John Paul Cusack was born on June 28, 1966 in Evanston, Illinois, to an Irish Catholic family. He comes from a family of actors including his father, Dick Cusack and his siblings Ann, Joan, Bill and Susie. His mother Nancy, is a former mathematics teacher and political activist. His sister Joan Cusack has appeared in some films with her brother which include Class, Sixteen Candles, Grandview, U.S.A., Broadcast News, Say Anything…, Grosse Pointe Blank, Cradle Will Rock, High Fidelity, Martian Child and War, Inc. Close friend Jeremy Piven has appeared in many of John’s films including One Crazy Summer, Elvis Stories, Say Anything…, The Player, Floundering, The Grifters, Grosse Pointe Blank, Serendipity and Runaway Jury.
John started gaining attention in the mid-1980’s with teen films such as Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, One Crazy Summer, and Sixteen Candles. He was in the 1989 movie Say Anything opposite Ione Skye and John Mahoney. His roles broadened in the late 1980s and early 1990s with more serious-minded fare such as the politically themed True Colors and the film noir thriller The Grifters.
Two great box office hits that John starred in were Grosse Pointe Blank and the Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster Con Air. He went onto movies, Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity, Max, 1408 (based on Stephen King’s short story of the same name), Grace is Gone, War, Inc., 2012, Identity, Martian Child, and Hot Tub Time Machine.
Cusack has an allegiance to both the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, for which, he says, he is “in trouble there for that.”
He has trained in kickboxing for over 20 years under former world kickboxing champion Benny “The Jet” Urquidez. He began training under Urquidez in preparation for his role in Say Anything and currently holds the rank of Level 6 black belt in Urquidez’ Ukidokan Kickboxing system.
John’s movie The Raven will be released later this month (April 27th) in theaters, he plays Edgar Allan Poe in this gritty thriller. Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) joins forces with a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans, Immortals) to hunt down a mad serial killer who’s using Poe’s own works as the basis in a string of brutal murders.
JOHN CUSACK TIDBITS:
-He has a production company called New Crime Productions which he founded with two of his high school buddies Steve Pink & D.V. DeVincentis.
-Education: Piven Theatre Workshop (Evanston, Illinois), run by the parents of actor Jeremy Piven. One semester at NYU.
-Turned down Woody Harrelson’s role in Indecent Proposal (1993).
-Turned down Bill Paxton‘s role in Apollo 13 (1995).
-Tested for the role of Madmartigan in Willow (1988) but lost to Val Kilmer.
-Is the subject of the song “Honorable Mention” by the band Fall Out Boy.
-Was originally set to play Walter Eberhart in the The Stepford Wives (2004). Due to conflicts, he had to drop out and Matthew Broderick got the role.
-Die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.
-Member of the “Brat Pack”, the name for the actors who tended to star in teen movies of the 80’s. Others include Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Demi Moore, Charlie Sheen and Diane Lane.
-Was originally the actor chosen to play John Bender in the The Breakfast Club (1985). At the last minute, things changed and Judd Nelson ended up in the role.
-Growing up John and his siblings often put on plays at their home. He has mentioned that his older sister Ann once staged a production of “Cinderella” in their living room in which she played Cinderella, sister Joan played the Ugly Stepsister, brother Bill played Prince Charming and John played the dog.
-Beat out Christian Slater for the role of “Lloyd” in Say Anything…
-John is of Irish-American decent.
-He has dated Neve Campbell, Lili Taylor, Alison Eastwood, Claire Forlani, and Minnie Driver.
-John Cusack has been an avid blogger at The Huffington Post since 2005.
This is a really nice quote by John on his career and life – “I feel very blessed, very fortunate, very happy. I love my work, I love my friends, I love my family. There was a period when I didn’t work for about two years when I was about 25, 26, and I couldn’t imagine what I would do with my life and that was scary. But now I have other things I love. I’m a pretty good kick boxer; I’m a pretty good writer; there are things I could fall back on. And you know how it is–the minute you realize that your options are unlimited, things just start falling into place all around you.”
THE REAL EDGAR ALLAN POE
Edgar Allan Poe was born Edgar Poe on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the second child of English-born actress Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and actor David Poe, Jr. He had an elder brother, William Henry Leonard Poe, and a younger sister, Rosalie Poe. He was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Poe was best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre.
Edgar’s early life was not so nice, his father abandoned the family and his mother died when he was young leaving him an orphan. He was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia. John was a Scottish merchant, who dealt in a variety of goods including tobacco, cloth, wheat, tombstones, and slaves. The Allans served as a foster family and gave him the name “Edgar Allan Poe”, though they never formally adopted him.
The family sailed to Britain in 1815. Poe attended the grammar school in Irvine, Scotland (where John Allan was born) for a short period in 1815, before rejoining the family in London in 1816. There he studied at a boarding school in Chelsea until summer 1817.
Poe moved back with the Allans to Richmond, Virginia in 1820. In 1824 Poe served as the lieutenant of the Richmond youth honor guard as Richmond celebrated the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette. In March 1825, John Allan’s uncle and business benefactor William Galt, said to be one of the wealthiest men in Richmond, died and left Allan several acres of real estate. The inheritance was estimated at $750,000. By summer 1825, Allan celebrated his expansive wealth by purchasing a two-story brick home named Moldavia. Poe may have become engaged to Sarah Elmira Royster before he registered at the one-year-old University of Virginia in February 1826 to study languages. During his time there, Poe lost touch with Royster and also became estranged from his foster father over gambling debts. Poe gave up on the university after a year, and, not feeling welcome in Richmond, especially when he learned that his sweetheart Royster had married Alexander Shelton, he traveled to Boston in April 1827, sustaining himself with odd jobs as a clerk and newspaper writer. At some point he started using the pseudonym Henri Le Rennet.
When he was not able to support himself, on May 27, 1827, he enlisted in the United States Army as a private. He first served at Fort Independence in Boston Harbor for five dollars a month. That same year, he released his first book, a 40-page collection of poetry, Tamerlane and Other Poems, attributed with the byline “by a Bostonian”. The book received very little attention. Poe was promoted to “artificer”, an enlisted tradesman who prepared shells for artillery, and had his monthly pay doubled. After serving for two years and attaining the rank of Sergeant Major for Artillery (the highest rank a noncommissioned officer can achieve), Poe sought to end his five-year enlistment early. Lieutenant Howard would only discharge Poe if he reconciled with John Allen (the man who took Poe in when he was young). John Allen who was unsympathetic may not have written to Poe even to make him aware of his foster mother’s illness. Frances Allan died on February 28, 1829, and Poe visited the day after her burial. Maybe due to his wives passing he softened and agreed to support Poe’s attempt to be discharged in order to receive an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Poe finally was discharged on April 15, 1829, after securing a replacement to finish his enlisted term for him.
Before entering West Point, Poe moved back to Baltimore for a time, to stay with his widowed aunt Maria Clemm, her daughter, Virginia Eliza Clemm (Poe’s first cousin), his brother Henry, and his invalid grandmother Elizabeth Cairnes Poe. Poe published his second book, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems, in Baltimore in 1829.
On July 1, 1830 Poe traveled to West Point and matriculated as a cadet. In October 1830, John Allan married his second wife, Louisa Patterson. The marriage, and bitter quarrels with Poe over the children born to Allan out of affairs, led to the foster father finally disowning Poe. Poe decided to leave West Point by purposely getting court-martialed. On February 8, 1831, he was tried for gross neglect of duty and disobedience of orders for refusing to attend formations, classes, or church. Poe tactically pled not guilty to induce dismissal, knowing he would be found guilty.
He left for New York in February 1831, and released a third volume of poems, simply titled Poems. He returned to Baltimore, to his aunt, brother and cousin, in March 1831. After his brother’s death that same year (1831), Poe began more earnest attempts to start his career as a writer.
After his early attempts at poetry, Poe had turned his attention to prose. He placed a few stories with a Philadelphia publication and began work on his only drama, Politian. Poe became assistant editor of the Southern Literary Messenger but was discharged a few weeks into the job due to being caught drunk. He returned to Baltimore and on September 22, 1835, Poe secretly married Virginia, his cousin. He was 26 and she was 13, though she is listed on the marriage certificate as being 21. Poe went back to Richmond with Virginia and her mother. He was reinstated to The Messenger after promising good behaviour and remained until 1837.
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket was published and widely reviewed in 1838. In the summer of 1839, Poe became assistant editor of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. Also in 1839, the collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque was published in two volumes, though he made little money off of it and it received mixed reviews. Poe left Burton’s after about a year and found a position as assistant at Graham’s Magazine.
In 1842 Poe’s wife Virginia showed the first signs of consumption, now known as tuberculosis, while singing and playing the piano. Poe described it as breaking a blood vessel in her throat. She only partially recovered. Poe began to drink more heavily under the stress of Virginia’s illness. He left Graham’s and attempted to find a new position, for a time angling for a government post. He returned to New York, where he worked briefly at the Evening Mirror before becoming editor of the Broadway Journal and, later, sole owner. There he alienated himself from other writers by publicly accusing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of plagiarism, though Longfellow never responded. On January 29, 1845, his poem “The Raven” appeared in the Evening Mirror and became a popular sensation.
Poe moved to a cottage in the Fordham section of The Bronx, New York after The Broadway Journal failed in 1846. That home, known today as the “Poe Cottage”, is on the southeast corner of the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road. Virginia died there on January 30, 1847. Biographers and critics often suggest Poe’s frequent theme of the “death of a beautiful woman” stems from the repeated loss of women throughout his life, including his wife.
Increasingly unstable after his wife’s death, Poe attempted to court the poet Sarah Helen Whitman, who lived in Providence, Rhode Island. After their engagement failed which may have been due to Poe’s drinking and erratic behavior and also strong evidence that Whitman’s mother intervened and did much to derail their relationship. Poe then returned to Richmond and resumed a relationship with his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Elmira Royster.
On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, “in great distress, and… in need of immediate assistance”, according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker. He was taken to the Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at 5:00 in the morning. The actual cause of death remains a mystery.
Here are a couple of Edgar’s Poems:
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.
‘Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro’ the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
‘Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile
On her cold smile;
Too cold- too cold for me-
There pass’d, as a shroud,
A fleecy cloud,
And I turned away to thee,
Proud Evening Star,
In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be;
For joy to my heart
Is the proud part
Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
And more I admire
Thy distant fire,
Than that colder, lowly light
Well, that’s my blog on the wonderful John Cusack and the real Edgar All Poe, check out my Store at Naturesjoy’s Celebrity Clippings & Pinups where you will find a variety of Celebrity clippings and pinups for sale. See you in a few days with another blog on an awesome actress who’s first name is Ashley…