In the 1970's, a group of ruthless Irish punks called the "Westies", managed to terrorize Hell's Kitchen in New York City. They had a penchant for violence and a desire to control the illegal activities on Manhattan's west side. Young Irish thug Jimmy Coonan teamed up with Mickey Featherstone, a Vietnam veteran with a reputation for being a ruthless killer. The "Westies" ruled the streets, protecting their various rackets, including drug dealing and extortion, through extreme violence. They were so powerful they were able to work as contract killers for the Gambino crime family.
Bowman, as international president of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, ordered kidnappings, firebombings, assaults and murders. He joined another exclusive club in 1997, the "FBI Ten Most Wanted" list. Bowman was brought to justice with the help of an informant on the inside of the Outlaw brotherhood.
Who can forget Angela Bassett as Tina Turner or Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles? Do you remember who played Billie Holiday? Or who Beyoncé performed as in the film Cadillac Records? More recent African-American biopics include the Lifetime original movie Betty & Coretta (2013), starring Angela Bassett as Coretta Scott King and Mary J. Blige as Betty Shabazz, and The Butler (2013), starring Forest Whitaker and based on the life of Eugene Allen.
View our photos of African-American biopics to compare these famous figures to the actors and actresses who have portrayed them.
From stereotypical roles as maids and cooks to Academy Award-winning performances in blockbuster movies, African-Americans have come a long way in the world of film and TV. Early stars like Sidney Portier and Hattie McDaniel may have been the first actors to win awards for their stellar performances, but modern-day actors such as Denzel Washington and Halle Berry are still breaking new ground as the first African-Americans to win Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes in certain categories. Learn about the African-American actors who became the first to change the fabric film and TV with their dramatic performances.
They've made us laugh. They've made us cry. They've made us nostalgic, and they've even made us vengeful. They're among Hollywood's most famous black actresses, appearing in classic films like The Color Purple, Poetic Justice, Soul Food, Dreamgirls and The Help, as well as on television and on the stage. Explore our collection of famous black actresses, including Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne and Angela Bassett.
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.
They are the best of the best on television - the entertainers who have taken home the coveted Emmy Award. Popular sitcoms stars from Lucille Ball to Tina Fey, dramatic actors like James Gandolfini and legendary talk show hosts including Johnny Carson and Oprah Winfrey are just some of the performers who have taken home the winged statuette. Here is a star-studded collection of famous Emmy winners from throughout the history of TV.
After the Civil War, many of the country's best and brightest black advocates, artists, entrepreneurs and intellectuals moved to the New York City neighborhood of Harlem. Thanks largely to the efforts of these residents, Harlem became both the cradle of a cultural revolution and the heart of the civil rights movement. Meet some of the many people who gave—and continue to give—this neighborhood a voice, simply by calling it home.
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.
Betty & Coretta (2013), a Lifetime original movie, explores the stories of Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X. When their husbands were assassinated, these two women inherited the mantle of the Civil Rights movement and were both forced to find a way, as single mothers, to raise and support their children. Through their struggles and triumphs, King and Shabazz forged a deep friendship and a stronger commitment to improving the lives of African Americans, ultimately becoming role models for millions of women nationwide. Explore this group to learn more about these pioneering women and the actresses who portray them in Betty & Coretta: Angela Bassett (Coretta Scott King), the recipient of several NAACP Image Awards, and nine-time Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige (Betty Shabazz).
Vampires prey off living creatures, stalking unsuspecting humans, sucking their blood and often turning them into vampires. Not alive but not quite dead, vampires are fictional creatures who have haunted and fascinated human populations for centuries. The notion of the fanged, transylvanian Count Dracula was first popularized in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, but the character has seen many iterations over the years. Today's TV shows and movies portray vampires as sexy, mysterious and even sympathetic characters with meaningful relationships to humans. Here is a group of some of the most famous blood-suckers of TV and film.