[02/01/07 - 11:04 AM]
Bravo Celebrates Black History Month on "Inside the Actors Studio" Exploring the Lives and Careers of African American Entertainers
Legendary performer Diana Ross joins host James Lipton in a special two-hour episode, premiering Monday, February 19.

[via press release from Bravo]



Premiere Of Special Two-Hour "Inside The Actors Studio: Diana Ross" On February 19

NEW YORK� January 31, 2007 � This February, Bravo pays tribute to the careers of African American artists on "Inside the Actors Studio" in recognition of Black History Month. Legendary performer Diana Ross joins host James Lipton in a special two-hour episode, premiering Monday, February 19, 2007 from 8-10 PM ET/PT. Encore presentations of episodes featuring Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, Dave Chapelle, Jamie Foxx, Forest Whitaker and Queen Latifah will continue throughout the month of February.

Bravo's tribute to Black History Month is on a high note with the special two hour premiere of "Inside the Actors Studio: Diana Ross." Ross, a versatile performer ranging from music to movies and Broadway, began her career with the formation of a doo-wop quartet, The Primettes later to be named, The Supremes. Later, Ross starred as late jazz singer Billie Holiday in the Motown produced movie "Lady Sings the Blues" which earned her a Golden Globe for "Best Newcomer" and an Academy Award nomination for "Best Actress." Ross will grace "Inside the Actors Studio" stage performing a compilation of hit songs including "Baby Love" and "Do You Know Where You Are Going." "Inside the Actors Studio: Diana Ross" premieres on Monday, February 19, 2007, 8-10 PM ET/PT.

Bravo's tribute to Black History Month kicks off with the actor, comedian, and recent Golden Globe and SAG winner Murphy ("Dreamgirls") for a special two-hour interview. Murphy's sense of humor and wit made him a stand out and got him noticed at an audition for "Saturday Night Live." Murphy originated some of the shows most memorable characters, such as Mr. Robinson, Buckwheat and Gumby. His parade of characters prepared him for the multiple roles he has brought to many of his films. He made his feature film debut in "48 Hours," but it was his role in "Beverly Hills Cop" that made him a box-office superstar and a worldwide celebrity. Now, a seasoned actor, producer, comedian, writer and director, Murphy has a long list of films to his credit including "Coming to America," "The Nutty Professor," "Doctor Doolittle" and the blockbuster animated "Shrek" Murphy's most recent role is the comedy "Norbit," in which he plays three different characters. The special "Inside the Actors Studio: Eddie Murphy" airs Monday, February 5, 2007, 7-9 PM ET/PT.

Many have attempted to cross from the music world to film and television, but few have achieved greater success than Smith. Golden Globe and Oscar nominated Will Smith shared his craft and life lessons with James Lipton. While still working on his television hit "The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air," Smith began to branch out into film acting. After "Where the Day Takes You" and "Made in America", Smith gained critical acclaim for his role in "Six Degrees of Separation." He then began making one blockbuster after another with "Independence Day," "Men In Black," "Enemy of the State," "Wild Wild West," and "The Legend of Bagger Vance." Smith was recently nominated for an Academy Award for his moving performance in the blockbuster hit "The Pursuit Of Happyness." "Inside the Actor's Studio: Will Smith" airs Sunday, February 11, 2007, 2-3 PM ET/PT.

Inside the Actors Studio welcomed one of comedy's most intriguing and influential performers to the stage for his first two-hour interview since his much-publicized hiatus from the entertainment world. Chappelle first debuted his comedic talents at the age of fourteen while studying acting and literary media at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. He made a name for himself on "Def Comedy Jam" on HBO and then moved into film, appearing in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," "You've Got Mail," "Half Baked," and "Con Air." Chapelle's fame skyrocketed with the success of the Comedy Central hit "Chappelle's Show." "Inside the Actors Studio: Dave Chapelle" airs Monday, February 12, 2007, 6-8 PM ET/PT.

Inside the Actors Studio profiled Foxx and his rise to fame as an actor, comedian, writer, producer, composer, pianist, singer and recording artist. Foxx, originally born as Eric Bishop, was born in rural Texas and raised by his mother's adoptive parents. Jamie majored in classical piano at the International School of Performing Arts in San Diego before leaving his studies to pursue stand-up comedy. After picking a stage name, he found steady work at comedy clubs before being cast in the show "In Living Color." He remained in comedy with such films as "Booty Call" before turning to his dramatic side in "Any Given Sunday" and "Ali." After critical acclaim for his work with Tom Cruise in "Collateral" and the title role in "Ray," for which he won an Academy Award, Jamie still holds true to his comedic roots by continuing to perform stand-up in between film projects. Lipton goes inside Foxx's life and career on "Inside the Actors Studio: Jamie Foxx" on Monday, February 12, 2007, 8-9 PM ET/PT.

Whitaker came to the Actors Studio as an actor, director and producer. As an actor he made his talent known in films "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "The Color of Money," "Plantoon," and "Bird," for which he won Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Widening his horizons, Whitaker took a seat behind the camera with his successful directorial debut in "Waiting to Exhale." A star of both film and television, Whitaker recently took on challenging roles in the acclaimed dramas "The Shield" and "ER." Most recently, Whitaker tackled the role of a lifetime in one of the most acclaimed performance in recent years "The Last King of Scotland," playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin for which he won a Golden Globe and is nominated for an Academy Award. "Inside the Actors Studio: Forrest Whitaker" airs on Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 4-5 AM ET/PT.

This Grammy Award-winning rap artist and Academy Award nominated actress was born with the name of Dana Owens in Newark, New Jersey. She caught the music world by surprise at age 18 with her innovative sound - combining styles from jazz, reggae and soul in her debut album "All Hail the Queen." Her music career blossomed into a television show that she headlined called "Living Single." The sitcom made Queen Latifah a household name during its successful run from 1993-1998. Her turn as an actress lead to film opportunities and leading roles in movies such as "Set it Off," "Barbershop," "Bringing Down the House," and her Academy Award nominated role as Matron "Mama" Morton in "Chicago." Tune in for "Inside the Actors Studio: Queen Latifah" airs on Monday, February 26, 2007 from 9-10 AM ET/PT.

Bravo is the cable network that plugs people into arts, entertainment and pop culture with original programming, acclaimed drama series, movies, comedy and music specials, and by showing a whole different side of celebrities. Currently available in more than 83 million homes, Bravo is known for breaking exciting new personalities, shaking up the way we look at style, media, fame and Hollywood, pulling back the curtain on the creative process, and making influential and inventive original programming. Its critically acclaimed original programming includes the Emmy-nominated "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," 12-time Emmy-nominated "Inside the Actors Studio," "The Real Housewives of Orange County," "Top Chef," "Celebrity Poker Showdown," as well as the 2004 Emmy winner for Outstanding Reality Program, "Queer Eye," and the four-time Emmy-nominated hit competition series, "Project Runway."

  [february 2007]  

· ER (NBC)

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