Thursday, March 19, 2020

Joanne Rowling CH, OBE, HonFRSE, FRCPE, FRSL (/ˈrlɪŋ/ ROH-ling;[1] born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name J. K. Rowling, is a British author, film producer, television producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist. She is best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series, which has won multiple awards and sold more than 500 million copies,[2][3] becoming the best-selling book series in history.[4] The books are the basis of a popular film series, over which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts[5] and was a producer on the final films.[6] She also writes crime fiction under the name Robert Galbraith.
Born in Yate, Gloucestershire, Rowling was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International when she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990.[7] The seven-year period that followed saw the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband, and relative poverty until the first novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was published in 1997. There were six sequels, of which the last, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2007. Since then, Rowling has written five books for adult readers: The Casual Vacancy (2012) and—under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith—the crime fiction Cormoran Strike series, which consists of The Cuckoo's Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014), Career of Evil (2015), and Lethal White (2018).[8]


Rowling has lived a "rags to riches" life in which she progressed from living on benefits to being the world's first billionaire author.[9] She lost her billionaire status after giving away much of her earnings to charity but remains one of the wealthiest people in the world.[10] She is the UK's best-selling living author, with sales in excess of £238 million.[11] The 2016 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling's fortune at £600 million, ranking her as the joint 197th richest person in the UK.[12] Time named her a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans.[13] In October 2010, Rowling was named the "Most Influential Woman in Britain" by leading magazine editors.[14] She has supported multiple charities, including Comic ReliefOne Parent Families, and Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain, as well as launching her own charity, Lumos.





John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE FRSL (/rl ˈtɒlkn/;[a] 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and academic. He was the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, from 1945 to 1959.[3] He was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.
After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and Middle-earth[b] within it. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings.[4]


While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien,[5] the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature[6][7]—or, more precisely, of high fantasy.[8] In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".[9] Forbes ranked him the fifth top-earning "dead celebrity" in 2009.[10]

Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, "The Tramp", and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.
Chaplin's childhood in London was one of poverty and hardship, as his father was absent and his mother struggled financially, and he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine. When he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19, he was signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company, which took him to America. He was scouted for the film industry and began appearing in 1914 for Keystone Studios. He soon developed the Tramp persona and formed a large fan base. He directed his own films and continued to hone his craft as he moved to the EssanayMutual, and First National corporations. By 1918, he was one of the best-known figures in the world.
In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the distribution company United Artists, which gave him complete control over his films. His first feature-length film was The Kid (1921), followed by A Woman of Paris (1923), The Gold Rush (1925), and The Circus (1928). He initially refused to move to sound films in the 1930s, instead producing City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) without dialogue. He became increasingly political, and his first sound film was The Great Dictator, (1940) which satirised Adolf Hitler. The 1940s were a decade marked with controversy for Chaplin, and his popularity declined rapidly. He was accused of communist sympathies, and some members of the press and public found his involvement in a paternity suit, and marriages to much younger women, scandalous. An FBI investigation was opened, and Chaplin was forced to leave the United States and settle in Switzerland. He abandoned the Tramp in his later films, which include Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Limelight (1952), A King in New York (1957), and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967).



Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in, and composed the music for most of his films. He was a perfectionist, and his financial independence enabled him to spend years on the development and production of a picture. His films are characterised by slapstick combined with pathos, typified in the Tramp's struggles against adversity. Many contain social and political themes, as well as autobiographical elements. He received an Honorary Academy Award for "the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century" in 1972, as part of a renewed appreciation for his work. He continues to be held in high regard, with The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator often ranked on lists of the greatest films of all time.

 




Robert Peter Williams (born 13 February 1974) is an English singer-songwriter and entertainer. He found fame as a member of the pop group Take That from 1989 to 1995, but achieved greater commercial success with his solo career, beginning in 1997. Williams has released seven UK number one singles and eleven out of his twelve studio albums have reached number one in the UK. He is the best-selling British solo artist in the United Kingdom and the best selling non-Latino artist in Latin America. Six of his albums are among the top 100 biggest-selling albums in the United Kingdom–four albums in the top 60–and in 2006 he entered the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 1.6 million tickets of his Close Encounters Tour in a single day.[1]
Williams has received a record eighteen Brit Awards—winning Best British Male Artist four times, two awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music and the 2017 Brits Icon for his "lasting impact on British culture", eight German ECHO Awards, and three MTV European Music Awards.[2][3] In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted the "Greatest Artist of the 1990s". According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), Williams has been certified for 19.9 million albums and 7.2 million singles in the UK as a solo artist.[4] Five of his albums have topped the Australian albums chart. He is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold 75 million records worldwide. Williams also topped the 2000–2010 UK airplay chart. His three concerts at Knebworth in 2003 drew over 375,000 people, the UK’s biggest music event to that point.[5] In 2014, he was awarded the freedom of his home town of Stoke-on-Trent, as well as having a tourist trail created and streets named in his honour.


After a fifteen year hiatus from the group, he was re-united with Take That on 15 July 2010, co-writing and performing lead vocals on their album Progress, which became the second fastest-selling album in UK chart history[6] and the fastest-selling record of the century at the time.[7] The subsequent stadium tour, which featured seven songs from Williams's solo career, became the biggest-selling concert in UK history, selling 1.34 million tickets in less than 24 hours. In late 2011, Take That's frontman Gary Barlow confirmed that Williams had left the band for a second time to focus on his solo career, although the departure was amicable and that Williams was welcome to rejoin Take That in the future.[8] He has since performed with Take That on three separate television appearances,[9][10][11] and has collaborated with Barlow on a number of projects[12]—including the West End musical The Band.[13]

David Robert Joseph Beckham OBE[4] (UK/ˈbɛkəm/;[5] born 2 May 1975) is an English former professional footballer, the current president of Inter Miami CF and co-owner of Salford City.[6] He played for Manchester UnitedPreston North EndReal MadridMilanLA GalaxyParis Saint-Germain and the England national team, for which he held the appearance record for an outfield player until 2016. He is the first English player to win league titles in four countries: England, Spain, the United States and France. He retired in May 2013 after a 20-year career, during which he won 19 major trophies.[7][8]
Beckham's professional club career began with Manchester United, where he made his first-team debut in 1992 at age 17.[9] With United, he won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup twice, and the UEFA Champions League in 1999.[9] He then played four seasons with Real Madrid,[10] winning the La Liga championship in his final season with the club.[11] In July 2007, Beckham signed a five-year contract with Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy.[12] While a Galaxy player, he spent two loan spells in Italy with Milan in 2009 and 2010. He was the first British footballer to play 100 UEFA Champions League games.[9] In international football, Beckham made his England debut on 1 September 1996 at the age of 21. He was captain for six years, earning 58 caps during his tenure.[13][14] He made 115 career appearances in total, appearing at three FIFA World Cup tournaments, in 19982002 and 2006, and two UEFA European Championship tournaments, in 2000 and 2004.
Known for his range of passing, crossing ability and bending free-kicks as a right winger, Beckham has been hailed as one of the greatest and most recognisable midfielders of his generation, as well as one of the best set-piece specialists of all time.[15][16] He was runner-up in the Ballon d'Or in 1999, twice runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and in 2004 was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.[17][18][19] He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2008. A global ambassador for the sport, Beckham is regarded as a British cultural icon.[20][21]


Beckham has consistently ranked among the highest earners in football, and in 2013 was listed as the highest-paid player in the world, having earned over $50 million in the previous 12 months.[22] He has been married to Victoria Beckham since 1999 and they have four children.[23] He has been a UNICEF UK ambassador since 2005, and in 2015 he launched 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund.[24] In 2014, MLS announced that Beckham and a group of investors would own Inter Miami CF, which began play in 2020.[25]

John Winston Ono Lennon[nb 1] MBE (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist[2] who gained worldwide fame as the founder, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney remains the most successful in history.[3] In 1969, he started the Plastic Ono Band with his second wife, Yoko Ono. After the Beatles disbanded in 1970, Lennon continued as a solo artist and as Ono's collaborator.
Born in Liverpool, Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze as a teenager. In 1956, he formed his first band, the Quarrymen, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. He was initially the group's de facto leader, a role gradually ceded to McCartney. Lennon was characterised for the rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, writing, drawings, on film and in interviews. In the mid-1960s, he had two books published: In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works, both collections of nonsensical writings and line drawings. Starting with 1967's "All You Need Is Love", his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement and the larger counterculture.
From 1968 to 1972, Lennon produced more than a dozen records with Ono, including a trilogy of avant-garde albums, his first solo LP John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, and the international top 10 singles "Give Peace a Chance", "Instant Karma!", "Imagine" and "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)". Controversial through his political and peace activism, after moving to New York City in 1971, his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a three-year attempt by the Nixon administration to deport him. In 1975, Lennon disengaged from the music business to raise his infant son Sean, and in 1980, returned with the Ono collaboration Double Fantasy. He was shot and killed in the archway of his Manhattan apartment building by a Beatles fan, Mark David Chapman, three weeks after the album's release.
By 2018, Lennon's solo equivalent album sales had exceeded 72 million units worldwide.[4] In 2002, he was voted eighth in a BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, and in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all time. In 1987, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Lennon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1994.