Sunday, September 21, 2014

Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer is a Hollywood actor who starred in a number of big movies throughout the 1980s and 1990s until his career hit the skids as he allegedly feuded with movie producers and started gorging on fatty foods.

Kilmer was born in Los Angeles, California on December 31, 1959.  Kilmer had a passion for acting in his youth and was accepted into the Juilliard School's Drama Division at the age of 17, the youngest person at the time to be accepted into that Division. In 1981, while at Julliard, Kilmer co-authored and starred in a play entitled "How It All Began," which was performed at the Public Theater at the New York Shakespeare Festival.

Kilmer's missed his first shot at stardom in in the early 1980s when he turned down a role in Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 cult classic, The Outsiders.  In 1983 he appeared Off Broadway in The Slab Boys with Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn. Later in 1983 Kilmer had his first off-stage acting role other than television commercials when he appeared in an After School Special entitled One Too Many, an educational drama on drinking and driving which also starred a young Michelle Pfeiffer:

Kilmer's big break came in 1984 when he appeared in the slapstick hit comedy movie, Top Secret!, where he played an American rock and roll star. Kilmer sang all the songs in the film and released an album under the film character's name, "Nick Rivers."

Kilmer followed up with another starring role in the moderately successful 1985 comedy, Real Genius, where he played a genius college student working on a chemical laser. In 1986 Kilmer's star rocketed even higher when he appeared as "Iceman" in the smash hit, Top Gun, where he played a Navy fighter pilot.

Kilmer must have thought that he was on top of the world during the mid-1980s as he was appearing in hit movies and was making a name for himself.  Kilmer also became somewhat of a Hollywood sex symbol, dating famous celebrities such as Cher and Ellen Barkin.

Kilmer closed out the 1980s appearing in the somewhat-disappointing Willow, the flop Kill Me Again, and the TV movie, Billy the Kid.  Kilmer starred as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's 1991 biopic, The DoorsThe Doors received mixed reviews, although Kilmer's acting was praised.  However, Kilmer exhibited diva-like behavior on the set of The Doors when a memo linked to Kilmer circulated among cast and crew members listing rules of how the actor was to be treated for the duration of principal photography. The rules allegedly indicated that people being forbidden to approach him on the set without good reason, he was not to be addressed by his own name while he was in character, and no one was allowed to "stare" at him on the set.  Director Oliver Stone was reportedly livid when he found out about the memo.

Kilmer followed up with a supporting role in the cult classic True Romance, and with his well-received portrayal of Doc Holliday in Tombstone in 1993.  Kilmer also co-starred in the 1995 hit crime thriller, Heat, where he played a bank robber.  Kilmer also starred as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the 1995 hit, Batman Forever.  Kilmer reportedly feuded with director Joel Schumacher during the filming of Batman Forever.“Schumacher claimed that Kilmer was irrational and ballistic with the first assistant director, the cameraman, and the costume people.  Schumacher also stated that Kilmer "was rude and inappropriate. He was childish and impossible. I was forced to tell him that this would not be tolerated for one more second. Then we had two weeks where he did not speak to me but it was bliss!"

Kilmer subsequently starred in the 1996 big budget movie, The Island of Dr. Moreau, which was an utter flop. Veteran director John Frankenheimer reportedly got into a heated argument with Kilmer on-set, which earned Kilerma a reputation for being difficult to work with.  Regarding the incident, Frankenheimer stated, "I don't like Val Kilmer, I don't like his work ethic, and I don't want to be associated with him ever again". Director Frankenheimer also stated, "There are two things I will never ever do in my whole life. The first is that I will never climb Mt. Everest. The second is that I will never work with Val Kilmer ever again." After Kilmer completed his final scene during filming, Frankenheimer reportedly said to the crew "Now get that bastard off my set."

Kilmer also starred in the 1996 historical adventure film, The Ghost and the Darkness, where he played a hunter hired to kill man-eating lions in Africa.  The film was somewhat of a failure and film critic Roger Ebert said at the time that the film was awful.  Kilmer was nominated for a Razzie Award for "Worst Supporting Actor" for his role.  Kilmer closed out the 1990s with starring roles in 1997 hit, The Saint, and the 1999 flop, At First Sight.

The new millennium, however, was unkind to Kilmer as he starred in the 2000 Mars box office disaster, Red PlanetRed Planet was all but a career-killer for Kilmer as the film had a budget of $80 million, get only received about $33 million in revenue at the box office.

Kilmer has continued working since 2000 but his big roles have all but evaporated.  Many of the movies in which he has appeared in recent years have been straight-to-video flicks, such as Played or 10th and Wolf.  Kilmer has managed, however, to obtain roles in some reasonably successful movies, the most notable of which was the 2006 flick, Deja Vu, where he played an FBI agent. Kilmer has also appeared in movies such as MacGruber, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans, and voiced K.I.T.T. in the reboot of Knight Rider in 2008-09.

Kilmer's box office struggles have coincided with massive weight gain as he has completely let himself go. I saw Deja Vu in a theather when it was first released in 2006 and was shocked when I saw Kilmer as he had morphed from the thin or fit man I remembered into a barely recognizable fat slice of hog meat!  Kilmer literally looked as though he must have gained 50-75 lbs of pure body fat between 2000, when he was in Red Planet, and 2006, when he was in Deja Vu.

Kilmer has gained so much weight that it actually seems as though he has been pigeon-holed into appearing solely in fat-guy roles.  He played a big fat prisoner in 2008's Felon, so I suppose that his borderline obesity has helped him in some regards although he is clearly just a shadow of the sex symbol he once was.

Val Kilmer was once a huge star commanding nearly 8-figures for starring movie roles.  However. his career hit the skids either as a result of box office fatigue or his diva-like behavior on movie sets.  Rather than plowing himself into his craft, Kilmer apparently chose instead to gorge on fatty foods, as he morphed into a borderline-obese man.  Although Kilmer has reportedly lost some weight during the past couple years, he is still fat enough to rival Dennis Haskins or Kirstie Alley for the obesity crown of the Washed Up Celebrities blog.  It's a shame as in my opinion, Kilmer really is a talented actor, although things have gotten so bad for him that he's practically begging to appear in sequels to Top Gun and Heat in an effort to reboot his career.  Therefore, as discussed above, there can be no doubt that Val Kilmer is one washed-up celebrity!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes is a Hollywood actor best known for his various starring roles in action flicks in the 1990s. Snipes was one of the most bankable black actors up until several years ago. Unfortunately, Snipes's ego eventually got the better of him as he apparently came to believe that "his shit didn't stink" and thought he shouldn't have to pay federal income taxes on the millions of dollars of income he received from his various acting roles over the years. When the IRS brought criminal charges against Snipes, he was convicted of various charges and sentenced to 3 years in prison for his crimes in a practically unbelievable fall from grace.

Wesley Snipes was born on July 31, 1962 in Orlando, Florida, although he grew up in the Bronx in New York City.  Snipes decided to pursue acting at any early age and attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing, a school popularized in the movie Fame.  However, Snipes moved back to Orlando during his teenage years.  After graduating from high school, Snipes local dinner theaters and regional productions.

Snipes' first movie role was in the 1986 movie Wildcats, where he played a high school football player.  Snipes followed up with a major role in the famous 1987 Michael Jackson video for Bad.  Snipes also had a starring role as a boxer in the 1987 movie, Streets of Gold.

Snipes turned down a minor role in the 1989 Spike Lee movie, Do the Right Thing, for a larger role in the hit baseball comedy movie Major League, where he played Willie Mays Hayes, a speedy slap hitter.  Snipes' role in Major League was well-received and really put him on the map with mainstream audiences.  After the success of Major League, Snipes became one of the most sought-after black actor actors in Hollywood.

Snipes followed up on the success of Major League by appearing in starring roles in both Jungle Feaver and New Jack City in 1991.  Snipes' performances were acclaimed and his star was clearly on the rise as of the early 1990s.  Snipes later appeared in starring role in the 1992 sports comedy, White Men Can't Jump. Snipes followed up with roles in the 1992 action hit, Passenger 57, and the 1993 action hit, Demolition Man, where he showed off his martial arts skills.

Snipes later appeared in the cult-classic 1998 vampire action flick, Blade, and subsequently appeared in two Blade sequels, Blade II, and Blade: Trinity.

However, after the 1990s had passed, Snipes' star started to fade as audiences tired of him and the roles he was offered became few and far between.  Snipes' personal life started crashing down upon him at the same time.  Snipes apparently thought he was immune to the federal tax laws, as he unbelievably filed a false tax refund claim of over $4 million for the 1996 tax year, a false tax refund claim of over $7.3 million for the 1997 tax year, and also failed to file any federal tax returns for the tax years between 1999 and 2004.

Not surprisingly, the IRS was none to too pleased with Snipes' apparent tax fraud.  Snipes was charged with defrauding the IRS and with one count of knowingly making or aiding and abetting the making of a false and fraudulent claim for payment against the United States. Snipes additionally charged with six counts of willfully failing to file federal income tax returns by their filing date.

Snipes must have squandered his acting fortune, as he apparently lacked the means to pay his tax bills.  In 2005, desperate for money, Snipes initially agreed to fight Joe Rogan in a mixed martial arts match, although later backed down out of fear of receiving a vicious pummeling.   Snipes defended himself in his legal case by raising an absurd defense that he was not a U.S. citizen and therefore was not obligated to pay federal taxes, despite the fact that Snipes was born in the U.S. and is therefore a U.S. citizen by birthright.  Snipes was also so desperate to avoid jail time that he claimed that he was the victim of a racist conspiracy notwithstanding his obvious fraudlent actions.

The government's action against Snipes went to court in 2008, where he was found guilty of willful failure to file federal income tax returns and was sentenced to three years in prison.  Snipes began serving his sentence in 2010 was was released in 2013.  Snipes has apparently tried to return to the limelight and is reportedly set to appear in a minor role in the 2014 action flick, Expendables 3.

Wesley Snipes was once one of the most bankable black actors in Hollywood.  He must have felt like he was invincible and that the world was his oyster by the late 1990s.  However, Snipes' arrogance apparently got the better of him as his squandered his fortune and willfully failed to pay his federal taxes.  Snipes' stunning fall from grace led to a three-year prison sentence.  Accordingly, there is no doubt that Wesley Snipes is on washed-up celebrity!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Erin Moran

Erin Moran is a former child star best known for her role on the hit 1970s-1980s sitcom, Happy Days.  Moran went from one of the hottest young TV stars in the early 1980s until Happy Days was cancelled, at which point her career completely derailed until she attempted an-ill advised comeback on Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp nearly 25 years later.  [Summaries of the Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp episodes may be found here.]

Erin Moran was born on October 18, 1960 in Burbank, California and broke into the acting business at a young age.  As a 7-year-old child, she had a recurring role on the TV show, Daktari, appearing in 15 episodes during the fourth season of the show about a veterinarian running an animal study center in Africa.  Moran followed up on this initial success with minor roles in several other TV shows, such as Death Valley Days, My Three Sons, Family Affair, Gunsmoke, and The Waltons.  Moran also appeared in several motion pictures such as 80 Steps to Jonah, The Happy Ending, and Watermelon Man.

Moran's star was rising as she was becoming known as a child actress, leading to her being cast in her signature role as Joanie Cunningham on the long-running hit 1950's-era nostalgia sitcom, Happy Days, in 1974.

Happy Days was one of the most popular TV shows during its original airing of 11 seasons between 1974 and 1984.  Moran was a regular on the show as the young teenage daughter of the Cunnginham family for all but the 10th season of the show, at which point she was cast in a lead role in the unsuccessful spin-off show, Joanie Loves Chachi.

Joanie Cunningham was a somewhat annoyed, yet wholesome, young woman on Happy Days and a popular character among American youths.  Erin Moran must have thought that she was on top of the world by the early 1980s as she undoubtedly made millions during her time on Happy Days and became incredibly famous.

However, Moran was in for a rude awakening after Happy Days was cancelled in 1984 as her career quickly derailed.  Moran appeared in two episodes of The Love Boat in 1985 and in an episode of Murder, She Wrote in 1986.  Moran has appeared as herself in TV shows such as Hollywood Squares and in the movie Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.  However, Moran had to wait 12 long years until 1998 until appearing in her next role other than as herself in a single episode of Diagnosis Murder.  Unfortunately, her role in Diagnosis Murder did not reinvigorate her career as she must have thought it would.

With her back up against the wall, Moran made one last-ditch effort to return to the limelight by agreeing to appear in 2008's Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp.  Moran also appeared in a single episode of Scott Baio Is 45... And Single the prior year, in 2007. Moran embarassed herself on Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp, coming across as almost as washed up as the poster child of washed up actors, Dustin Diamond.  Moran was the only contestant on the show who didn't seem to take the show seriously as show lost only 3 pounds, a mere 2.4% of her body weight, during the show.  Her lack of effort completely screwed over her own team, costing them a victory in a competition to lose weight and body fat.  Her lackadaisical effort cost she and her three teammates about $150,000 in prizes, as I discuss in detail in the summary of the last episode of the season on which she appeared.

During Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp, Moran all but admitted that she didn't care about losing weight and claimed that she only came onto the show because she needed the money.

Her appearance on Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp did not reinvigorate her career the way she must have hoped it would.  She did appear in minor roles in the TV movie Mother Goose Parade, the TV show The Bold and Beautiful, and the movie Not Another B Movie, in 2009-10.  However, she has not had any other roles since 2010.  She was rumored to be appearing in the fourth season of Arrested Development in 2013, although she did not end up appearing in the show.

As Moran's career floundered, it appears as though her personal life has also floundered, possibly as a result of burning many bridges while she was at the height of her career.  Moran supposedly appeared on an episode of the Maury Povich Show and claimed that she was "molested" by several male cast members when she was on Happy Days.  However, Moran neglected to corroborate these claims and she disappeared after a return from a commercial break.  Moran later claimed that her own family, not any other actors, abused her

Moran also joined in a lawsuit with several other former Happy Days cast members, claiming that they not been paid for merchandising revenues owed under their contracts.  Moran eventually received a $65,000 settlement.  Unfortunately, however, the windfall did not last long for Moran.

In 2012 it was reported that Moran was broke and lost her California home to foreclosure, forcing her to move in with her husband's mother-in-law in a trailer park in Indiana.  It was also reported in 2012 that Moran flashed her saggy breasts while at a bar in 2012 and apparently nobody knew who she was!  One of the bar's patron's reportedly said, "Who the heck is Erin Moran?"

Moran also supposedly really boozed things up, to the annoyance of her mother-in-law.  The mother-in-law eventually decided that she had enough of Moran's "hard-partying ways" and kicked her out near the end of 2012, rendering Moran homeless, causing her to bounce from hotel-to-hotel.

There is apparently no love lost between Moran and her former Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi co-star Scott Baio.  Baio stated that he knew about Moran's personal troubles, but did not want to help her.  One can only speculate as to what Moran must have done to cause this lack of concern from Baio.

Erin Moran was once one of the most promising young actresses in Hollywood between the mid-1970s and hte mid-1980s.  However, she apparently burned too many bridges and spent her money unwisely, resulting in her being essentially homeless and destitute today.  Accordingly, there can be no doubt that she is one hell of a washed-up celebrity!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Dustin Diamond (2008 Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp Appearance - Episode VIII)

Episode VIII - April 27, 2008

I apologize for the belatedness of this recap for the season finale of Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp. I missed the episode when it originally aired on VH1 in April and have not yet seen it in a re-run. Luckily, however, VH1 posted video of this episode on its website.

The season finale of Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp began with 7 of the 8 contestants riding on the bus toward the boot camp site. Not surprisingly, the missing contestant was Dustin Diamond. About Diamond’s absence, Erin Moran, the second most washed-up celebrity on the show, said, “I really didn’t care that Dustin wasn’t there.

Erin also asked the other cast members whether they thought that her fans would be upset with her for admitted during the previous episode that she only came on the show for a paycheck. The other cast members jumped on Erin for what she had admitted in the previous episode and Tina Yothers essentially told Erin Moran that she let down women for what she had done.

After arriving at the boot camp site, the cast members exited the bus and lined up in front of drill instructor Harvey Walden. Harvey told Erin that he was shocked by her confession in the previous episode, but that he still had faith in her. Tocarra Jones gave Erin a disgusted look while Harvey was talking to her and said in a later interview, “Erin, she frustrates me so bad. Like she is a teammate, 100% when the camera are on. But they turn them [sic] cameras off and she go [sic] home, she doesn’t care.

Harvey then said to the contestants, “Dustin was only here for a paycheck as well. Now he wanted to get paid in advance for this week’s fit camp [episode]. That didn’t happen. So as a result, he’s not here.

About Diamond’s antics, A.J. Benza said, “Dustin makes his own problems. You have to trust people. If they’re gonna pay you, they’re gonn a pay you. .. It’s a professional world. These aren’t loan sharks.

The teams then had separate team meetings. The blue team (i.e., Diamond’s team) went into the mess hall to talk. The team was pissed that Diamond was missing. Brian Dunkelman also mentioned that everyone on his team ate nothing but chicken, drank a gallon of water, and did a lot of cardio during the previous week in an effort to drop body fat.

Erin Moran’s red team convened in the lounge. Her teammate mentioned all of the intense cardio they had done during the previous week and then asked Erin what she had done to lose weight. Erin mentioned that she signed some posters for fans and did short treadmill workouts. Willie Aames and Tocarra were clearly upset with Erin’s lack of effort. Tocarra said that Erin seemed like she didn’t “give a shit.” Her other teammates said that Erin shouldn’t win any grand prize if her team were to win the overall competition; instead, they argued that Tina Yothers deserved Erin’s winning share.

Put on the spot, Erin initially seemed to agree that she didn’t deserve to share in a winning prize. However, when Willie later told the blue team about this plan, Erin said that she hadn’t agreed to it and her teammates eventually dropped the idea. In any event, Tina Yothers said she wouldn't go along with the scheme because she already had her own team.

Diamond eventually showed up at the boot camp and sat by himself in his barracks alone, annoying everyone on the show. Tina Yothers said that Diamond had one episode left to make a mark … “a mark of bullshit.

A.J. went over to the barracks to talk to Diamond in an effort to convince Diamond to participate. Dunkelman said, “A.J. went to see Dustin while he was on the phone with his lawyer who, by the way, is probably ready to kill himself by now.

When Diamond saw A.J. enter the barracks, he said, “This is about business. This is about payment … I got to go with what my lawyer says on this.

A.J. was upset with Diamond and told him that he would get paid. He said, “Let’s just go, it’s a fucking kiddie race … it’s schoolyard shit. Let’s go play … be a man for fucking 25 minutes … come on, man. I’ve got girls running faster than you!” A.J. then stormed out of the barracks, slamming the door on his way out. Diamond eventually wandered over to the lounge where everyone was waiting for him.

In a subsequently filmed interview, Diamond said,

You know, it’s ‘show business,’ not ‘show charity.’ So you’ve got to take care of business first. … Everyone was pissed off at me, but I came back as a professional to honor my obligation. … I always honor my obligations.

The red and blue teams lined up for a fitness challenge involving an obstacle course and a tower to climb.  Each person had to complete each obstacle.  The teams were informed that the team that won the obstacle course would win five "Fit Factor" points. 

The teams had to run over logs, climb a net, climb across monkey bars, perform a mud crawl under rope, run through tires, and climb a tower.  Erin Moran was unable to run up balance beam log and her team was accessed a one minute penalty.  The blue team was accessed 7 minutes in penalties and took 24:13, for a total penalty-adjusted time of 31:13.  The red team was accessed only 1 minute in penalties, but took 30:37 to complete the obstacle course, for a penalty-adjusted time of 31:37.

Tocarra was very upset that the blue team won the 5 Fit Factor points, because she thought it was an unfair advantage.

After the challenge, everyone was served dinner and then Harvey Walden showed up at the dinner and walked everyone outside to the woods for a challenge.  They met a man who walked across a bed of broken glass and also jumped on the glass.  The man challenged everyone to walk across the glass.  AJ Benza went across the glass first, followed by Diamond.  Eventually everyone walked across the glass.

On the final night before the last weigh-in, Willie Aames and AJ were shown exercising.  Erin Moran asked Aames to get off the treadmill so that she could get on the treadmill and was upset when he didn't want to get off.  Aames then got off the treadmill and walked up a hill outside.  When the blue team was informed that Aames was outside walking, Diamond justified his own laziness by saying, "That's overkill, man.  I was tempted to go up the hill with him just 'cause I don't think it would be expected, but that's invading on sleep time and sleep time is very important."

The next morning, a mariachi band woke everyone up so they could do one final workout prior to the final weigh-in.  The final workout started with boxing drills involving punching bags, jogging, jumping rope.  Diamond whined throughout the exercise, claiming "I can't do it."   Next, the contestants had to run while wearing a backpacking contain the exact amount of weight that each individual contest had lost so far in the season.  Finally, Sommore and Diamond each had to climb the tower from a workout in the fourth episode. Both were able to successfully climb the tower.

Finally, everyone showed up for the final weigh-in.  During Willie Aames's weigh-in, Willie was so satisfied with his performance on the show that he thanked the judges and then told Drill Instructor Harvey Walden that he wanted to give him something.  Walden became visibly concerned as Aames took off his pants, but was relieved when he discovered that Willie did so to reveal a creepy tattoo of the drill instruction that Aames had drawn on his leg.

Diamond stepped on the scale and discovered that he weighed 194 lbs and lost 3 pounds.  He closed out the season with a total loss of 23 pounds.  During the show, Diamond lost 10.6% of his body weight and 11.5% of his body fat during the show.

Erin Moran was the last to weigh in.  She gained 1 pound during the final weigh-in, much to the chagrin of her teammates on the red team - her teammates were visibly upset when her poor performance was revealed.   Willie Aames and Tocarra Jones both told Moran that they were pissed off at her performance.  She lost only 3 pounds during the season.  She lost 2.4% of her body weight and 9.2% of her body fat.

After everyone was weighed, Ant revealed the Fit Factor scores for each team, which was calculated by summing the % weight lost and the % body fat lost for each member of each team.  Diamond's blue team had a Fit Factor of 96.8, whereas Erin Moran's red team had a Fit Factor of 100.4.  Ant then added the 5 Fit Factor points that the blue team won during the final challenge and revealed that the blue team won the competition with a total Fit Factor score of 101.8.  When the results were read, the red team appeared to be shocked and it was clear that Toccarra, AJ Benz, and Willie Aames were visibly upset with Erin Moran for costing them the victory, which effectively cost the red team at least $150k in prizes.

After viewing the 2008 Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp show, it is clear that Erin Moran is almost as washed up as Dustin Diamond, the true benchmark of washed-up celebrities!

**Be sure to check out my other Dustin Diamond entries:
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode I
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode II
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode III
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode IV
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode V
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode VI

Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode VII

Dustin Diamond - (2007 Celebrity Fit Club Appearance)
Dustin Diamond - The Early Years
Dustin Diamond (2000-Present)