James Cameron almost made Jurassic Park and he would’ve had dinosaurs AND aliens. LOL.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Brad Pitt had “undertaken a decidedly unsexy form of method acting by voluntarily chipping out pieces of his front teeth.” He apparently visited a dentist to have the work done. “Brad’s willing to go to great lengths for a character,” said Pitt’s publicist, Cindy Guagenti, at the time.
The lions actually belonged to Melanie’s mother, actress Tippi Hedren, who still has many of them today! According to W magazine, “Hedren lived with exotic felines in her home, right alongside her husband and kids, in the ’70s. She began rescuing them in 1972, and in 1983 founded the Roar Foundation, the mission of which ‘is to educate the public about the dangers of private ownership of exotic animals.'” Hedren eventually said in a memoir that it was “stupid beyond belief” to let the big cats “roam free around the house.” Today, the big cats all live in “huge compounds” according to granddaughter Dakota Johnson.
Suzanne Somers was fired from Three’s Company for asking for equal pay with her male costar, John Ritter, who was earning five times her salary.
According to People, “In 1980, after four seasons on ABC’s Emmy-winning comedy series, the 73-year-old actress and entrepreneur was fired after she asked for a pay hike from $30,000 an episode to $150,000 an episode, which was on par with her male costar, John Ritter. The show’s response was, ‘Who do you think you are? John Ritter is the star,’ said Somers.”
Michael Jackson did not invent the Moonwalk.
According to ABC News, “Professional dancer Derek ‘Cooley’ Jaxson says he was one of the people who showed Jackson how to do the ‘moonwalk,’ which he said was based on a different move called ‘the backslide.'”
In fact, here’s a video of Bill Bailey (who’s frequently credited with originating the move) doing “the backslide” way back in 1955 (skip to the 2:03 mark to see the fancy footwork):
According to Today, “Parton founded Sandollar Entertainment with her friend and business partner, Sandy Gallin, in 1986. The production company is listed as the producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer [on] IMDb. Sandollar Entertainment also worked on the original 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.”
Also, fun fact, “Later, when Parton learned that (then-executive producer) Gail Berman had been given less royalties from Buffy the Vampire Slayer than her male counterparts, Parton invited her to lunch and handed her a check to make sure she was paid equally, Berman told The New York Times in 2016.”
Before he was famous, Steve Martin went on the game show The Dating Game and actually won three times.
Prior to his groundbreaking career on Saturday Night Live, Martin was a writer for the show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late 1960s. In an interview with Los Angeles Magazine he said, “While I was on that show, I was a contestant on The Dating Game three times. I got picked three times. Three for three. I won a trip to see Wayne Newton perform at Melodyland, I won a trip to Tijuana to the bullfights, and then the big one was I won a trip to Portofino, Italy, with Deana Martin, Dean Martin’s daughter.”
Frances McDormand was actually born Cynthia Ann Smith.
According to the New York Times, McDormand was adopted at one years old, by Noreen and Vernon McDormand. Vernon was a pastor and McDormand’s birth mother was “as far as anyone knows” a young woman in his parish. The Vernons changed McDormand’s name from Cynthia to Frances.
According to Entertainment Weekly, “Jagger contributed uncredited backing vocals to Simon’s 1972 hit ‘You’re So Vain.’ In her 2015 memoir Boys in the Trees, Simon revealed that the two had actually recorded another song the same day as their ‘You’re So Vain’ session.” That “long lost” duet was recently unearthed and, according to the Associated Press, was called “Fragile.”
Listen to “You’re So Vain” here to see if you can audibly spot Jagger’s voice (once you hear it, you can’t unhear it!):
The year was 1994 and the films released were The Mask, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and Dumb & Dumber, over an 11-month span.
Famous radio personality, Casey Kasem, was the original voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo Where Are You! from 1969–1995. He was also a vegan and quit the show in 1995 when asked to voice Shaggy for a Burger King commercial.
According to Business insider, “In 1995, he was asked to portray Shaggy in a Burger King commercial. Kasem was not impressed. Refusing to promote a brand that sold hamburgers, he not only wouldn’t do the commercial, but he walked out on the show entirely and a role he’d been playing for decades.”
Kasem eventually returned to the show in 2002 but only after the show’s producers agreed to make Shaggy a vegan.
The Return of Bruno was Willis’s debut studio album, released by Motown Records in 1987. Check out this video of Bruce singing live in concert:
In an interview with The Huffington Post UK, Cameron said, “I tried to buy the book rights and he [Steven Spielberg] beat me to it by a few hours. But when I saw the film, I realized that I was not the right person to make the film, he was. Because he made a dinosaur movie for kids, and mine would have been aliens with dinosaurs, and that wouldn’t have been fair. Dinosaurs are for 8-year-olds. We can all enjoy it, too, but kids get dinosaurs and they should not have been excluded for that. His sensibility was right for that film, I’d have gone further, nastier, much nastier.”
Famous 1920s jazz pianist Fats Waller was kidnapped by Chicago gangsters for Al Capone’s birthday party.
According to the Independent, Waller had left his native New York to play in Chicago for a few gigs. The account said, “One evening Fats felt a revolver poked into his stomach. He found himself bullied into a black limousine and heard the driver ordered to East Cicero. [They arrived] at a fancy saloon and he was merely pushed toward a piano and told to play. He played. [There was] applause from a beefy man with an unmistakable scar. Al Capone was having a birthday, and he, Fats, was a present from ‘the boys.'”
Laurence Fishburne was just 14 years old when he started work on Apocalypse Now in 1979. He had lied about his age to land the part.
Fishburne’s character Tyrone “Mr. Clean” Miller, is actually 17 years old in the film. However, according to Screenrant, “Fishburne told CBC that he lied about his age in his interview for the part, telling Coppola that he was 16 years old when he was actually two years younger.” To be fair, the film took over two years to make, so by the time his work was done, Fishburne was finally his character’s age.
According to Den of Geek, Weaver had practiced and trained for two weeks with then-basketball star Nigel Miguel. She wrote in a journal at the time, “By the time we are ready to shoot, my average on the shot [was] one basket for every six tries.” On the day, however, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet decided he wanted the shot to happen much further away and said if she couldn’t make it they’d fix it with visual effects. After a few missed shots and more practices, Weaver finally made the shot. Jeunet, however, lamented, “The ball left the frame. So everyone will think we tricked it, even though we didn’t.”
Tom Cruise’s first cousin is actor William Mapother, aka Ethan from Lost.
Tom’s birth name is Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. According to Entertainment Weekly, their fathers were brothers.
And finally, this is really random, and something you may have never noticed in all these years, but Bob Ross was actually missing a finger (on his palette hand/left hand).
According to Good Housekeeping, “As a teen, while working as a carpenter with his father, his left index finger was a casualty of the job. But, since he held the palette with his left hand to paint, you need to look closely to spot it.”