This episode features the rise and fall of Johnny Eng, one of the most notorious drug traffickers in the history of Manhattan's Chinatown. A one-time informant for the DEA, "Machine Gun Johnny" thought he could snitch on all his rivals to monopolize the heroin trade on the eastern seaboard. The special task force set up by the DEA would chase Eng all the way to Hong Kong. Eventually extradited to the U.S., Eng would hire John Gotti's lawyer to defend him against a prosecutor known as "The Dragon Lady."
This episode explores the case of Luis Felipe, also known as "King Blood." From a prison cell, Felipe founded the New York chapter of the Latin Kings street gang. Felipe's own writings would incriminate him as the orchestrator of murders and crimes against his own members. He is now serving a life sentence in solitary confinement.
From the early comedy of Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby to the contemporary routines of Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes and Dave Chappelle, black comedians have often used their wit to become the voice and face of the African-American experience. These legendary comedians have also set a very high bar—not only for African Americans, but for all comics trying to make it in show business. Learn more about these famous jokesters, from their early days to their comic beginnings, to their side-splitting performances and more.
Black entertainers have thrilled us like no other. Whether it be trailblazing comedians like Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, the soulful voices of Louis Armstrong and Whitney Houston, the featherlight moonwalk of Michael Jackson, or the heartfelt, thought-provoking conversations of talk show icon Oprah Winfrey, browse our collection of famous black entertainers and learn how their contributions have changed the entertainment world forever.
Explore our collection of famous black entrepreneurs, including L.A. Reid, Tyler Perry, Tyra Banks, Magic Johnson, George Foreman, Madam C.J. Walker, Wally Amos, Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons, Will Smith, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Queen Latifah, Richard D. Parsons, Robert L. Johnson, Sheila Johnson, Don King, Berry Gordy Jr., Beyoncé Knowles, Jay-Z, Usher and Oprah Winfrey.
From comedies to history to modern-day dramas, black filmmakers like Tyler Perry, John Singleton, Spike Lee and Gordon Parks have contributed their unique cultural perspectives in Hollywood, and have inspired countless other aspiring black directors and producers to do the same.
Black History Month brings to the forefront the inspiring stories of African-American icons—many of whom overcame great odds to leave their mark on the United States. In celebration of Black History Month, explore our Black History collection and learn more about the black individuals who have made extraordinary achievements in their fields, including inventors such as George Washington Carver, activists like Malcolm X and Rosa Parks, athletes such as Willie Mays and Michael Jordan, and entertainers like Bessie Smith and Oprah Winfrey. Their names, as well as their personal histories, have become synonymous with the rich legacy that is African-American culture.
They are among history's most revered black inventors, known for their relentless inquisition, passionate research, impeccable design and, most importantly, their desire to push the envelope. Some of the world's greatest technological and social advancements, including the modern-day gas mask, light bulb and traffic light, owe their origins to black inventors. Did you know that George Washington Carver developed more than 100 products using peanuts? Or that Madam C.J. Walker was the first American woman to become a self-made millionaire? Learn more about these inventors, as well as Lonnie G. Johnson, Garrett Morgan, Patricia Bath, Percy Julian and more, at Biography.com.
Learn more about black history's most esteemed legal professionals, from African-American pioneers such as George Washington Williams and Constance Baker Motley, to legendary Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Thurgood Marshall, to high-profile Harvard grads Barack and Michelle Obama, and many more. Explore our list of famous black lawyers, including full biographies, photo galleries and videos, only on Biography.com.
Spanning jazz to soul to funk, to more contemporary genres like R&B, rap and pop, African-American musicians are responsible for chart-topping hits like "I Feel Good," "Respect," "Georgia on My Mind," "Let The Good Times Roll," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Thriller." Explore our collection of famous black musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, B.B. King, Duke Ellington, James Brown, Little Richard, Beyoncé Knowles, and more.
When it comes to famous black scientists, George Washington Carver, Mae C. Jemison, and Neil Degrasse Tyson probably come to mind. But do you know about Otis Boykin and how he's helped old hearts beat a little better? And how about Garrett Morgan, whose inventions have kept hair straighter, clothes fitter, and traffic more efficient? Learn more about these famous black scientists and more.
From Whitney Houston's unbelievable vocal range to Michael Jackson's spot-on pitch and unforgettable choreography, these are the famous black singers who, together, have unequivocally defined pop culture for the masses for more than a century. Explore this group to learn more about some of the world's most renowned African-American vocalists, including Josephine Baker, Whitney Houston, Sammy Davis Jr., Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé Knowles, Chuck Berry, Nina Simone, Mary J. Blige, André 3000, Janet Jackson and Gladys Knight.
They are the famous African-American writers who have fearlessly examined cultural stigmas, provided intimate life details, presented new ideas and created remarkable fiction through literary works. For their prophetic genius, these men and women have received Pulitzer Prizes, NAACP awards and even Nobel Prizes, among other honors. Our list of prominent African-American authors includes Toni Morrison, who has detailed the lives of black characters who struggle with identity amidst racism and hostility; Langston Hughes, a founder of the Harlem Renaissance; and Maya Angelou, who has eloquently chronicled various eras of her life through her autobiographies.
In the 1940s and 1950s, the United States was in the grips of a "red scare." Many prominent individuals suspected of sympathizing with liberal or humanitarian causes were branded a communist threat, and even accused of espionage. Hollywood was a major focus of the accusations, and after 10 actors refused to testify in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the blacklist was created. Hundreds of actors, actresses, directors, screenwriters and other entertainment professionals were barred from working. Here are some of the famous people who were on the Hollywood blacklist.
The "high, lonesome" style that defines the bluegrass sound comes from the experiences of the music's original composers, the Scots-Irish immigrants of Appalachia. Early bluegrass musician Lester Flatt brought the sound of the genre into the popular lexicon in 1948, when he helped found The Foggy Mountain Boys. He was joined by fellow musician Earl Scruggs, who expertly picked his banjo in the three-finger style that is carried on in the music of bluegrass great Ricky Skaggs. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Alison Krauss snagged more than 26 Grammy awards for putting a contemporary twist on the music of her bluegrass predecessors—proof that the genre still resonantes with listeners.
Musical duo Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston married in 1992, and had one daughter, Bobby Kristina. In 2003, Brown was arrested for misdemeanor battery, for allegedly hitting Houston and shouting epithets. That didn't stop the family from starring in their own reality show, Being Bobby Brown, in 2005. Two years later Houston and Brown divorced.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were the most famous gangster couple in history, made more so by the 1967 Oscar-winning film Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. From 1932 to 1934, during the height of the Great Depression, their gang evolved from petty theives to nationally-known bank robbers and murderers. Though a burgeoning yellow press romanticized their exploits, the gang was believed responsible for at least 13 murders, including two policemen, as well as several robberies and kidnappings. The spree ended when they were betrayed by a friend and shot dead at a police roadblock in Louisiana on May 23, 1934.
Welcome to BIO.com's collection of famous people who give us the heebeegeebees!
They can be chainsaw wielding maniacs, creatures from another dimension, or supernatural presences. Horror film monsters frighten, haunt and shock us. Meet some of our favorite horror film actors.
There's nothing like a good scary novel to get us in the Halloween mood. Get to know legendary writers of the horror genre whose vivid descriptions have have kept us on the edge of our seats, chapter after chapter.
Plus, it's been said that one burns more calories watching a scary, suspenseful movie than other film genre. Their creative visions unsettle, shock and haunt us—then leave us begging for more. Meet some of the biggest horror-film directors in Hollywood.
Find out more about some of the world's boxing legends, including Muhammad Ali, Rubin Carter, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jake LaMotta, Joe Frazier and Vincent Gigante. Examine the lives of some of the most talented boxers to step foot in the ring in recent years, including Laila Ali, Mike Tyson, Claressa Shields and Floyd Mayweather. Find all of this, and more, in Biography.com's famous boxers group.
Learn more about the members of the incredibly popular R&B boy band Boyz II Men, including Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris, Michael McCary and Marc Nelson. The group skyrocketed to fame in the 1990s with their soothing ballads, dance hits and soulful grooves. Explore this group for full biographies, photos, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
In July 2004, after three months of dating, Britney Spears got engaged to backup dancer Kevin Federline. They married in September, and had two sons together. Spears filed for divorce in November 2006. In 2007, Federline was awarded custody of their children, as well as $20,000 a month in child support, after Spears experienced a breakdown. She's since cleaned up her act and has increased visitation rights.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid led the Wild Bunch through a series of bank and train robberies across the American Old West. Their exploits served as the basis for the 1967 Oscar-winning film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
When it comes to the campaign trail, these politicians aren't just hungry for votes, they're also hungry for the regional grub... (although, considering they are indeed politicians, they probably know that being seen gorging at a local eatery doesn't hurt in the PR factor). Explore our photographic homage on the art of political eating and realize that at least in this arena, all parties can come to an agreement that it does their image good. Click here for photo gallery: http://ow.ly/dsxzd
America wasn't discovered, it was built. At the end of the Civil War, America was seen as a failing experiment in democracy; a nation fraying from the inside and at war with itself. Just 50 years later, the United States was the greatest superpower the world had ever seen. This landmark transition was due in no small part to a group of business-savvy, innovative young men: John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan and Thomas Edison. These men constructed a bold vision for a modern America and transformed the greatest industries of our time, including oil, rail, steel, shipping, automobiles and finance; they are unequivocally America's first captains of industry.
In November 1998, Baywatch actress and Playboy model Carmen Electra wed eccentric basketball star (and sometime cross-dresser) Dennis Rodman in Las Vegas. Rodman filed for an annullment nine days later, claiming he was drunk at the ceremony. The couple had an on-and-off relationship until they divorced the next year, and in the meantime both were arrested for a domestic disturbance.
Learn more about the actors who played the beloved barflies of Cheers, America's favorite faux Boston pub. The cast of the television series Cheers, which ran for 11 seasons, included Woody Harrelson, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelsey Grammer, Ted Danson, Kirstie Alley, Shelley Long and John Ratzenberger.
The famous dance-competition show Dancing with the Stars has seen more than a dozen seasons and a gamut of stars, including Apolo Anton Ohno, Kirstie Alley, Joey Fatone, Jennifer Grey, David Hasselhoff, Buzz Aldrin, Brandy, Wynonna Judd, Dorothy Hamill, D.L. Hughley and Aly Raisman. Learn more about the show's contestants, who, for a period, swapped their skills as athletes, actors, musicians, comedians, TV personalities and politicians for a chance to show off their footwork on national TV.
Travel back in time with the cast of Doctor Who, the long-running and incredibly popular British sci-fi series starring Matt Smith, Karren Gillan, Alex Kingston, Arthur Darvill, Christopher Eccleston and more. Explore our collection of Doctor Who cast members to learn more about the stars and the history of this acclaimed series.
Explore the on-screen family heritage of Lord Crawley, the cast of the popular British period drama series Downton Abbey, including Maggie Smith, Shirley Maclaine, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Brown Findlay, Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, Laura Carmichael and more.
In true Albus Dumbledore fashion, Biography.com examines and provides insight on the cast of the illustrious Harry Potter film series, based on the popular books by author J.K. Rowling. Debuting with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and ending with the two-part Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the eight-part film series continues to wow fans with its tales of witchcraft and wizardry. It also includes a gamut of stars, from Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the famous Harry; to Emma Watson, who plays Harry's best friend, Hermione; to Alan Rickman, known for his villainous role as Severus Snape; to Robert Pattinson, who plays the attractive Cedric Diggory, Harry's Triwizard Tournament rival; and more.
Find out more about the cast of the 2013 Alfred Hitchock biopic, Hitchcock, including the star of the film, Anthony Hopkins, as well as Helen Mirren, Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Ralph Macchio and Michael Stuhlbarg. The biopic examines the relationship between the famous horror director and his wife, Alma Reville (Mirren), during the filming of 1960's Psycho. Learn more about the actors of the Hitchcock film, only at Biography.com.
Examine this group to learn more about the cast of the 2012 Franklin D. Roosevelt biopic Hyde Park on Hudson. The film stars Bill Murray as FDR, Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt, Samuel West as King George VI, Olivia Colman as the Queen Mother Elizabeth and Laura Linney as Margaret Suckley, a longtime friend of the late president.
Learn more about the cast of Jobs, the 2013 biopic of legendary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The film stars Ashton Kutcher as Jobs, and many other members of Hollywood's elite, including Dermot Mulroney, Lesley Ann Warren, Josh Gad, Matthew Modine and James Woods. Read full biographies, and view photos and videos, only at Biography.com.
Explore this group to learn more about the cast of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the incredibly popular reality television series about socialite sisters Kim, Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian. The show also features appearances by the girls' "momager," Kris Jenner; stepfather Bruce Jenner; and romantic partners, including Scott Disick and NBA star Lamar Odom.
Learn more about the cast of 2012's Lincoln, the renowned biopic of President Abraham Lincoln. Stars of the film include Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jackie Earle Haley, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, S. Epatha Merkerson and John Hawkes. Learn more about the actors of Lincoln, only at Biography.com.
Meet the stars of Alfred Hitchcock's groundbreaking and bloodcurdling 1960 horror film, Psycho, which portrays the story of deranged hotel owner turned killer Norman Bates—first told by author Robert Bloch through his 1959 novel. The movie made lines like "Do you have any vacancies?" famous, and paved the way for today's thriller and horror genres. The cast of Psycho includes Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin and Vera Miles.
Learn more about the cast of Saturday Night Live, including old-timers such as John Belushi, Billy Crystal, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy and David Spade, as well as newer stars of the series, including Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis and Seth Meyers.
Get more on the cast of Skyfall, the 23rd installment of the James Bond franchise directed by Sam Mendes, and released in 2012. The film stars an array of acclaimed actors and actresses, including Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ben Whishaw, Albert Finney and Ralph Fiennes. Peruse this group for full biographies, photos and videos of Skyfall cast members.
Get more on the high-profile cast of The Butler, the 2013 biopic based on the life of longtime White House butler Eugene Allen, who served under eight U.S. presidents, including Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Over his decades-long career, Allen, an African American, witnessed firsthand the nation's changing perspectives on race, as well as several major historical events. Directed by Lee Daniels, The Butler stars Forest Whitaker as the title character and Oprah Winfrey as his wife. The film's large supporting cast includes Mariah Carey, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Matthew McConaughey, Liev Schreiber, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Robin Williams.
Learn more about the cast of The Hobbit film trilogy, based on the award-winning fantasy novel by famed English author J.R.R. Tolkien, who also wrote the well-received Lord of the Rings book series. Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit franchise encompasses a wealth of talented actors, including Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Elijah Wood (Frodo), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Christopher Lee (Saruman) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Necromancer). Explore this group to learn more about the highly regarded series—which began with 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey—and its abundant cast.
Learn more about the cast of The Hunger Games, the popular film series based on the trilogy by author Suzanne Collins. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, the Hunger Games series has included a gamut of other performers, including Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Amanda Plummer, Jena Malone, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz. Explore this group to learn more about this popular big-screen series and its cast.
The American television series True Blood, created and produced by Alan Ball, premiered in 2008 and quickly developed a cult following of fans with a thirst for the supernatural. Based on Charlain Harris’ book series The Southern Vampire Mysteries, the Emmy Award-winning TV show follows an otherworldly cast of characters including telepaths, shapeshifters, werewolves and vampires. Here are some of the actors who have sunk their teeth into True Blood roles.
Learn more about the cast of the popular Twilight film series, based on the best-selling young adult books by Stephenie Meyer. The five-part screen series came to a close in 2012, with the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2. Stars of the Twilight films include Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan), Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen) and Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black). Film credits have also gone to dozens of other cast members, including Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Dakota Fanning, Anna Kendrick, Rachelle Lefevre, Edi Gathegi, Sarah Clarke and Elizabeth Reaser.
The rise of digital technology over the past decade, including mobile camera and video capabilities, has not only made web content more readily available to users, it's given users more control of that content—often through sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. For some celebrities, this technological change has led to negative publicity. In some cases, scandalous photos or videos of stars have been leaked online or to the press. The very worst of those cases have left indelible marks on pop culture, leading to sex-scandal investigations, sales of sex tapes and major resignations, among other results. Explore Biography.com's group of celebrities caught naked, including Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Zac Efron and Paris Hilton, among several others.
You'll be surprised by some of the names included in Biography.com's group of celebrities who've written children's books. Dozens of celebs have penned literary works specially designed for kids, including Madonna, Billy Crystal, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jerry Seinfeld, Katie Couric, Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno and Queen Latifah. Find out who else has ventured into the imaginative world of children's books.
While many celebrities have met success for their star power, only a select few can truly claim honors for their advanced smarts: Stars like Christy Turlington, Shaquille O'Neal, James Franco, Art Garfunkel and Tyra Banks have attained graduate degrees—a level of success achieved by less than 10 percent of Americans. Explore this group to discover the little-known academic achievements of famous actors, athletes, musicians and more.
Since becoming a staple of the psychedelic movement of the 1960s, the Grateful Dead have achieved a powerful and continually growing fan base, which includes many popular celebrities. Examine our collection of Celebrity Deadheads, which includes Bill Clinton, Al Franken, Ann Coulter, Keith Haring and President Barack Obama. These popular celebs have long been drawn to the powerful and long-standing music of the Grateful Dead.
Because they're in the public eye, celebrities are subject to being the butt of many jokes, and on the Internet, it seems the best way to knock 'em dead is to ... well, claim that they're dead. Among the most famous celebrity death hoaxes, favorites include Bill Cosby, Margaret Thatcher, Barack Obama, Britney Spears, Sean Connery, Eddie Murphy and Morgan Freeman, among many others.
Hollywood stars often get flack for their extravagant lifestyles, and sometimes they seem to be far removed from the rest of us. Not so for all celebrities, though—a surprising number of stars have taken on the big responsibility of serving in the United States Armed Forces. We know them as actors, athletes, musicians, and comedians, but these brave individuals have actually put their lives on the line for their country. Here's a look at celebrity enlistees.
As a nation that loves to eat, we hold food, and the people who prepare it, close to our hearts. Though Julia Child was the original celebrity chef and cookbook personality, the boom in reality TV has led to a renewed interest in all the people who turn food into art. From cooking show competitors to chefs to the stars, we love to watch these talented individuals whip up all kinds of delicious dishes. To learn more, sift through this group of Famous Chefs, which includes chocolatier Jacques Torres, classic culinarian Julia Child, gourmet guru Alton Brown, "semi-homemade" cook Sandra Lee, Gordon Ramsay, Rachael Ray and many more.
Child stars are the pint-sized actors we've watched grow up on screen. These talented actors began their careers and traversed the triumphs and pitfalls of fame at an early age. While some child stars, like Sarah Jessica Parker and Natalie Portman, have continued their success into adulthood, others have been plagued by troubles following their early fame. Here's a look at some of the actors who made it big when they were kids.
Capturing the whimsy, innocence, and imagination of children can be a difficult thing to do as an adult ... unless you have the talent to think like them. Thankfully, these children's book authors do and have consequently made an indelible imprint on children's literature around the world. From the wizardry of Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling to the evocative illustrations of Where the Wild Things Are's Maurice Sendak, explore our collection of famous children's authors.
Pop star Rihanna and rising star Chris Brown seemed like a golden couple. It all fell apart in February 2008, when Brown turned himself in for domestic violence charges. Leaked photos of a badly beaten Rihanna did major damage to Brown's career, and the relationship was over.