Things you learned on IMDB

The great time-waster IMDB has actually taught me at thing or two about this world.

Example: In looking up Mila Kunis from That '70’s show and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I learned she was born in the Soviet Union, learned English by watching The Price Is Right and lost her grandparents in the holocaust.

There are plenty of other surprising celebrity biographies out there.

Anyone want to contribute things you saw there that took you by surprise?

I learned that most successful actors are college educated.

I like to read the trivia surrounding a movie, and to be surprised by seeing which other actors were initially considered for some famous role.

I’m looking at Lawrence of Arabia now. Before they chose Omar Sharif for Sherif Ali, they first wanted Horst Bucholtz. Yow!

And before they chose Peter O’Toole for the part of Lawrence, they first offered the role to Marlon Brando, who turned it down. Thank God.

Yes, I’m continually kind of surprised by that.

I learned that horror scribe Curt Siodmak was the brother of famed noir director Robert Siodmak. Obvious, I know, but it was just one of those things I hadn’t thought about until I started following those pretty blue links.

While watching a Friday the 13th: The Series marathon on Sci-Fi recently, I pulled up IMDB to see whatever happened to Louise Robey. Apparently she married (and divorced) an earl! Their son is listed as a lord, though IMDB isn’t detailed enough to tell if he’s in line for the earldom, or, for that matter, his grandfather’s dukedom.

Miguel Sandoval played Archie, the punk with the Mohawk in Repo Man. I must have watched that movie five times before I IMDB’d it, and I never would have guessed.

I didn’t know about the deaths of Michael Elphick, Katrin Cartlidge, William Hootkins, Alan Bates, or Marc Lawrence until I read about them on IMDB.

Before being cast as Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter was the vocalist in a band whose drummer was Gary Burghoff (Radar on “MAS*H.”)

Brent Chalem, who played Horace in The Monster Squad, died of pneumonia at the age of 22.

Oo, more early casting plans for famous movies.

Now I’m reading about Bridge on the River Kwai. Before they chose Alec Guinness for the role of Colonel Nicholson, they initially wanted Charles Laughton. CL turned down the role, as he didn’t think he could stand the heat of Ceylon. Indeed, I think the “oven” scenes might have killed him. They then offered the part to Laurence Olivier, who also turned it down. Alec Guinness initially turned it down, but finally accepted. Again, thank God.

They also first wanted Humphrey Bogart for the part of Shears, but HB’s studio wouldn’t lend him out. Actually, I think he would have done a great job in that role, but I’m a William Holden fan, so I’m glad it turned out as it did.

NO WAY! Holy crap I would never have put those two together! Now I need to go find my copy of “Repo Man” and watch it again.

There was a thread a while back about “Whatever happened to…” actors and actresses – people you had seen in a movie or two many years ago and who then just seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. One actress that I thought of was Melinda Dillon, who was the mom in “A Christmas Story” and the mother of the abducted child in “Close Encounters” who winds up at Devils Tower with Richard Dreyfuss. Those are the only two movies I could ever remember seeing her in. I looked her up on IMDB and discovered that she’s been working pretty steadily for the last three decades. (Apparently, just not in anything I’ve seen!)

A very unusual fact (facts actually) that I learned from IMDB is the identity of the Italians who dubbed for different stars in movies when they’re shown in Italy. I say unusual because … well, why exactly is that information included in some of the bio pages?! Who really cares who dubbed for, say, Audrey Hepburn, when her movies came out in Italy? (Scroll down the page, under the trivia section) LOL Okay, maybe Italians care, but … jeeze! :stuck_out_tongue:

This is probably embarrassingly obvious, but I was doing a “whatever happened to” search a while ago and among my favorite movies growing up were the “Witch Mountain” movies. Whatever happened to Tia? I guess her name is Kim Richards and she is Paris Hilton’s aunt!

Also I believe I learned that Dolph Lundgren had a engineering master’s degree and won a Fulbright Scholarship on the IMDB.

Yeah, I learned that on IMDB too, and it blew me away.