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  • Downers Grove barber becomes BET comic May 12, 2014 5:12 PM
    Comedian T. Murph, of Downers Grove, landed a highly coveted spot on BET's renowned, stand-up comedy show "Comic View," which he's watched since he was a kid growing up in Kankakee. “I literally broke down crying, I was so excited,” T. Murph said. “It’s pretty surreal.” The 29-year-old, whose real name is Guerterrius Jackson, was chosen from a pool of hundreds of comics, including 57 in Chicago alone. “Comic View” airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on BET.

     
  • Glencoe native Fred Savage’s wonder years behind, off camera May 5, 2014 7:21 PM
    You probably remember Fred Savage as Peter Falk’s super cute grandson in the popular 1987 movie “The Princess Bride” or as super cute Kevin Arnold in TV’s popular “The Wonder Years.” Everyone else does. “I’ve been fortunate to be associated with works that have come to mean something to people,” he said. “When people come up to me, they are always positive and encouraging and thoughtful.”

     
  • Glenview native Sam Witwer moving on from vampire role Apr 28, 2014 2:23 PM
    After four seasons of playing a vampire on Syfy's "Being Human, Sam Witwer, a 36-year-old Glenview native, is now eyeing other TV acting roles and possibly movie producing. But he looks back fondly on the popular sci-fi show, especially the last season. “We did go with a happy ending, which I think was deserved after torturing those characters for years,” Witwer said. “It went out the best way it possibly could.”

     
  • Barrington native a scream in upcoming 'Godzilla' Apr 22, 2014 10:39 AM
    If you see the May 16 release of the new “Godzilla” movie, keep your eyes peeled for an attractive casino tourist screaming into the camera. She's Barrington native Dona Wood, an actress now living in Los Angeles. “I fell into this job,” Wood said. “So I get cast as a member of this casino group. The camera comes on me and I'm supposed to scream, which I did. I screamed right into the camera."

     
  • Warrenville comedian makes a career in TV commercials Apr 15, 2014 5:30 AM
    Comedian Jon Huck of Warrenville built a career being funny on stage and on camera. His wild-haired yet average guy style has landed him roles in movies and dozens of TV commercials. One of his most popular videos, the "Guitar Baby" ad for Rocksmith, has close to 5 million views on YouTube. “Commercials aren't about skill. They're about a look," he said.

     
  • ‘Austin Powers’ role gold for Buffalo Grove native Apr 8, 2014 5:30 AM
    Buffalo Grove native Aaron Himelstein said his attraction to acting boils down to this single word: empathy. “When you don’t empathize with other people, that leads to apathy,” he said. “So this keeps your heart open.” Now starring in Steppenwolf's "Russian Transport," Himelstein also played a young Austin Powers.

     
  • Hoffman Estates cameraman focuses on Hollywood Apr 1, 2014 5:30 AM
    David Seekins’ job as a Hollywood cameraman comes with rewards — including hobnobbing with celebrities. But the job also requires long hours and intense attention to detail. “You have a margin of inches. If you’re just a couple inches off, it can ruin the whole shot,” said Seekins, 39, a Hoffman Estates native.

     
  • Chicago-set 'Divergent' sprang to life in author's Barrington bedroom Mar 18, 2014 11:52 AM
    Veronica Roth is a Barrington High School graduate with three best-sellers on her resume, plus an upcoming Hollywood film based on one of them. And she's only 25. During winter break from Northwestern, Roth would sleep until 1 p.m., then sit on her bed in Barrington and write a novel titled “Divergent,” the biggest young adult book to hit the printing press since Suzanne Collins' “Hunger Games.”

     
  • ‘Divergent’ author Roth cites her suburban mentors Mar 18, 2014 6:10 AM
    Best-selling dystopian science fiction writers don’t just fall off trees. They need mentors. Just ask Barrington High School grad Veronica Roth, author of “Divergent,” now a Hollywood motion picture opening this weekend.

     
  • Gurnee native hits high note as international opera star Mar 11, 2014 5:07 AM
    Gurnee native Amanda Majeski was rejected when when auditioned for a musical program at Carmel High Schoolin Mundelein. But now, the Northwestern University grad stars in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Mozart's “La Clemenza di Tito” through March 23. ”It's all so bizarre,” she said. “I grew up watching the Bulls play, watching the Bears and stuff. My parents loved athletics.”

     
  • Elk Grove model, dancer making acting her priority Mar 4, 2014 5:33 AM
    Tiffany Panhilason could brag to Hollywood casting directors about how she’s toured the world as a dancer, performed with stars like Justin Timberlake and Pharrell, and modeled for national ad campaigns. Instead, when she goes to auditions, she emphasizes her acting talent. “I don’t look at it as, ‘I’m a dancer and I hope they take me seriously.’ I go in thinking, ‘I’m an actress.’” said the Elk Grove High School alumna.

     
  • Glenbard West grad ‘20 Feet’ from Oscar documentary stardom Feb 25, 2014 5:37 AM
    Glen Ellyn native Caren Capotosto said, “I seriously think the filming of the first reality show ‘Yearbook’ at Glenbard West High School when I was a freshman may have subconsciously stuck with me.” Sunday, Capotosto will find out if her movie, “20 Feet From Stardom,” will win the Academy Award for Best Documentary. She served as the associate producer on the project, about backup singers.

     
  • Four-decade actress started out at Elk Grove High Feb 18, 2014 5:34 AM
    Stephanie Faracy’s showbiz career began at Elk Grove High School when drama director Scott Lebin cast her in the lead role of Annie Sullivan in “The Miracle Worker.” “That was the first time I understood you could enter another world by being someone else,” Faracy said. That high school experience would launch an acting career that’s spanned more than four decades, with roles on “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island,” and “Castle” and “Modern Family.”

     
  • Suburban childhood experiences are comedy gold Feb 11, 2014 5:24 AM
    Every time the Benet Academy football team scored, Cameron Esposito got out in front of the crowd — dressed in the school’s redwing mascot costume — and flapped her wings once for every point. “I was dating the football team captain, so I had a vested interest ... and being a giant red bird was the closest I ever was going to get to being a cheerleader,” she said. Her suburban childhood laid the groundwork for a stand-up comedy career.

     
  • 'Aladdin' role on Broadway opens whole new world for Elgin native Feb 4, 2014 5:30 AM
    Six months after graduating from the Theatre Conservatory of the Chicago College at Roosevelt University, Elgin native Courtney Reed stood on 42nd Street about to go into her first rehearsal as a cast member in the Broadway musical “Mamma Mia.” Now, she will star as Jasmine in the Broadway launch of the musical “Aladdin” Feb. 26. “I still can't believe this!” she said of her good fortune.

     
  • How Barrington native landed regular ‘NCIS’ role Jan 29, 2014 3:06 PM
    People might openly mock the 2003 American Idol-inspired movie “From Justin to Kelly,” but actor Brian Dietzen, a Barrington native, thinks of the film fondly. That’s because it was his big-screen acting debut, and a steppingstone that ultimately led Dietzen to his current job, as Jimmy Palmer on the hit CBS drama "NCIS."

     
  • Schaumburg High grad glides into commercial success Jan 21, 2014 5:02 AM
    “Weird” and “cool” more or less sum up Schaumburg native Michael Carlson's brief acting career so far. He's clocked 12 television commercials and several more on the Internet, and he's already making a sustainable living at something he loves doing. And it all began five days after moving to California where a couple of his friends from Illinois State University had already paved the way.

     
  • Hoffman Estates native now a Hollywood VP Jan 16, 2014 2:07 PM
    Bill Wohlken didn’t spend much his time at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Hoffman Estates dreaming of becoming a Hollywood post-production supervisor as he actually did. He began as a production assistant on “Hollywood Squares.” Double Stuf Oreos for Rosanne Barr, a bra for Salt-N-Pepa, Jack Daniels for Bill Mahr. "It was outrageous! Super fun!”

     
  • No more risky business for suburban star of 'Stand Your Ground' Jan 7, 2014 5:30 AM
    Park Ridge native Francine Locke stars in a fact-based movie, “Stand Your Ground,” opening Jan. 17. It's a far cry from her debut as the “Shower Girl” in the 1983 Chicago-set “Risky Business,” a film she omitted from her resume and never told anyone about for years. “I was naive,” she said. “They told me that only my face would be seen. When I finally saw the movie, I couldn't believe it.”

     
  • Naperville native now hair stylist to the stars Dec 17, 2013 10:59 AM
    TV and movie hair stylist Sallie Ciganovich, a Naperville native, has had many famous people in her chair over the years, including Sarah Silverman, Seth Rogen, Dennis Quaid and Garcelle Beauvais. hat makes her privy to lots of celebrity gossip. "I hear everything,” she jokes, refusing to dish dirt on anyone because "I'd like to keep working." Her discretion, along with her artistic hair design, focus and speed, have led her to a successful Hollywood career. She's worked on sets of "X-Factor," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Glee," "22 Jump Street" and many others.

     
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