Efemerides / jue 04 dic 2k8 Brad PittActorBorn: 18 December 1963Birthplace: Shawnee, OklahomaBest known as: The hunky actor and partner of Angelina JolieName at birth: William Bradley PittSporting the golden-boy glow of Robert Redford and the jawline of Kirk Douglas, Brad Pitt is one of the leading movie heartthrobs of the 1990s and 2000s. Pitt grew up in Missouri and studied journalism in college before dropping out to become an actor. He scored as the sexy scoundrel hitchhiker in the 1991 movie Thelma and Louise (with Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon), a small role that nonetheless catapulted him to leading man status. Soon known as a movie star who didn't always have to take the starring role, Pitt co-starred with Tom Cruise in Anne Rice's Interview With A Vampire (1994), with Bruce Willis in Twelve Monkeys (1995) and with Harrison Ford in The Devil's Own (1997). His other films have included: Se7en (1995, with Morgan Freeman), the brutal urban psychodrama Fight Club (1999, with Edward Norton), and Spy Game (2001, with Robert Redford); the spoofy ensemble film Ocean's Eleven (2001, with George Clooney) and its sequels Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007); the big-budget star vehicles Troy (2004, with Pitt as the weak-heeled Achilles) and Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005, opposite Angelina Jolie); and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007, with Pitt as Jesse James).Puccini, GiacomoPuccini, Giacomo (jä'kōmō pOOt-chē'nē) [key], 22 dec 1858–1924, Italian composer of operas. He wrote some of the most popular works in the opera repertory. A descendant of a long line of musicians, he studied piano and organ at his Tuscan birthplace, Lucca, and in 1880 entered the Milan Conservatory. He first gained recognition with a one-act opera, Le Villi (1884). His finest operas, Manon Lescaut (1893), La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), and Turandot (produced posthumously in 1926), display his characteristically lyric style and masterful orchestration, evoking strongly dramatic emotional effects. Although the characters in his operas are rather generalized, romantic figures, they come alive through expressive melody. A penchant for exotic settings produced some incongruities in his music, as in La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West, 1910), and some of his works have been criticized for excessive sentimentality. Wit and dramatic vivacity, however, mark his comic opera Gianni Schicchi (1918), and Puccini has remained, with Verdi, a preeminent master of the Italian operatic stage.
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