Carrie Frances Fisher (born October 21, 1956) is an American actress, novelist, screenwriter, and performance artist. She is best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. She is also known for her bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge and screenplay for a film of the same name, as well as her autobiographical one-woman play, Wishful Drinking, and the non-fiction book she based on it.
Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis (born 29 April 1957) is an English actor with both British and Irish citizenship. Born and raised in London, he is the son of Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis and actress Jill Balcon. Despite his traditional actor training at the Bristol Old Vic, he is considered to be a method actor, known for his constant devotion to and research of his roles. He often remains completely in character for the duration of the shooting schedules of his films, even to the point of adversely affecting his health. He is known as being one of the most selective actors in the film industry, having starred in only five films since 1998, with as many as five years between each role.
Sean Justin Penn (born August 17, 1960) is an American actor, screenwriter, and film director, also known for his left-wing political and social activism (including humanitarian work). He is a two-time Academy Award winner for his roles in Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008), as well as the recipient of a Golden Globe Award for the former and a Screen Actors Guild Award for the latter.
Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and editor who did most of his work as an expatriate in the United Kingdom. He is regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. His films, typically adaptations of novels or short stories, are noted for their "dazzling" and unique cinematography, attention to details to achieve realism and an inspired use of music scores. Kubrick's films covered a variety of genres, including war, crime, romantic and black comedies, horror, epic and science fiction. Kubrick was also noted for being a perfectionist, using painstaking care with scene staging and working closely with his actors.
Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, in his later years he was often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers" and is best known to the public for the works he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s in a deliberately accessible style often referred to as Populist and which the composer labeled his "vernacular" style. Works in this vein include the ballets Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid and Rodeo, his Fanfare for the Common Man and Third Symphony. The open, slowly changing harmonies of many of his works are archetypical of what many people consider to be the sound of American music, evoking the vast American landscape and pioneer spirit. In addition to his ballets and orchestral works, he produced music in many other genres including chamber music, vocal works, opera and film scores.
Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and the most influential physicist of the 20th century. While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation"), he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory.
Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. He spent most of his career as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University where he directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He advocated scientifically skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
Edward Teller (Hungarian: Teller Ede; January 15, 1908 – September 9, 2003) was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb", even though he claimed he did not care for the title. Teller made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy (the Jahn–Teller and Renner–Teller effects), and surface physics. His extension of Fermi's theory of beta decay (in the form of the so-called Gamow–Teller transitions) provided an important stepping stone in the applications of this theory. The Jahn–Teller effect and the BET theory have retained their original formulation and are still mainstays in physics and chemistry. Teller also made contributions to Thomas–Fermi theory, the precursor of density functional theory, a standard modern tool in the quantum mechanical treatment of complex molecules. In 1953, along with Nicholas Metropolis and Marshall Rosenbluth, Teller co-authored a paper which is a standard starting point for the applications of the Monte Carlo method to statistical mechanics.
Harold Allen Ramis (born November 21, 1944) is an American actor, director, and writer, specializing in comedy. His best-known film acting roles are as Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (1984) and Russell Ziskey in Stripes (1981), both of which he co-wrote. As a writer/director, his films include the comedies Caddyshack (1980), Groundhog Day (1993), and Analyze This (1999). Ramis was the original head writer of the television series SCTV (in which he also performed), and one of three screenwriters for the film National Lampoon's Animal House (1978).
Irving Berlin (May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was an American composer and lyricist of Belarusian Jewish origin (born near Mogilev in Russian Empire, nowadays Belarus), widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He published his first song, "Marie from Sunny Italy", in 1907 and had his first major international hit, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" in 1911.
Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist, statistician, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades. He was a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and is known for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy. As a leader of the Chicago school of economics, he influenced the research agenda of the economics profession. A survey of economists ranked Friedman as the second most popular economist of the twentieth century behind John Maynard Keynes, and The Economist described him as "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century…possibly of all of it."
Adrienne Levine (June 24, 1966 – November 1, 2006), better known by the stage name Adrienne Shelly (sometimes credited as Adrienne Shelley), was an American actress, director and screenwriter. Making her name in independent films such as 1989's The Unbelievable Truth and 1990's Trust, Shelly transitioned to a writing and directing career in subsequent years. She wrote, co-starred in, and directed the 2007 film Waitress, which won five awards, including the Jury Prize at the Sarasota Film Festival for narrative feature, and the Audience and Feature Film awards at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
Roland Joffé (born 17 November 1945) is an English-French film director who is known for his Oscar nominated movies, The Killing Fields and The Mission. He began his career in television. His early television credits included episodes of Coronation Street and an adaptation of The Stars Look Down for Granada. He gained a reputation for hard-hitting political stories with the series Bill Brand and factual dramas for Play for Today.
Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a German-language writer of novels and short stories, regarded by critics as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. Kafka strongly influenced genres such as existentialism. His works, such as "Die Verwandlung" ("The Metamorphosis"), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle), are filled with the themes and archetypes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, parent–child conflict, characters on a terrifying quest, and mystical transformations.
Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel KBE (born September 30, 1928) is a Transylvanian-born Jewish-American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He is the author of 57 books, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps. Wiesel is also the Advisory Board chairman of the newspaper Algemeiner Journal.