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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Black History Month Part 3

Hello! Taking a break from the move to get the BHM out to you all.

Heading right on in!

Phil LaMarr - (voice of Gadon Thek in KOTOR) was born on January 24, 1967 in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from Harvard and Yale (High School and University, respectively), Yale is where LaMarr was a founding member, 1985, of The Purple Crayon, which was and still is an improvisational comedy troupe on campus.

After LaMarr's graduation from Yale in 1988 he spent time training, acting and working with Second City in Chicago, IL and then coming home to work with The Groundlings in Los Angeles, CA. He also finds time to teach about improvisation and characters through workshops.

LaMarr has a gift for impressions and has been called on to voice numerous celebrities in all sorts of programs some voice impersonations include Gary Coleman, Billy Crystal, Morgan Freeman, Michael Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Sidney Poitier, Chris Rock, Will Smith and Chris Tucker to name only a few.

LaMarr may be most known in some circles for his voice work in the very popular TV series Samurai Jack (2001 - 2004) which was created by Genndy Tartakovsky (Clone Wars).
LaMarr played the title role and many other voices on the series over the 5 season run.

Upcoming projects include:
The Adventures of Brer Rabitt on video, The Happiest Day of His Life, Cook-Off! this year and Futurama in 2007.

Mary Oyaya (Luminara Unduli - PT) was born in Mombasa, Kenya, Africa to parents who worked as UN diplomats. Oyaya spent the better part of her life traveling to different corners of the globe with her parents. As a result she has experienced cultures and beliefs that varied considerably.
Oyaya holds three degrees, a Masters in International Relations, a Masters in International Social Development from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia (UNSW) and a Bachelors degree in International Relations from the United States International University, USIU. (The USIU main campus is located in Nairobi, Kenya. It was the first secular university in East Africa and after studying for two years in Nairobi had to move to San Diego to complete their degrees.) Oyaya had first hand experience in her fields of study while working abroad with refugees for several non-governmental organizations in Australia.

In addition to her skills in diplomacy, modeling and acting she speaks five languages fluently: English, Swahili, French, Swedish and Japanese; is athletic: sword fighting (Chinese martial arts), drumming, belly dancing, basketball, swimming, tai chi, yoga, cycling and Pilates.

Oyaya settled in Australia where she continues to work in acting and modeling and intends to follow in her parents' footsteps in UN diplomacy.

Quentin Pierre (Bespin Guard transporting Han Solo to Fett's ship (with Alan Harris) in ESB, stand-in for Billy Dee Williams in ROTJ) has little information circulating about him but I do know that he has been an assistant and a stand-in (double) for Morgan Freeman since the early 90's and continues to do so currently. He has been in about a dozen and a half Space: 1999 episodes.

Hugh Quarshie (Captain Panaka - TPM) was born around 1954 in Accra, Ghana, Africa. Accra is on the coast of Ghana, Ghana lies between the Ivory Coast and Togo. Quarshie was only three when he and his family moved from Ghana to Great Britain. Quarshie's father worked for the Ghanaian Government and was sent to Europe to oversee the establishment of various consulates in Central Europe and a high commission in London, Quarshie's father saw Great Britain as the mother country and that British education was prime, these beliefs helped facilitate the move to London in the late 1950's.

Quarshie was educated at Oxford where he was also the co-director of the Oxford and Cambridge Shakespeare Company. He earned degrees in politics, philosophy and economics and planned to use his talents for a career in journalism. He was hired at West Africa Magazine as a writer and editor. Fortunately, for us, Quarshie found the work incredibly dull, or as he once said, "mind-numbingly boring." It was then that he started to seriously pursue acting, which he found therapeutic.

Quarshie didn't stop at simply acting on stage, on TV or in commercials he wrote, co-directed, starred and produced plays and was the first black actor to play a Shakespearean character. It wasn't just any role either, he took over the role of Henry IV from Timothy Dalton (James Bond - The Living Daylights) for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Quarshie lives in the UK with his wife, actress Annika Sundström, two children: Maya and Freya and continues to work steadily in film and TV. He has a continuing role as Ric Griffin in the popular series Holby City on BBC One.

Kevin Michael Richardson (K'Kruhk/Human Male Jedi Master in Clone Wars and voiced several characters in 12 different Star Wars video games) was born on October 25, 1964 in The Bronx, New York, NY.

Richardson attended Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York where he earned a BFA in Drama. He has also trained at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, CT and at the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in Florida.

Richardson has a prolific career in voice acting in Los Angeles, CA.


5 comments digested to 1

1 comment:

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

If Luke knew the truth from the beginning?

date Posted: Feb 24, 2006 2:30 PM
Hi, I did not read your other entries and would like to, so I will do a bit of searching for your other blogs. Thank you so much for providing the SW fans with info on Black/African Americans in the SW universe. Thanks again. Great Blog.

Droids Just Wanna Have Fun

date Posted: Feb 24, 2006 3:59 PM
Excellent series of blog entries about Black History Month.
In fact, I'm going to make you today's Featured Blog of the Day!

Life, the Star Wars Universe and Everything

date Posted: Feb 24, 2006 4:22 PM
You bet princessblue...I was only too happy to do so.

*blushes* Thank you Bonnie! You're a sweetheart!

Smugglers Rants

date Posted: Feb 26, 2006 4:47 AM
Seriously, picking a subject such as Black History month is one thing - presenting the wealth of info you have done is something else entirely.
I learn more from you on this blog than I did at school!

Life, the Star Wars Universe and Everything

date Posted: Feb 26, 2006 10:53 AM
hehe. I think I say "Hm, I didn't know that" a lot while doing the research
I think we've all been really busy! Good to see you again