries decimated the club and Colorad0 finished in the cellar. The Padres took the title with 82 victories.

As the lone veteran on a team getting younger—but not necessarily better—Todd was in baseball limbo. The Rockies were paying him a lot of money to lose 90+ games each year, and a host of other teams, most notably the Red Sox, seemed a good fit for Todd's powerful bat and hefty salary. Todd even agreed to waive his no-trade clause if something could be worked out with Boston. His diminished numbers, however, scared off the BoSox and probably any other serious suitors. Was his back OK? Was he 100% healthy? Did he really care about winning?

The answers to these questions did not materialize in 2006, when Todd’s home run total dipped to 15, his average hovered under .300 for most of the year, and his slugging average sank to .476—150 points below what it had been in 2004. That was also the last year he made the All-Star team.

He began the season red-hot, but in late April, for the second year in a row, he spent time on the DL, this time with an intestinal disorder. Upon his return, Todd never really got untracked. And once again, the Rockies languished in last place. Seemingly worse, all those young studs were now 26, 27 and 28—with relatively few signs that they were maturing into championship-caliber players.

The 2007 Rockies did not inspire much excitement among fans, but baseball insiders saw some intriguing changes on Opening Day. The team was transformed up the middle. Rookie Troy Tulowitzki was installed as the everyday shortstop, and Kaz Matsui, a converted shortstop, was stationed at second base. Fleet-footed Willy Taveras took over center field duties.

As the season unfolded, it began to look as if Todd would end up a year closer to joining that dreaded list of great players—including Joe Torre, Ernie Banks, Don Mattingly—who went their entire careers without seeing any World Series action. The Rockies fell nine games under .500 in late May. At the end of June, they embarked on a disastrous 1–9 road trip. One of their few dependable stars—closer Brian Fuentes—wasn't getting the job done. With the season was unraveling, the Rockies watched the Diamondbacks and Padres rise to the top of the division.

The team finally began to turn things around in July and August. Tulowitzki and Holliday started hitting like MVPs, Todd was driving in runs like crazy, Jeff Francis assumed the mantle of staff ace, and Manny Corpas came out of nowhere to become a lights-out closer.

Not that anyone noticed. The Rockies barely crept over .500, and only poor September performances by the New York Mets, Los angeles Dodgers and Padres gave them a glimmer of a shot at the Wild Card. Things got more interesting with just a few weeks remaining. The turning point came against the division-leading Dodgers on the 18th. Todd faced closer Takashi Saito with two out and two strikes and belted a pitch over the fence for a walk-off homer to keep the Rockies in the hunt. He celebrated like a Little Leaguer. Colorado went on towin 14 of their final 15 games to pass the Mets and catch the Padres, forcing a one-game playoff for the Wild Card spot.

The game, played at Coors Field, was a classic. In the top of the 13th inning San Diego scored a pair of runs, only to watch the Rockies score three off Trevor Hoffman in the bottom of the inning. After 1,578 games, Todd was in the playoffs!

In the NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Rockies continued their great hitting and pitching in a three-game sweep. Todd had a poor series at the plate, but Colorado prevailed behind the timely hitting of Matsui, Holliday and catcher Yorvit Torrealba. Todd was a minor contributor to the team's subsequent sweep of the iamondbacks in the NLCS. Although frustrated by his suddenly cool bat, he was proud of his teammates for picking him up. After so many years of carrying the club, it felt okay to let others bear the burden for a change.

Todd woke up against the Red Sox in the World Series, leading all of the Colorado regulars with a .333 average. Unfortuantely, the Rockies' luck finally ran out. Boston blew them out twice, and also won two tight games for a championship sweep.

With a pennant under his belt and a team of young, motivated winners around him, Todd can look forward to finishing a career that is no longer accompanied by an asterisk or question mark. He has done everything a Hall of Fame player can do on and off the field. At this point, he's playing with house money. The quintessential competitor, Todd would like to play some of those chips in the postseason again. To him, nothing short of a World Series ring is an acceptable goal.

TODD THE PLAYER


Matt Holliday, 2006 Fleer


No one in baseball has a prettier swing than Todd. And few players can do as much damage at the plate. Todd uses the entire field and has the power to go deep in any ballpark. With the introduction of the humidor at Coors Field, and the encroachment of age, his ability to keep finding gaps and hitting in the clutch is remarkable given how hesitant opposing hurlers are to pitch to him.

Though Todd is a good athlete, he broke into the majors with the reputation as a sub-par defensive player. He has proven his detractors wrong. Early in his career, he demonstrated versatility with his to switch to left field. Later, Todd developed into a Gold Glover at first.

Todd’s emergence defensively is partly a tribute to his tremendous work ethic. He loves every facet of baseball, including practice. Teammates marvel at the number of cuts he takes and grounders he fields, and they know he won’t accept anything less from the guys he goes to battle with.


Demi Moore+Soleil Moon Frye

Moore's bosom buddy is a former child actress turned entrepreneur.

Known to millions as the adorable Punky Brewster, actress Soleil Moon Frye began acting when she was only two years old. The daughter of actor Virgil Frye, Soleil cut her teeth on projects like the TV movie Who Will Love My Children? before scoring the role of Punky at the age of eight. Audiences fell in love with the precocious child, and she stayed with the show until 1988. After it wrapped, Frye continued to remain creative and active, appearing in films such as Summertime Switch and even directing the 2004 film Sonny Boy.
Gwyneth Paltrow+Beyonce

The actress and lifestyle maven has called her superstar friend "the most talented human being on the planet."


Beyoncé Knowles (b. September 4, 1981) is an American Pop and R&B singer. Knowles rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny's Child. Knowles is the only artist in history to have all her studio albums win the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album. In February 2010, the RIAA listed her as the top certified artist of the decade.

Early Life and Career

Born Beyoncé Giselle Knowles on September 4, 1981, in Houston, Texas, Knowles started singing at an early age. As a child, she competed in local talent shows, and won many of these events by impressing audiences with her natural singing and dancing abilities.

Teaming up with her cousin, Kelly Rowland, and two classmates, Beyoncé formed an all-female singing group. Her father, Matthew Knowles, served as the band's manager. The group went through some name and line-up changes before landing a record deal in 1997 with Columbia Records. Destiny's Child soon became one of the most popular R&B acts, with the release of their first, self-titled album. Gaining momentum, the group scored its first No. 1 single on the pop charts with "Bills, Bills, Bills," off their second album. The recording also featured another smash hit, "Say My Name."

While enjoying her group's success, Beyoncé began exploring other projects. She made her acting debut in 2001 with a starring role in MTV's Carmen: A Hip Hopera. She then co-starred with Mike Myers in the spy parody Goldmember the following year. On the musical front, Beyoncé took center stage as a solo artist, releasing her first album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003. The recording became a huge success for her, both commercially and critically. It sold millions of copies and won five Grammy Awards. On the album, Beyoncé worked with a number of different artists, including Missy Elliott, Sean Paul and Jay-Z. She was rumored to be dating Jay-Z around this time, but the couple did not publicly acknowledge their relationship.

Destiny's Child released their last studio album, Destiny Fulfilled, in 2004, and officially broke up the following year.

Solo Career

On her own, Beyoncé continued to enjoy great success. Her second studio album, 2006's B'Day featured such hits as "Irreplaceable" and "Beautiful Liar." On the big screen, she starred opposite Jennifer Hudson, Jaime Foxx and Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls. The film was adapted from the hit Broadway musical of the same name.

In 2008, Beyoncé married rapper and music mogul Jay-Z in a small, private ceremony in New York City. Among the guests sighted at the wedding were Beyoncé's mother Tina Knowles; her father and manager Matthew; her sister Solange; Destiny's Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams; and friend Gwyneth Paltrow.

The newlywed continued to work as hard as ever, promoting her latest effort, I am ... Sasha Fierce (2008). Beyoncé scored two big hits off the album—"Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" and "If I Were a Boy." She also returned to the big screen that year, starring as R&B legend Etta James in Cadillac Records. The following January, Beyoncé sang James' trademark song, "At Last," for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at his inaugural ball.

In addition to acting and performing , Beyoncé runs a clothing line called House of Dereon with her mother. She also launched her own fragrance, Heat, in 2010. During her career, Beyoncé has served as a spokesperson and model for several other brands, including L'Oreal and Tommy Hilfiger.

Beyoncé found herself under fire for performing a private concert for Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi on New Year's Eve in 2010. She later donated her fee from the event to help victims of the Haitian earthquake. According to some reports, Beyoncé said that her father had been responsible for arranging the Libyan concert. She decided to drop her father as her manager in March 2011.

Despite this passing controversy, the future looks bright for Beyoncé. She began work on a new album, and was signed on as the headlining act at the Glastonbury Festival in southwest England.

Personal Life

Married to Jay-Z since 2008, Beyoncé was the subject of many pregnancy rumors over the years. In 2011, however, the notoriously private couple went public with the news of their impending new arrival. Beyoncé showed off her growing baby bump at the MTV Video Music Awards that August.

By the end of 2011, there had been several false reports of Beyoncé delivering her baby. She and Jay-Z finally welcomed their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, on January 7, 2012. The couple spared no expense to maintain their privacy during this special time—renting out a floor of New York's Lenox Hill Hospital.


Rihanna+Katy Perry

When you're a chart-topping pop star with rocky relationships, who better to hang with than a singer.


Katy Perry was born October 25, 1984, in Santa Barbara, California. After having three record deals fall apart, she signed with Capitol in 2007. Later that year, she released her first single, "Ur So Gay." Still, her career did not fully take off until the release of her next single, "I Kissed a Girl". Her album Teenage Dreams was released in August 2010.

Conservative Upbringing

Singer, songwriter, and musician. Born Katheryn Hudson on October 25, 1984, in Santa Barbara, California. Known for her over-the-top fashions, quirky stage props, and catchy songs, Katy Perry has become a pop music sensation.

Fans might be surprised to learn that the singer who writes about sexual exploration in "I Kissed a Girl" grew up in a very conservative family. Both of her parents are pastors, and they refused to let her listen to any rock or popular music. "The only things I was allowed to listen to were the Sister Act 1 and 2 soundtracks," Perry told Entertainment Weekly. She and her two siblings were also not permitted to watch such cable channels as MTV and VH1.

Perry started taking singing lessons around the age of 9 and learned to play guitar when she was 13. Around this time, she began rebelling against her strict upbringing by piercing her own nose. She soon became interested in pursuing a career in music. With her mother, Perry made several trips to Nashville to record a gospel album, Katy Hudson, which was released in 2001. "It reached literally maybe 100 people, and then the label went bankrupt," Perry explained to Entertainment Weekly.

Early Musical Influences

As a teenager, Perry was exposed to other musical influences. One friend introduced her to the music of Queen, which remains one of her favorite groups. "I'm very inspired by Freddie Mercury and how flamboyant and theatrical he was," she told fashion magazine WWD. In high school, she strove to be her own person, choosing not to limit herself to one social group. "I was a hop-around. I hung out with the rockabilly crew, the guys who were trying to be rappers, the funny kids," she told Seventeen magazine.

Focused on her music, Perry got her GED and moved to Los Angeles to work with producer and songwriter Glen Ballard, who had worked with such artists as Christina Aguilera and Alanis Morissette. She was only 17 years old at time, and being on her own proved tough. "It was five years of living in L.A. with no money, writing bad checks, selling my clothes to make rent, [and] borrowing money," she told Seventeen magazine. Perry also experienced a string of disappointments before getting her big break. She and Ballard were unable to find a record company willing to take them on, and her 2004 collaboration with music producers-turned-performers The Matrix was scrapped shortly before the project was to be released. After having three record deals fall apart, Perry finally signed with Capitol in 2007.

Breakout Songs

Later that year, Perry released her first single, "Ur So Gay." Pop superstar Madonna became a fan of the song, calling it one of her favorites of the moment. The song drew comparisons to the likes of Lily Allen, another singer known for her quirky, cheeky lyrics. Perry said the single was inspired by the emo scene, and the "guys with guy-liner who use flatirons." Still, her career did not fully take off until the release of her next single, "I Kissed a Girl," which reached the top of the charts during the summer of 2008. With that song's success, her debut album, One of the Boys, made it into the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song also earned Perry a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Katy Perry also became famous for her theatricality. On the Warped Tour, she performed "I Kissed a Girl" with a giant tube of lip balm, referencing a line in the song. Perry has also jumped into a larger-than-life cake and appeared in a number of wild outfits while onstage. She has described her style as "Lucille Ball meets Bob Mackie. It's about innuendo. I want everybody to get the joke, but I want them to think about it for a minute," she explained to Esquire magazine.

Continued Success

In 2009, Perry appeared in her own acoustic special on MTV. The soundtrack from the show, Katy Perry: MTV Unplugged, was released around the same time. That same year, Perry made tabloid headlines for her relationship with British comedian Russell Brand. The couple became engaged over the New Year's holiday while on a trip to India. On October 23, 2010, the couple married in India in a traditional Hindu ceremony. According to The Times of India, the wedding featured a procession of camels, elephants and horses, plus fire jugglers, snake charmers, dancers and musicians. Perry had previously dated Travis McCoy from the band Gym Class Heroes.

The young pop star has great ambitions for her future. "Ultimately I want Katy Perry to be as much of a household name as Madonna," she told Entertainment Weekly. Her album Teenage Dreams was released in August 2010. The single from the album, "California Gurls," quickly rose through the charts to #1 on the Billboard charts. With a signature perfume and film role opportunities heading her way, she may just make her dream come true.


Kristen Stewart+Nikki Reed

The "Twilight" star has had an on-set best friend to keep her company while filming the vampire saga.


A turbulent childhood inspired Nikki Reed to co-author the screenplay for the acclaimed film "Thirteen" (2003), which in turn launched her career as an actress in features and television. That Reed was only 13 when she wrote the script with director Catherine Hardwicke was no surprise, as the teenager had been living far beyond her age for years prior. Hardwicke also cast Reed as the troubled sidekick to Evan Rachel Wood's volatile lead, which led to subsequent wild child roles in Hardwicke's "Lords of Dogtown" (2005) and "The O.C." (Fox, 2003-2007). In 2008, she reunited with Hardwicke to play an ethereally beautiful vampiress in "Twilight." The global attention bestowed on that feature franchise shone a much-deserved spotlight on the actress, whose talents were only beginning to show their true breadth as she approached her second decade.

Born Nicole Houston Reed on May 17, 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, she was the daughter of set designer Seth Reed and wife Cheryl Houston, a hairdresser. Her parents split when Reed was very young, and she spent most of her formative years with her mother. Self-described as bookish and quiet, she blossomed in her twelfth year, though perhaps not in a way her mother had hoped; Reed developed a volatile personality, and within a few years, was experimenting with drugs, alcohol and sex. By fourteen, clashes with her mother forced her to live on her own.

She met Hardwicke while the then set designer was dating her father. Long after the romantic liaison ended, Hardwicke maintained a relationship with Reed. In 2002, they began collaborating on a screenplay based on writing Reed had done through her early teens. Originally intended as a light comedy, it eventually bloomed into something darker and more emotionally true; the duo eventually finished the script for "Thirteen" over the course of six days that winter.

Hardwicke, who made her directorial debut with "Thirteen," originally utilized Reed as an assistant casting director who would help with the numerous young female actresses auditioning for the main roles. But when the producers were unable to find the right actress to play Evie, the popular girl who befriends Evan Rachel Wood's heroine, they reached out to Reed to play the role. She was initially reluctant, but eventually accepted the part, which marked her acting debut. As Evie, Reed was note-perfect as the carefree conduit to a world of freedom for Wood's Tracy, which eventually spirals into self-abuse, drugs, and underage sex. Her chilling performance was singled out by many critics as one of the film's most dramatic elements.

The attention Reed gained as a result of "Thirteen" had both positive and negative affects on her life. Initially disinterested in acting, she soon developed a taste for movie sets, and landed supporting roles in several independent features, including Hardwicke's "Lords of Dogtown" (2005), which cast her as pro skater Tony Alva's sister, Kathy. But she also found it difficult to return to her old life; she had left high school after just a year, citing the criticism of adults for depicting such behavior on screen. Reed eventually received her diploma through home schooling.

Upon her return to acting, Reed found it difficult to play anything but variations on the sexually promiscuous "bad girl" she essayed in "Thirteen." Save for Kathy Alva, she was confined to vampish roles in features like "Mini's First Time" (2006) and "Cherry Crush" (2007), and played a jewelry maker who drives a wedge between Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie) and Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) on "The O.C." In interviews, the often times rebellious Reed spoke out against the show's materialistic nature and stated that the role had changed significantly since her initial meetings with producers.

In 2007, Reed was cast as Andi, best friend and crush object of Bret Harrison's slacker-turned-employee of Satan on the sitcom, "Reaper" (The CW, 2007- ). Unfortunately, she was replaced by actress Missy Peregrym during a re-shoot of the pilot, which effectively quashed what might have been a solid effort to re-calibrate her screen image. Undaunted, she reunited with Hardwicke for the much-anticipated film version of "Twilight," the first in a series of Gothic romances by Stephenie Meyer. Reed was cast as Rosalie Hale, a victim of a crime of passion who was revived as a vampire by a benevolent bloodsucker (Peter Facinelli) who made her part of his family. Rosalie initially serves as an antagonist for the story's female lead, Bella (Kristen Stewart), but eventually comes to accept her romance with fellow teen vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson).

After landing the role, Reed found herself at the center of a controversy with the book's loyal readers, who refused to accept her as the character, since she was a brunette and Rosalie was blonde. However, based on the overwhelming popularity of "Twilight," Reed was tapped to portray her character Rosalie twice more in the sequels "New Moon" (2009) and "Eclipse" (2010). She remained active onscreen throughout 2008, adding producer to her list of talents by helping to oversee the comedy "Last Day of Summer," in which she also appeared in a supporting role.


Serena Williams+Kelly Rowland

She can consult her sister when it's time for tennis talk, but Williams has a go-to gal pal when it's time to relax or hit the town.


Kelendria Trene Rowland was born on 11 February 1981 in Atlanta, Georgia, to Doris Rowland Garrison and Christopher Lovett. At the age of seven, Kelly moved to Houston with her mother who left her alcoholic father.

At the age of eight, Kelly met Beyonce Knowles, who would become a lifelong friend, when she joined rapping and dance group Girl's Tyme. R 'n' B producer Arne Frager entered the group into the TV talent show ‘Star Search’, which they ended up losing.

The band finally made their breakthrough when they changed their name to Destiny's Child and were signed to Colombia Records in 1997. The same year, they recorded their debut single 'Killing Time', which was used on the 'Men in Black' soundtrack (1997).

Destiny's Child released their self-titled debut album in 1998, which amassed moderate sales, but the band finally rose to fame with their second album 'The Writing's on the Wall' in 1999.

The multi-platinum record spawned hits including 'Bills Bills Bills', 'Jumpin Jumpin' and 'Say My Name' which became their most successful song at the time.

In 2001, the band won two Grammy awards for Best R 'n' B performance by a duo or group and Best Song. Their album sold 13 million copies and was followed up by the single 'Independent Women Part I' in 2000, which featured on the 'Charlie's Angels' soundtrack.

During this time, the band were embroiled in a lawsuit filed by former band mates who felt that Michelle Williams had replaced them before they were told. This would be an ongoing issue until June 2002.

Destiny's Child went on to release 'Survivor' in May 2001 and it went straight to the top of the US chart. It has sold over ten million copies worldwide and the hit single 'Bootylicious' came from the record. In 2002, the band announced their temporary break-up.

Between 2002 and 2005, Kelly pursued a solo career. She teamed up with rapper Nelly for 'Dilemma' in 2002 and the single quickly became one of the most successful of that year.

She then released her first solo album 'Simply Deep', which was a mixture of R'n'B and rock in 2003, selling 2.5 million copies worldwide. 'Stole' was released from this record and was her best-selling single to date.

Kelly rejoined Destiny's Child in 2004 to release 'Destiny's Fulfilled' before going on a worldwide tour and announcing their disbandment in 2005. The band released a compilation of their hits and were given a Hollywood Walk Star of Fame in March 2006. According to Times magazine, they were the best-selling girl group of all time.

In 2007, Kelly released her second solo album 'Ms Kelly', which wasn't quite as successful as her first selling just 1.2 million copies by 2008.

She changed record label and released the international hit 'When Love Takes Over' in collaboration with French DJ David Guetta in 2009. She then toured Europe, Asia and Australia and teamed up with DJ Alex Gaudino for song 'What a Feeling' released in March 2011.

It is thought that Kelly is currently working on her third album and on 30 May 2011, she was confirmed as a judge on the eighth season of the X-Factor.


Oprah Winfrey+Gayle King

The mega mogul and her constant companion have shared a friendship that spans over 20 years.


Most people know Gayle King as Oprah Winfrey's best friend and sidekick. But King was an established news anchor and talk show host before her friendship with the queen of all media became her pop culture definition.

King was born on Dec. 28, 1954, in Chevy Chase, Md. She grew up in both Turkey (her military father was stationed there and he took the family - Mom, King and three siblings - along) and Maryland. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in psychology and sociology.

She eventually found herself in broadcasting, working as a reporter and news anchor for a Kansas City, Mo., television station. That took her to Hartford, Conn., where King served as news anchor for a local station.

Though it is well known King first met Oprah when the two worked together at a Baltimore television station, long before the two became famous. King was a production assistant and Oprah was the station's news anchor.

Like her well-known friend, King was a talk show host for some time, co-hosting a short lived show called Cover to Cover and then headlining the self-titled The Gayle King Show in 1997. A similarly named radio show continues today on satellite radio.

Today, King serves as editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine. She is also a correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show and Good Morning America.

Celebrity Best Friends Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn

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