He was For most of his career, Lewis was a complicated and sometimes polarizing figure. An undeniable comedic genius, he pursued a singular vision and commanded a rare amount of creative control over his work with Paramount Pictures and other studios.
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Lewis appeared in 60 film and television productions, performed his comedy routines at concerts and nightclubs and ventured into behind-the-scenes work, as a director, producer and screenwriter following a union between his company, Jerry Lewis Productions and Paramount Pictures. Lewis released several albums as a singer, selling millions of records and throughout his career, he sought to raise awareness for muscular dystrophyserving as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association from to Censusand the U.
Billy Elliot is a British dance drama film about a boy becoming a professional ballet dancer. The film stars Jamie Bell as year-old Billy, an aspiring dancer dealing with the negative stereotype of the male ballet dancerGary Lewis as his coal miner father, Jamie Draven as Billy's bullying older brother, and Julie Walters as his ballet teacher. Inauthor Melvin Burgess was commissioned to write the novelisation of the film based on Lee Hall's screenplay.
Set against the gray, doomed miner's strikes in Durham County, England nearly two decades ago, the titular Billy Elliot is a young working class kid who -- dammit! Jockeying for the position of this year's Full Monty, the filmmakers have masterfully crafted a film that's almost guaranteed to melt all but the hardest hearts, while making those of us with more sensitively calibrated bullshit detectors feel like heels for whinnying about how slyly manipulative the whole gooey mess is. In an effort to deflect perhaps a few of the bricks about to be lobbed in my direction by the shiny, happy contingent, let me point out that there are a couple of decent touches here, most of all Gary Lewis' sullen performance as Billy's dad -- a gruff, manly miner who views his son's sudden love of ballet as proof positive the lad's a poofter.
Before Luke or Jason were even born, there were three who did all that a teen idol had to do: They sang, they acted, they broke a million hearts. Fabian Forte was only 14 when a record company executive discovered him on the sidewalk outside his South Philadelphia home waiting for an ambulance after his father had had a heart attack. Dad lived—and Fabian changed his mind.
Thumbnail photos via Wikipedia Creative Commons. Jerry Lewis is, in spite of it all, still alive. Whether the year-old wants to be is another story.