Sunday, September 04, 2011

Philip Michael Thomas

Philip Michael Thomas is an actor best known for his role as Detective Ricardo Tubbs in the mid mid-late 1980s TV show, Miami Vice. Although Thomas was a well-known actor at the height of popularity for Miami Vice, his career essentially ended with the show's cancellation in 1990 and he has not had any notable roles in the last two decades.

Thomas was born on May 26, 1949 and broke into acting in his early 20s in the 1970s. His first role was in the 1972 blaxploitation film, "Come Back, Charleston Blue" where he had a minor role as a minister. Thomas followed with small roles over the next 10-15 years in films such as Stigma, Book of Numbers, Bogart, Coonskin and in TV shows such as Griff, Good Times, Toma, The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, and Trapper John, M.D.

Thomas finally caught his big break when he was cast as Detective Ricardo Tubbs on the hit TV show Miami Vice in 1984. Although co-star Don Johnson was the biggest star of Miami Vice, Thomas was popular and achieved his own acclaim. Among Miami Vice fans, Thomas was known affectionately as "the scuzzy black guy on Miami Vice."

On Miami Vice, Thomas played Miami undercover police detective Ricardo Tubbs, a former NYPD police officer who traveled to Miami to find the person who killed his brother, Rafael Tubbs. While in Miami Tubbs encountered another undercover cop, Sonny Crockett (played by Don Johnson), who is also looking for the same person.

Miami Vice was a popular show and was renowned for its heavy integration of music and visual effects to tell a story. Miami Vice also heavily influenced mid-80s fashion as male fans started dressing in hot pink or teal t-shirts with white pants or white sports coats.

Thomas was well-known for possibly possessing the greasiest-looking skin and hair in all of Hollywood. Here are some pictures of Thomas looking his greasiest - I bet his entire face and hair would ignite in flames if someone had lit a match within 5 feet of him when these photos were taken:

Thomas was known for having a massive ego. During a mid-1980s Academy Awards ceremony, Thomas wore a gaudy gold medallion emblazoned with the letters "EGOT," which stands for "Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony." During a 1984 interview, Thomas said, "Hopefully in the next five years I will win all of those awards." Despite his massive career aspirations, Thomas neither won nor was nominated for any of these awards.

After the cancellation of Miami Vice in 1990, Thomas struggled to find steady work. He appeared in a number of crappy made-for-TV movies and had non-recurring roles on TV shows such as The Adventures of Superboy, Zorro, Swamp Thing, and Nash Bridges.

Thomas has also sunk his teeth into a singing career. Thomas recorded a music album entitled Living the Book of My Life in 1985. However, the album sold poorly and failed to produce a hit single. Thomas performed the title song of his album during the 1985 episode of Miami Vice entitled The Maze.

Thomas released his second album, entitled Somebody, in 1988. Somebody also sold poorly and failed to produce a hit. In 1993, Thomas collaborated with Kathy Rahill to compose My, My, Miam...i, which was chosen as the city of Miami's theme song.

Thomas later joined forces with Jamaican fitness instructor Sandi Morais to compose songs for a family-friendly musical entitled Sacha, which enjoyed runs in south Florida and New York. Thomas also produced music for Morais' fitness videos in 2001 and 2006.

Cementing his image as a washed-up celebrity and apparently desperate for a steady stream on income, in 1994 Thomas entered into a contractual agreement with the Florida-based Psychic Reader's Network (later known as Traffix, Inc.) to become the spokesman for the Philip Michael Thomas Psychic Connection. He appeared in TV ads dressed in a wardrobe similar to that of his Miami Vice Ricardo Tubbs character, opening the ads with the phrase, "From Miami Vice to world advice!"

Traffix later replaced Thomas with Miss Cleo. Thomas sued for breach of contract and won. In 2002 a New York arbitrator awarded Thomas $1.48 million for improper use of his name and likeness and an additional $780,000 in interest.

Having sunk from a headline actor on Miami Vice to the spokesman for a physic network by 1994, fans of Thomas must have thought that the actor's career couldn't possibly sink any lower. However, fans were wrong - according to the Internet Movie Database, Thomas's only role since 2003 was a voice-over role for the video game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

Philip Michael Thomas struggled in Hollywood for years until finally catching his big break when he was cast as Detective Ricardo Tubbs on Miami Vice. Thomas fought the odds to become a success despite possessing arguably the greasiest skin and hair in all of Hollywood. However, Thomas's career quickly plummeted after the cancellation of Miami Vice as quickly as it rose during the mid-1980s. Now, the actor would be fortunate to be cast in an infomercial. All of this makes Philip Michael Thomas one washed-up celebrity!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher is an actress who achieved incredible fame with her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Known as one of the most beautiful actresses of her day, Fisher has completely let herself go in recent years, packing on close to 100 lbs and losing her femininity in the process.

Carrie Fisher was born on October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, California. Fisher grew up in a famous family - her father was singer Eddie Fisher and her mother is actress Debbie Reynolds. Fisher's parents divorced when she was two - her father remarried to popular actress Elizabeth Taylor and her mother remarried to Harry Karl, who owned a chain of shoe stores. Taking advantage of her family's entertainment connections, at the tender age of 12, Fisher began appearing with her mother in Las Vegas, Nevada. In one of her first acting roles, Fisher appeared as a debutante and singer in 1973 in the hit Broadway revival Irene, which starred her mother.

Fisher broke into movies with a role in the 1975 comedy movie Shampoo, alongside Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn. Fisher's next movie was Star Wars: A New Hope, where she played her career-making role of Princess Leia. Fisher received acclaim for both her beauty and her acting abilities in Star Wars as well as in sequels The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, three of the biggest box office hits of all time.

Fisher's role in Return of the Jedi provided the iconic image of her in a gold bikini as Jabba the Hutt's slave. After audiences saw Fisher in the gold bikini, she became one of the reining Hollywood sex symbols for years to come.

Fisher appeared in other major movies around the time of the Star Wars trilogy, such as 1980's Blues Brothers where she played the jilted lover of John Belushi's character. In that movie, her character chased after and shot at Belushi with a machine gun after he stood her up at a wedding. In a famous scene, Belushi pleaded for forgiveness in a dirty underground tunnel, kissed Fisher's character, and then dropped her in a mud puddle and walked away.

Fisher must have felt like she was on top of the world by the early 1980s. Unfortunately, her career was at its peak and had only one way to go from there - down, and it did crash spectacularly.

Fisher did continue to appear in movies, although the roles were fewer and farther in between. Fisher moved over to the writing side of entertainment as her roles diminished. In 1987 she published her first novel, Postcards from the Edge, and wrote the screenplay for the 1990 film adaptation of the novel. She also had supporting roles in the successful 1989 movies When Harry Met Sally and The 'Burbs.

Throughout the 1990s Fisher seemed to do more writing than acting. She published the novel Surrender the Pink in 1991 and Delusions of Grandma in 1993. She appeared in the 1997 comedy, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, which was a moderate success at the box office, but became much more popular via movie rentals and sequels. She also became a busy "screen doctor," reviewing scripts for movies and TV shows, such as the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

Fisher also appeared in minor roles in few movies during the 21st century, such as Scream 3 in 2000, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back in 2001. As the movie roles dried up, Fisher began acting in her own one-woman auto-graphical play, Wishful Drinking, from 2006-2009. Fisher later wrote a book of the same name, Wishful Drinking, which earned a nomination for a 2010 Grammy Award in the Best Spoken Word Album category.

Away from the entertainment business, Fisher's personal life has been rocky to say the least. She was engaged to actor Dan Aykroyd and married diminutive singer Paul Simon for a couple years in the early 1980s. Fisher also had a three-year relationship (and a daughter) in the early 1990s with top Hollywood agent, Bryan Lourd. Lourd infamously left Fisher to pursue a homosexual relationship with a man. A few years ago, Lourd claimed that Fisher's abuse of codeine was responsible for causing him to turn gay.

Fisher also became an alcoholic and a drug addict, as she has discussed in numerous media outlets, such as during a Today Show interview. Fisher also experienced a bout with mental illness - she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and spent some time in an mental hospital. She also apparently became addicted to fast food such as McDonald's or Hostess Twinkies and Ding Dongs, ballooning up from 100 lbs in the days of Return of the Jedi to 180 lbs by 2010. Fisher is almost large enough to play Jabba the Hutt in a Return of the Jedi sequel.

Fisher has followed in the footsteps of fellow washed-up celebrity Kirstie Alley and is currently a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig weight-loss products.

As if the weight gain wasn't bad enough, Fisher also chopped the beautiful long hair she used to have, giving her a somewhat masculine look, as shown below:

Fisher also recently outed John Travolta as a homosexual in an interview she gave to the Advocate.

Although she was an international sex symbol in the early 1980s, Carrie Fisher has really let herself go in recent years as her movie roles evaporated. I hope she can regain control of her life and gets back down to a healthy weight, which would cause at least some of her conspicuous former beauty to reappear. However, until her gets her life and health back under control, there can be no doubt that Carrie Fisher is one washed-up celebrity!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Randy Quaid

Randy Quaid is an actor perhaps best known for portraying quirky characters such as "Cousin Eddie" in the Vacation movies. There is no doubt that Quaid's entertainment career has been a tremendous success - he has appeared in more than 90 movies since the 1970s. However, Quaid is undoubtedly a washed-up celebrity because his personal life is in shambles, resulting in the recent decision of he and his wife to move to Canada to seek asylum.

Quaid was born in October 1, 1950 in Houston, Texas in a family with minor ties to the entertainment world. His younger brother is movie star Dennis Quaid. According to brother Dennis Quaid, their father was a "failed actor." His grand-father's first cousin was the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.

Randy became and actor as a young adult and began appearing in minor roles in movies during the early 1970s. His first major role was in the 1973 comedy-drama, "The Last Detail," where he starred alongside Jack Nicholson and played a young sailor sentenced to a stiff 8 year prison sentence for stealing $40 from a charity box. The movie followed Quaid's character as Nicholson and another actor accompany Quaid's character to a naval prison. Quaid received critical acclaim for his role in The Last Detail and was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Quaid continued appearing in other hit films during the mid-late 1970s, such as "Paper Moon" and "Lolly-Madonna XXX" in 1973 and the Charles Bronson hit prison break movie, "Breakout" in 1975. Quaid followed up with a memorable role as an American prisoner stuck in a Turkish prison in Oliver Stone's 1978 classic drama, "Midnight Express."

Quaid's star continued to rise into the 1980s. In 1983 he appeared as the wacky white trash "Cousin Eddie" in the smash hit comedic Vacation movies. Quaid later starred as a "feature player" on Saturday Night Live during the 1985-86 season. Quaid took a short break from comedy in 1987 when he appeared in the starring role in the well-received "LBJ: The Early Years" made-for-tv movie. Quaid won a Golden Globe for his role as President Lyndon Johnson.

Quaid continued appearing in many movies throughout the 1990s and the first decade on the 2000s. One particularly notable role was in the 1996 smash-hit Independence Day where he played a goofy alcoholic crop-duster who had been abducted by aliens during his youth and evens the score by flying a fighter plane to fight back against the aliens during a full-scale attack.

Another memorable role from 1996 was in the comedy Kingpin, where Quaid played Ishmael Boorg, an Amish bowler who tries to win a professional bowling championship after he is discovered by Woody Harrelson's character. In one classic scene, Chris Elliot's multi-millionaire character offers Harrelson $1 million to sleep with Quaid's character. Harrelson fantasizes about accepting before eventually rejecting the offer.

Quaid received Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for his role as talent manager Colonel Tom Parker in the critically acclaimed 2005 mini-series, Elvis, which appeared on CBS.

In 2006 Quaid appeared in the gay cowboy flick, "Brokeback Mountain," where he portrayed an insensitive rancher. Quaid claimed that he agreed to appear for a relatively low fee in the movie because he had been informed that it was "a low-budget, art house film with no prospect of making any money." Quaid was understandably upset when the movie became a hit and grossed $160 million. Quaid sued for $10 million alleging that the producers misrepresented the film to him. Quaid's lawsuit was later settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Quaid has also kept himself busy with occasional voice-over roles. He voiced the animated Colonel Sanders in a series of animated commercials for KFC.

Quaid branches over to theater work once in awhile, although his theater work has not always been well-received. In February 2008, the Actors' Equity Association labor union which represents American stage actors banned Quaid for life and fined him more than $81,000. The cab was related to a Seattle production of "Lone Star Love," a Western-themed adaptation of William Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor." In that play, Quaid played the lead role of Falstaff. According to the New York Post, all 26 members of the musical cast claimed that Quaid "physically and verbally abused his fellow performers" and that the show closed rather than continuing to Broadway because of Quaid's "oddball behavior."

Despite his small and big-screen successes, Qauid's personal life is in shambles. I wonder whether he has ever felt any jealously toward his younger brother, Dennis Quaid. Dennis Quaid clearly got the better looks and has occasionally been a headline star, unlike Randy Quaid. For whatever reason, Quaid has engaged in unusual behavior in recent years.

In September 2009, Quaid and his wife were arrested in Texas for defrauding an innkeeper, burglary, and committing conspiracy in California. Quaid and his wife allegedly departed a Santa Barbara, California hotel with an outstanding balance due of approximately $10,000. Although the Quaids made bail and eventually paid the balance, they were still prosecuted for the crime. The Quaids were supposed to appear in district court in Santa Barbara but failed to do so. The Santa Barbara District Attorney's Office later requested bench warrants for the arrest and extradition of the Quaids from Texas in October 2009 after they failed to appear in court. The Quaids later failed to appear at court in April 2010 and forfeited a $1 million in bail that they had previously paid. Arrest warrants for the Quaids were again issued in April 2010.

In April 2010 the Quaids finally appeared in court and their lawyer was able to resolve the case, resulting in a dismissal of the case . The case was dismissed against Randy Quaid for lack of evidence. Quaid's wife, Evi, on the other hand pled no contest to a misdemeanor count of defrauding an innkeeper and was granted probation and ordered to serve 240 hours of community service.

Quaid and his wife ran afoul of the law again in September 2010 when they were charged with burglary. The Quaids apparently were squatting in a guest house, i.e., living in the guest house without permission. The Quaids claimed that they had owned the property since the 1990s, but the property owner produced documents that showed the house was sold to the current owner in 2007. The previous owner had apparently purchased the property from the Quaids years earlier. The Quaids are currently being accused of causing more than $5,000 worth of damage to the guest house.

The Quaids claim that the home was wrongfully transferred to a third party by the use of the forged signature of a dead woman named Ronda Quaid in 1992. Bench warrents were later issued for the Quaids in October 2010 after they failed to appear in court for a hearing on the burglary charges.

Instead of owning up to the wrongdoing of he and his wife, Quaid decided to flee in the country in October 2010. Quaid and his wife sought protection under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act after being arrested at the US-Canadian border in Vancouver B.C. The Quaids have sought refugee status on the grounds that they fear for their lives in the United States as numerous actors have died under mysterious circumstances committed by the "Hollywood star whackers". The Quaids were granted bail on the condition that they post a $10,000 bond. The Quaids, however, failed to post the requisite bond and were subsequently arrested by the Canada Border Services Agency. The Quaids were later released on October 27, 2010 after it was determined that Evi Quaid is a "prima facie Canadian citizen."

Randy Quaid has had a long and successful acting career and is known throughout the world for his various quirky roles. However, Quaid's personal life is very strange to say the least and a result, there should be no doubt that Randy Quaid is one washed-up celebrity!

*** Update - October 12, 2015 ***

Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi, were arrested on Saturday, October 10, 2015 while attempting to cross into the United States from Canada.  They are reportedly being held awaiting extradition on arrest warrants outstanding in California.  

Quaid looks completely disheveled in this photo taken by the Vermont state police!