In the style of "My Ghost Story", this special will tell the terrifying tales of people whose pasts literally come back to haunt them. These are the stories of people who wronged the one person they shouldn't have: a person so hell bent on revenge that even death won't stop them. When a vengeful ghost returns to get payback, nothing is off limits.
Published more than 150 years ago, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol remains one of the most treasured Christmas stories. Its central character, Ebenezer Scrooge, is so miserly that his name has become synonymous with stinginess and a lack of Christmas spirit. Explore our group of actors who have played the notorious penny-pincher, from Alastair Sim to Albert Finney, Michael Caine and Buddy Hackett.
For the notable people who were dedicated to their professions, like anthropologist Dian Fossey and Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers, their early deaths were considered tragic. For the felons and serial killers, like mobster Sam Giancana and Jeffrey Dahmer, their demises were considered karmic. No matter which way you look at them, meet our group of famous people who were murdered.
When the first issue of Playboy magazine came out in December 1953, the centerfold was Marilyn Monroe. Founded by Hugh Hefner, Playboy has managed to keep a steady stream of bombshells and beauties on the magazine's cover for more than half a century. In many cases, landing a Playboy shoot has propelled models to new heights of fame and fortune. Here's a look at some of the famous women who have been Playboy playmates and bunnies.
A good party always has some surprises—and that goes for political parties, too. Though the United States has had a two-party system for most of its history, party loyalty is not always written in stone. Over the years many politicians have switched sides, for ideological, political, and strategic reasons. Here are some of the politicians who have crossed to the other side of the aisle.
Pop art, which started in the mid 1950s in the U.K. and just a few years later in the U.S., is the use of popular ad and news imagery, usually in an ironic and/or kitschy sort of way. Whether conceptual or experiential, pop art is art for the masses...and thanks to Andy Warhol, we'll never look at Campbell's Soup cans the same way again.
After the Britpop music scene of the early 90's, a new genre of celebrities stepped into the London spotlight from athletic superstars such as David Beckham to pop culture phenomenons like Simon Cowell and Susan Boyle. Alternative rock acts like Elastica and Oasis were replaced with soulful songstresses like Amy Whinehouse and Adele, and actors like Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley and Robert Pattinson became international superstars. The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton also became a royal, social and fashion icon, as well as a defining figure of the decade. Biography celebrates these cultural icons of the new post-Britpop era.
Learn more about some of the world's most famous prime ministers, including "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher, the first woman to hold the position; Winston Churchill, who stood against Adolph Hitler's threat to control Europe during World War II; Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister; and his daughter, Indira Gandhi, who served three consecutive terms as prime minister before she was assassinated by her bodyguards in 1984.
Prince Charles proposed to a young Lady Diana Spencer in February 1981, and the royal couple were married in July. The couple had two sons, William and Harry, but the relationship soon became troubled. Charles rekindled a romance with an old girlfriend, Camilla Parker-Bowles, who was also married. To the dismay of the royal family, Diana spoke to the press about Charles' infidelity, as well as her own self-destructive behavior. By the late 80s, Charles and Diana were effectively separated, and their divorce was made final in 1996.
Queen, the famed British glam-rock band, reached the top of U.S. and U.K. charts with songs like "Killer Queen," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Will Rock You" and "Another One Bites the Dust." Explore this group to learn more about the popular foursome, including Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor.
They are the famous women who were born into royalty, or found their way to it by marriage, and grew up to be the ecelectic empresses who have inspired countless stories, books, plays and films. As Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, a celebration of her 60 years on the throne, the queens who have long been admired—some for thousands of years—for their grace, public charm, dedication to philanthropy, finesse and fashion sense, come back into the spotlight. Explore the lives of notable queens such as Cleopatra VII, Queen Rania and Anna Ivanovna, from the time they were crowned, to their tragedies and milestones as rulers and consorts.
Since its emergence in the 1980s, rap and hip-hop music has grown from an underexposed form of expression into a way for people of all backgrounds to shed light on their lives through rhythm and poetry. Pioneering rappers, such as Jay-Z, Queen Latifah and the Beastie Boys, helped spark the fire for rap to grow into the hot genre that it is today. Browse through a collection of famous rappers who influenced the hip-hop scene.
From Babylon to Zion, they are the international artists who have revolutionized reggae, a musical genre that originated in Jamaica in the 1960s. At that time, the genre took on a more pop-based sound. Over the past several decades, however, reggae music has transformed to include various sub-genres such as rocksteady, roots reggae and steppa. Our list of Reggae Artists includes musicians of various styles and experiences, from Rastafarians to raggamuffins to sapps, to everyday mon; read about world-renowned musicians like Toots Hibbert, Peter Tosh, Judge Dread, Alton Ellis and Bob Marley.
Charles and John Ringling, along with their brothers Albert and Otto, founded the Ringling Bros. Circus in 1884, in Baraboo, Wisconsin. By the 1930s, the Ringling brothers were among the most famous American entrepreneurs, and were known throughout the world. By that time, they had bought out their biggest competitor, the Barnum & Bailey Circus, and were operating as the largest circus in the United States.
The 1980s and '90s were an era of leather and lace, larger-than-life hair, the sexy guitar solo, and men competing with the ladies in the cosmetics department. In conjunction with the release of Adam Shankman's musical film Rock of Ages, explore the group who "Built This City (on Rock 'n' Roll)," felt "Invincible" and were "Wanted Dead or Alive."
Saxophonists have been an integral part of the American jazz scene, with the timbres of their chosen instrument often at the center of layered compositions. Coleman Hawkins was the first American jazz saxophonist to become famous during the 1920s-30s. Jimmy Dorsey and Johnny Hodges also had major success with big bands during jazz's heyday as a popular music juggernaut, while Lester Young popularized the West Coast, cool style. Later, soprano and tenor saxophonist John Coltrane created pioneering works that ranged from "sheets of sound" bebop to unbound, rhythmically complex free jazz. And Branford Marsalis has taken his sax to great heights in non-jazz arenas; he's toured with rock artist Sting and served as musical director for The Tonight Show.
Throughout history, the greatest scientific minds have not only demystified the world with their discoveries, but helped shape how we live in it with their ingenious inventions. From Sir Isaac Newton to Charles Darwin to Albert Einstein and many more brilliant minds, here is a group of famous scientists who have made major advances in the field of science.
Thanks to our unending fascination with all things terrifying, Hollywood is constantly churning out horror films for our enjoyment. With no end of gruesome combinations of stalking, murder and mutilation, these films hinge on the terrorizing of innocent victims by a sick, disturbed murderer. In the midst of all the bloodshed, actresses in the role of scream queen provide a dose of eye candy—and a killer set of lungs. Some of these women have made their name in horror flicks, while others have played one frighteningly convincing role. These are the women who have played some of the iconic scream queens of the big screen.
See our group of screen presidents, which includes actors who have played real-life American presidents as well as faux chief executives. Biography.com's Screen President group includes Frank Langella, Morgan Freeman, Josh Brolin, Dana Carvey, Will Ferrell, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Day-Lewis and many more.
The American Dream is the notion that, with hard work, any individual can emerge from poor circumstances to a life of wealth and security. Despite the economic ups and downs of modern times, the notion of lifting one's self up is still ingrained in our mindset. Some of our most famous celebrities are, in fact, people who came from nothing. Talent, hard work, and good fortune aligned to make these individuals successful business leaders, actors, athletes and more.
In the early years of motion pictures, actors were recruited from the stage, resulting in larger-than-life performances that seemed jarring when blown up to the size of a movie screen. As the years went on, actors began to understand the subtleties of the medium, and used more natural expressions to connect with their audiences. They became movie stars, known for their glamorous looks and identifiable personalities. As Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard would say, they didn't need dialogue, they had faces.
Having silver hair in Hollywood doesn't just equate to getting along in years and becoming omnipotently wise; rather, when you think of men like Andersoon Cooper, Sean Connery, and Richard Gere, as well as women like Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep—the words sexy, debonair, and sophisticated also come to mind. Oh, and did we mention sexy? Meet some of our favorite Silver Foxes...
Legendary folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel—comprised of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel—performed songs that spoke to the generation of the 1960s and '70s, including "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Sound of Silence" and The Graduate soundtrack hits "Scarborough Fair" and "Mrs. Robinson." Today, the duo is credited as one of the most popular and influential acts of the era.
With the right wig, makeup, accent, and mannerisms, these Saturday Night Live comedians and comediennes have kept us ROFL as they've meticulously impersonated our most memorable U.S. presidents. Check out this politically incorrect bunch here, and while you're at it, explore our SNL Presidents Photo Gallery, too.
Despite their fame and fortune, celebrities aren't immune to all the problems that afflict ordinary people. The problems of drug and alcohol addiction plagues many stars, particularly those who enjoy hard-partying lifestyles. Fortunately, many talented individuals have been able to kick their addictions and lead healthy lives. Here are some celebs who have sobered up.
To Americans, it is soccer. Elsewhere, it is called football, calcio or nogomet. Whatever your preference, with estimates of more than 250 million participants across 200-plus countries, it is a game of unmatched global reach and popularity. It's been noted that one doesn't need special size or skills to play, but of course the game's all-time greats displayed dazzling combinations of speed, smarts and athletic ability throughout their careers. Look through our roster of soccer legends, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Maradona, and you'll understand why this sport of many names is also known as "the beautiful game."
Cher met Sonny Bono when she was 16 and he was 27. The two began dating, and Sonny got his girlfriend gigs as a backup singer on songs like the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and Darlene Love's "A Fine, Fine Boy." The two formed their own musical duo, and in 1965 they released their biggest hit, "I Got You Babe." The couple had their only child, Chaz Bono, in 1969. In 1971 Sonny and Cher launched their own TV show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. The variety show was a success, but the couple's marriage fell apart, ending in a bitter 1975 divorce. When Bono died in a ski accident in 1998, Cher delivered a tearful eulogy.