In Louisville, a 45-year-old man is found gunned down in the snow. Det. Rick Arnold and his team track down a key witness who is forced to chose between her friendship with the suspect and her own freedom.
When a 21-year-old father is gunned down in a parking lot in broad daylight, Louisville Det. Keith Roberts begins investigating one of the most brazen murders he has ever seen. As he scrambles to find clues and track down witnesses, he gets two important pieces of information--the license plate number of a car that fled the scene and confirmation that the crime-scene parking lot has a surveillance camera. But will the leads pan out and direct Roberts to the killers or will it prove to be an exercise in futility?
When a friendly house party turns into a double murder, the only female homicide detective in Cleveland has to piece together what went wrong. In Harris County, a hardworking father stops off for a drink after work and ends up the victim of a robbery gone bad.
More than 30,000 gangs plague American streets, wreaking havoc from Los Angeles to New York. This violent subculture floods cities with drug traffic, extortion, and even weapons trading. But some members stand apart from others for their fearless attitudes and business savvy. From Leroy "Nicky" Barnes, one of Harlem's biggest drug king pins, to Kody "Monster" Scott, a member of L.A.'s Crips gang by the age of 13, these notorious gangsters have become legendary for rising to the top of their organizations by pushing the limits, no matter the cost.
Bootleggers, smugglers, drug dealers, hit men—all these occupations are the provenance of mobsters, who operate in ethnic, family and business networks. Mobsters' real life crimes, and Hollywood's fascination with them, has earned them a special place in the American imagination. From Al Capone's Chicago crime ring to Bugsy Siegel's Las Vegas racket, these mobsters have made their names notorious from coast to coast.
Many of the most horrifying acts of violence are committed by serial killers. Always looking for next victim, these murderers kill again and again, never fully satisfied by their bloody deeds. Their twisted motivations—and even more twisted techniques—land the people in this group among the most frightening criminals in history.
American society experienced a revolution in the late 1960s and early 70s, especially for African-Americans and women. Janis Joplin was the finest white blues singer of her generation; female singer-songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell shared their innermost thoughts and feelings; Aretha Franklin emerged as the Queen of Soul; and Bonnie Raitt established herself as both a strong vocalist and a brilliant guitarist. Through their music, the women of this era created the soundtrack of social progress.
Women became the center of the 1970s mainstream, from The Runaways and Heart to Fleetwood Mac and Donna Summer. The gains of the feminist movement throughout the 70s enabled women working in all areas of the music industry to assume more control over their careers.
When the 19th Amendment was ratified, women were finally given the right to vote, and over the years many courageous women have stepped onto the national political stage as well. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress and almost a century later Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And within the last two decades, the esteemable Hillary Clinton has served as First Lady, a New York senator and Secretary of State. These women, and many more, are setting the stage for the future of female leaders in Washington.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women."
Across the globe, people commit crimes of murder, theft, drug dealing and more, often seeking refuge from the law in other countries. Pablo Escobar was the Columbian drug lord whose cartel set off much of the violence that still plagues the region. Nick Leeson's fraudulent trading caused the collapse of a British bank. These criminals, and many more, have manipulated their way across borders, earning themselves the label of international criminals.
Will Smith met Jada Pinkett in 1995 when she auditioned for the role of his girlfriend on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She was considered too short for the part, but a real-life romance ensued. The couple wed in 1997 in a secret New Year's Eve ceremony at Baltimore's Cloisters Mansion. Will was 29 and Jada was 26. In addition to their entertainment careers, they founded the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation to benefit inner-city community development, youth educational projects and underprivileged children and their families. The Smiths live on a 100-acre ranch near Malibu, California, with their three children (one from Smith's previous marriage) and four rottweilers.
Bond—James Bond—is a pop culture icon who was born out of Ian Fleming's spy novels and introduced to movie fans in 1962 with the release of the first 007 film, Dr. No. Sean Connery, the first actor to play James Bond, embodied the role of the be-tuxed international spy who thwarts international baddies in service to Her Majesty. Connery starred in seven Bond films and passed the keys to Bond's Aston Martin to Australian actor/model George Lazenby (who played Bond in only one film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service) followed by other actors who played the role including Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Here is a look at some of these iconic 007s.
Bond—James Bond—was introduced to movie fans with the release of the first 007 film, Dr. No, in 1962. The past five decades of James Bond films have included a gamut of soundtrack artists, including Paul McCartney & Wings, who performed the song "Live and Let Die" for the Bond film of the same name; Shirley Bassey, who sang tracks for the films Diamonds Are Forever and Goldfinger; Jack White and Alicia Keys, who performed "Another Way to Die" for Quantum of Solace; Gladys Knight, who sang the title track for License to Kill; Louis Armstrong, who performed "We Have All the Time in the World" (secondary theme) for On Her Majesty's Secret Service; and Adele, who sang the title track for the newest film of the Bond franchise, Skyfall.
Kick off a New Year with a look at the creative and influential people who were born in the month of January. Historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., musical geniuses like Wolfgang Mozart and pop icons such as Elvis Presley all celebrated birthdays within the month of January. See the other famous people who were born in the premiere month of the year.
With its roots in the blues, jazz has been referred to as America's classical music, yet has also become a major global phenomenon, branching off into a variety of forms. Earlier pioneers like Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton paved the way for the swinging big-band sounds of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. In contrast, contemporaries Dizzie Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk developed bebop, with its speedy, dissonant harmonies and improvisations. And Miles Davis heralded the birth of cool jazz, modal jazz and fusion at different points in his career. Famous jazz instrumentalists have tended to be male, yet women have been at the forefront of the genre when it comes to vocalization, from the brassy blues of Bessie Smith to the haunting eclecticism of Nina Simone.
Jazz vocalists have made immeasurable contributions to the American songbook. Not only was Louis Armstrong renowned for his innovations as a trumpet soloist, but he also had a distinctive, gravelly voice that incorporated swing and humor. A host of other jazz singers enjoyed great popularity in the mid-20th century, including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne and Nina Simone. Several established careers in film and television as well. Contemporary artists like Harry Connick Jr. and Diana Krall continue to carry the musical baton.
In a wide range of fields, Jewish Americans have made important contributions to American society. May has been designated Jewish American Heritage Month, providing an opportunity to reflect on the many accomplishments of Jewish Americans. Explore some of the Jewish American icons who have made their mark in entertainment, literature, politics and beyond.
Yoko Ono met John Lennon in 1966 during a preview of Ono's art exhibition at a London gallery. The began an affair a year later and, after Cynthia Lennon filed for divorce, married in 1969. In addition to collaborating on numerous recordings, including Two Virgins and "Give Peace a Chance," the couple held "Bed-ins for Peace" to protest the Vietnam War. After the Beatles's breakup, they moved to New York, where their son, Sean Ono Lennon, was born in 1975. Lennon was shot and killed outside their apartment building on December 8, 1980. In his memory, Ono founded the Strawberry fields Memorial in Central Park, the John Lennon Museum in her hometown of Saitama, Japan, and the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, Iceland.
NBC's popular singing-competition show, The Voice, has drawn comparisons to series like American Idol and The X Factor. Judges of the show, which is hosted by Carson Daly, have included Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and newcomers Usher and Shakira. "Vote" for your favorite celebrity judge of the show by examining Biography.com's Judges of The Voice group.
Examine the judges of the popular singing competition show The X Factor, which has drawn comparisons to American Idol. Judges have included Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul, Britney Spears, Cheryl Cole and more. Pick your favorite celebrity judge of The X Factor on Biography.com.
Explore full biographies, and view photos and videos, of some of the most famous alumni of the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, founded by famous entrepreneur and philanthropist Augustus Juilliard. Alumni of the school include Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Richard Rodgers, Val Kilmer, Marcia Cross, Kelsey Grammer, Bernard Herrmann, Jessica Chastain, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessica Chastain and Viola Davis.
Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson met while filming romantic comedy You, Me and Dupree. Their six-month affair reportedly ended Hudson's marriage to rocker Chris Robinson, and they split in May 2007. In August Wilson, who has battled with addiction and depression in the past, attempted suicide. The relationship was on-and-off throughout 2009.
The annual Kentucky Derby might be "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports," but there is another competition parading in the stands—the battle for the most eye-catching hat. From breathtakingly beautiful to gruesomely garish headgear, explore our group of celebrities who've donned daring Derby hats.
Abducting children and adults, demanding ransoms, and committing grisly murders, kidnappers prey on the weak, innocent and unsuspecting, ranking them among the worst kinds of criminals in society. The kidnappers in this group are among the most notorious, making headlines for their famous hostages or for their violent and controlling behavior.
Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin met on set in 1990, and married in 1993. They divorced in 2002. They've since been battling about custody of their daughter, Ireland. In an infamous 2007 voicemail, Baldwin called his daughter a "thoughtless little pig." He later wrote a book detailing Basinger's efforts to keep their daughter from him.
Madonna unapologetically celebrated and monetized her sexuality when she began her career in the 1980s. Her bold behavior paved the way for other female performers—including Cyndi Lauper, Britney Spears, and Janet Jackson—giving them the freedom to explore previously taboo roles and take control of their image and career.
Left-handed people are a rare breed—only 10 percent of the general population is a lefty. There isn't a definite scientific explanation of why people are left-handed, and although it might be an inconvenience for some, it's actually an advantage in sports. Legendary lefty athletes include baseball player Babe Ruth and basketball star Larry Bird. They're in good company with a wide variety of famous faces from President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey to composer Wolfgang Mozart and entrepreneur Bill Gates.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, at the request of President Thomas Jefferson, led an expedition to survey the land West of the Missipppi, known as Louisana Territory, that had been purchased from France in 1803. Lewis, Clark, and the rest of their expedition began their journey near St. Louis, Missouri, in May 1804. This group - often called the Corps of Discovery by historians - faced nearly every obstacle and hardship imaginable on their trip. They braved dangerous waters and harsh weather and endured hunger, illness, injury, and fatigue. During their first winter, they recieved help and guidance from Sacagawea, a Shoshone Indian.
BIO is a proud sponsor of Live Talks Los Angeles, an organization which features live conversations with prominent writers, artists, actors, musicians, influencers and business thought leaders. Proceeds from ticket sales support worthwhile literacy, arts and educational causes. Below are some of the featured guests.
Throughout history, the British have made their mark on pop culture from art and fashion to music and film. The 60's "Swinging London" saw the emergence of supermodels such as Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy, and was dominated by "British Invasion" rock groups like The Beatles and Cream. The 70's brought attention to glam rockers like David Bowie and punk pioneers like the Sex Pistols, while the 80's were marked by the political influences of powerful women - Princess Diana and the "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher. The "Cool Britannia" and post-Britpop eras of the 90's and 2000's were propelled by even more inspirational performers, designers and pop culture phenomenon. Biography looks at London's leading icons through the decades.
The 1980s were an important era in London marked by several significant social and historical events. On July 29, 1981 the United Kingdom saw the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The new Princess of Wales soon became a cultural icon—noted for her patronage, charity work and refined sense of fashion. Another history maker, Margaret Thatcher, served as Britain's first female prime minister, soon establishing herself as the authoritative "Iron Lady." Biography.com looks at these powerful women and the many other figures of the '80s, who made their mark on the decade.
Following the "Swinging London" era of the 1960s, a new group of cultural icons arose. The 1970s saw the emergence of the punk rock movement, built upon the wave of psychedelic and folk rock music introduced in the '60s. In the post-hippie era of the early '70s, rock 'n' roll had a new glam image, pioneered by outrageously dressed rockers like David Bowie and Marc Bolan. Soon other acts followed, most notably young performers like Siouxsie Sioux and groups like T.Rex and The Clash. The music of the '70s inspired fashion as well, in particular designer Vivienne Westwood, whose punk designs for the Sex Pistols helped define the decade's London style. Biography.com looks at the various icons who defined London in the '70s.
Sometimes your mug isn't as original as you'd like it be. Considering there are over 7 billion people on this earth, someone's bound to be your doppelganger, and these historical figures and celebrities prove just that.
Explore our Famous Lookalikes' pictures and see whom we think are spittin' images of each other.
When one lover attacks another in a moment of unbridled emotion—or tries to eliminate their romantic competition—it's traditionally been known as 'a crime of passion.' These days, fits of rage over lost love are often chalked up to 'temporary insanity.' Whatever you call them, crimes committed in the name of love have been part of our cultural history since ancient times. Here are some of the most famous examples of passion-gone-wrong, from those who couldn't bear to part with their true love to those who found themselves on the receiving end of an obsessive romance.
Model and comedienne Lucille Ball met Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz in 1940 while filming Too Many Girls. They fell for one another instantly and eloped later that year. In 1951, they debuted the hit television series I Love Lucy, starring as the zany middle-class couple Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. With near-perfect timing and a genius for ad-libbing, the red-haired Ball cruised through 179 episodes. The duo also founded Desilu Productions in 1950, a successful independent television production company. Ball and Arnaz divorced in 1960, ending one of television's greatest marriages, though they remained friends until his death in 1986.
Charles Manson's eerie ability to control his "family" of young hippies in California remains as mysterious and intriguing today as it did in 1969, when Manson orchestrated the infamous murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Many Manson Family members were sentenced to life in prison for participating in those murders, including Squeaky Fromme, Susan Watkins and Patricia Krenwinkel. Members Bobby Beausoleil and Steve Grogan, under Manson's bizarre influence, committed other murders. Examine our list of Manson Family members and find out about life on the Spahn Movie Ranch, Charles Manson's uncanny hold over his followers, and the random and brutal crimes that ensued.
After Caesar's assassination, Cleopatra set her sights on the dashing Roman general Marc Antony. The two began an affair, resulting in twins in 40 B.C. Antony wed Cleopatra in 36 B.C., and appointed his new wife ruler of Egypt, Cyprus, Crete, and Cyria. This abuse of power so outraged the Roman Senate that they denounced him a traitor. After losing a major battle at sea, Antony and Cleopatra were forced to flee to Egypt in 31 B.C. In desperation, Cleopatra spread rumors of her own suicide. Antony, unaware of her plan, stabbed himself to death. When Cleopatra heard of this, she took her own life by inducing a poisonous snake to bite her.
As the ultimate symbol of old Hollywood glamour, there's no actress who's been more imitated than Marilyn Monroe. Since her death, countless young celebrities have tried to emulate the legendary starlet, with her signature short blond hair, red lips, and effortless sex appeal. Some pull it off well, some might not, but what's certain is that stars will keep trying to mimic Marilyn.
On June 25, 1956, playwright Arthur Miller married Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe. The unlikely couple faced a series of hardships, including Miller's investigation for communist sympathies, and Monroe's depression, miscarriages and drug use. They divorced in 1961.
Marriage takes a lot of work—especially when you're two stars merging egos and assets, as well as your lives. For these particular famous couples, their fickle feelings and big personalities led to love, marriage, divorce, and then remarriage, all within a few short years.
Twin stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen made their acting debut more than two decades ago, taking turns playing Michelle on the popular TV series Full House when they were only 6 months old. The show led to a crazed film career for the sisters, who starred together in dozens of family friendly films in the 1990s and early 2000s, including It Takes Two and New York Minute. They also returned to TV in 1998, with the series Two of a Kind.
Following years of dual stardom, the Olsens have branched out in recent years, asking to be viewed individually in the media, rather than as a pair. However, they could never completely separate from each other: together, they bought out a movie production company in 2004, and co-founded two fashion lines soon after. Though no longer pursuing acting gigs, the Olsens—worth an estimated, combined $100 million—have maintained thousands of die-hard fans worldwide, who are eager to find out what the famous duo will do next.
America wouldn't be what it is today without Hollywood, and it certainly wouldn't be the same without its armed forces. Military veterans make the ultimate contribution to society—they put their lives on the line for their country. Since the nation's founding, the dedication and bravery of soldiers has been the a key pillar on which the United States stands. From Revolutionary War heroes to Vietnam veterans, here's a look at famous military veterans.
With innovative ideas and charismatic personalities, many African-Americans have made lasting contributions to the country, while also earning millions. Oprah Winfrey emerged as a world-famous one-woman brand with her show, eventually becoming the world's first black billionaire. Robert L. Johnson started BET, the cable channel geared towards African-Americans. Athlete Michael Jordan turned into a household name through numerous endorsement deals. These people were among the first African-Americans to overcome the obstacles of discrimination and achieve top honors in their fields. With talent and determination, each one reinvented not only what it meant to be an African-American, but also what it meant to be an American.
Facebook, Twitter, Google, iPhone— they're the names of technologies so pervasive in our 21st century lives that we've started using them as verbs. Behind these technologies are individuals whose ingenuity and enterprising spirit have profoundly changed our lives. Far from being computer nerds, these tech geniuses are billionaire celebrities, household names and the subjects of hit movies. From Steve Jobs of Apple to Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook, here are the most famous modern titans of tech.
Dance pioneers like Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly—remembered for his groundbreaking performance in 1952's Singin' in the Rain—truly set the stage for Hollywood's dance-film genre. John Travolta, Jennifer Beals, Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey and Natalie Portman are some of the performers who took up where Astaire, Rogers and Kelly left off, repopularizing dance on film for later generations. Biography.com's Famous Movie Dancers group examines the lives and careers of these high-stepping performers who will always be remembered for their unforgettable moves.
Some of the most inspirational films in history are those about an educator's lasting impact on his or her students. For instance, in To Sir, with Love, Sidney Poitier stars as a newly hired London school teacher; Mr. Holland's Opus, starring Richard Dreyfuss, tells the story of an impassioned high school music teacher; Michelle Pfeiffer plays a marine turned educator of an inner-city school in Dangerous Minds; in Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams plays a motivational English professor; and Hilary Swank garnered fame for her role as a compassionate educator in Freedom Writers. For more on famous educators of the big-screen, visit Biography.com's group of Famous Movie Teachers.
When musicians land big fame, there typically comes a moment of reinvention in which the "rock star" identity is born. This new persona often requires a new name, a way to differentiate between the private and public versions of themselves. Musical monikers take different forms, from the simple, last-name changes aimed at boosting celebrity appeal—like Steven Tyler—to the glamorized version of a childhood nickname—like Jay-Z. Musicians' nicknames and aliases tend to take on an identity all their own over time, often becoming as full of personality as the artists they represent.
An unsolved crime never fails to fascinate us, especially when it involves the death of a celebrity. Over the years many famous individuals, from movie stars to politicians to rockers, have died in mysterious circumstances. Conspiracy theories and accusations of foul play abound, but we may never know fact from fiction. Here's a look at some of the most famous mysterious deaths.
In entertainment, where the line between fiction and reality is often blurry, names are a crucial part of a celebrity's image. Stage names are often chosen to make an actor or musician's name easier to pronounce or remember, or simply to make it sounds more attractive. Here are famous celebrities who have changed their names.