biography

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WETA Movie Night: Saturday April 12

This Saturday at 9:30pm, tune into WETA TV26 & HD for the 1958 classic The Big Country. Following the feature film, catch the documentary Brother's Hypnotic at 12:30am. Keep the movie excitement going on Monday at 10pm with The Trials of Muhammad Ali. Read on for more information on the movies.

WETA Movie: The Big Country (1958) airs Saturday April 12 at 9:30pm
A New Englander arrives in the Old West where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two powerful ranch families over a valuable patch of land, each looking for an easy supply of water. Starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston, and Burl Ives.

Independent Lens: Brother’s Hypnotic airs Sunday April 13 at 12:30am

The eight young men who make up the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are all sons of Phil Cohran, a legendary Chicago trumpeter who turned his back on commercial music to pursue astral jazz and a passionately Afrocentric lifestyle. Cohran’s sons make transcendent music that ties currents from jazz and funk to soul and hip-hop. This film follows the octet as far away as Ireland as they tour and work to carve out their own renown around the world.

Independent Lens: The Trials of Muhammad Ali airs Monday April 14 at 10pm
Explore the extraordinary and complex life of  legendary athlete Muhammad Ali outside the boxing ring. Some of Ali's life events in this documentary are joining the Nation of Islam, changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, refusing to serve in the Vietnam War, protesting racial inequality, and delving into global humanitarian work. Learn more about the legend Ali, an inspiring figure.


 

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WETA Movie Night: Saturday April 5

This weekend on WETA TV26 & HD, catch three fascinating films. First, Saturday at 9:30pm watch the 1956 thriller The Bad Seed. Following this classic film at 11:40pm is the documentary Revenge of the Electric Car. Set your DVR or stay up late for Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child at 1:10am. Read on for episode descriptions and trailers of these great movies.

The Bad Seed (1956) at 9:30pm
Rhoda is a good, grade-school girl who becomes vicious when she doesn’t get her way. Her mother finds out that Rhoda was responsible for a boy's death but is her mother’s dark past to blame? Starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones and Eileen Heckart. Click here to watch a trailer.


Independent Lens: Revenge of the Electric Car at 11:40pm
A follow up to Chris Paine's documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, this new documentary Revenge of the Electric Car goes behind the closed doors of Nissan, General Motors, Tesla Motors, and an independent car converter named Greg “Gadget” Abbott to find the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. Click here to watch a trailer.


Independent Lens: Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child at 1:10am
A rare interview with Jean-Michel Basquiat over 20 years ago chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of the young artist who achieves critical and commercial success, though he is constantly confronted by racism from his peers. Click here to watch a trailer.

 

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American Masters: Salinger

In its 200th episode, the acclaimed biography series American Masters highlights the life and work of influential author J.D. Salinger who stepped away from the spotlight following the success of his 1951 novel “The Catcher in the Rye”. The film is the product of director Shane Salerno’s 10-year investigation into the secrecy of the enigmatic American icon. Salerno’s investigation culminates in the first work to get beyond the author’s impenetrable wall of privacy and seclusion. The documentary features never-before-seen photographs, film footage, and moments from J.D. Salinger’s life and harrowing service in World War II, as well as interviews with Salinger’s friends, colleagues, and members of his inner circle who have never spoken before. While there have been over 100 academic books examining Salinger’s work in exhaustive detail, no one has ever uncovered Salinger’s personal life in such a way. The film is both an investigative thriller and character study of a complex man who walked away from the world at the height of his fame. Explore the mystery of J.D. Salinger’s clandestine life and unexplained disappearance from the public spotlight in the thrilling investigative documentary, American Masters: Salinger airing on WETA TV26 & HD Tuesday January 21, 2014 at 9pm!

 

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New American Masters | Marvin Hamlisch

American Masters: Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love 
Friday December 27 at 9:00 pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD

The acclaimed series American Masters presents a 90-minute film biography exploring the prolific life and career of the late, great composer Marvin Hamlisch. Composer, conductor, genius; Hamlisch was as close to a modern day Da Vinci as it gets. A musical prodigy accepted to Juilliard at age six, Hamlisch defied classical expectations to create his own music, dedicating his talents to musical theatre and pop music composition. By age 31, he achieved unparalleled success with a string of hits he wrote for films, Broadway music compositions, and popular music pieces such as “The Way We Were” and “Nobody Does it Better.” In the first film biography about Hamlisch, award-winning filmmaker and Broadway producer Dori Berinstein paints a deeply personal portrait of one of the greatest artists of our time. Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love chronicles the life of the legend up to his sudden death, examining his personal hardships, amazing success, and renowned compassion.

 

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Free Movies in DC | WETA Movies July 6

The beginning of a new season provides a chance for change and reflection. Join WETA in celebrating change with three films that feature people in limbo.

Get Shorty (1995)
The film follows Chili Palmer (John Travolta), a gangster from Miami who is sent to collect a debt in Las Vegas. While there, he accepts an assignment from a casino and heads to Hollywood to collect a debt from B-movie producer Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman). Having always been interested in films, Palmer uses the opportunity to get involved with the business. Watch as he makes the messy transition from thug to producer, discovering that the two jobs have more in common than you might think. Also starring James Gandolfini, Danny DeVito, Rene Russo, Delroy Lindo, and Dennis Farina.
Tune in to WETA TV26 & HD Saturday at 9:30pm for the crime-comedy Get Shorty.

 

POV: Special Flight
Take a trip to Geneva’s Frambois detention center, a place where the rubber of Switzerland’s strict immigration policies meets the road. At Frambois are illegal immigrants waiting to be deported to their home lands. The inmates are stuck between the opportunities of a socially progressive Switzerland and the possibility of harsh consequences upon returning to their native countries.
Tune in to WETA TV26 & HD Saturday at 11:30pm for POV’s Special Flight.


POV: El General

A complicated legacy has left filmmaker Natalia Almada with a lot to think about. The great-granddaughter of Mexico’s villainous former president Plutarco Elías Calles, Almada tries to reconcile her grandmother’s memory of Calles with the perspectives of the millions of Mexicans who despised him. Using her grandmother’s tape recordings, Almada sees a woman who was trying to change the opinions of her father.
Tune in to WETA TV 26 & HD Sunday at 12:30am for POV: El General.
 

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Free Movies in DC | WETA Movie Night April 6

We have a strong lineup of Independent Lens documentaries this Saturday on WETA!  From the bravery of a 22 year old girl parachuting into Nazi-Europe, to a young Tibetan man’s journey to find the reincarnation of his master, you are not going to want to miss out on these fascinating stories. Don't forget! James Stewart: A Wonderful Life airs this Saturday at 9:30pm before Independent Lens

 
 
 
 
At age 22, poet and diarist Hannah Senesh left home to save the lives of Hungary’s Jews during Nazi Europe.  Risking her own life, Hannah parachuted into enemy lines, only to quickly find herself captured, tortured, and eventually executed by the Nazis.  Independent Lens: Blessed is the Match, narrated by Academy Award nominee Joan Allen, is the first film to present the life story of this modern-day Joan of Arc. Blessed is the Match brings Hannah’s story to life through interviews with survivors who knew her, such as prisoners with Hannah in a Gestapo jail, fellow parachutists, and classmates at a Budapest girls’ school.  Additionally, the film uses Hannah’s poetry, diary entries, and correspondence with her mother, along with the Senesh family’s unpublished letters and photos, to look back at this heroine’s talent and complexity.  Watch the trailer!
 
Tune in for Independent Lens: Blessed is the Match on Saturday, April 6 at 11:00pm on WETA TV26 & HD.
 
 
In 2001, world-renowned Tibetan master Geshe Lama Konchog passed away.  As a result, the Dalai Lama made the deceased monk’s devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa, embark on a journey to find the reincarnation of this spiritual leader.  The pressure is on Tenzin as thousands of followers await his find. Independent Lens: Unmistaken Child follows Tenzin’s four-year search on foot, mule, and helicopter for the reincarnated leader. Follow Tenzin as he travels through breathtaking landscapes, secluded Tibetan villages, listens to stories about children with special characteristics, and performs rarely seen ritualistic tests created to determine the probability of reincarnation.  In the end, Tenzin presents the child he believes to be his reincarnated master to the Dalai Lama, who will make the final decision. Watch the trailer!
 
Tune in for Independent Lens: Unmistaken Child on Sunday, April 7 at 12:00am on WETA TV26 & HD.
 
 
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Meet New People | WETA April Schedule Highlights

This April WETA has taken the liberty of inviting a few guests to your home. But don’t worry, you won’t need to clean up first! Visit with old friends and meet new ones all month long with special programs introducing you to a wide variety of characters, from Hollywood legends to subjects in groundbreaking documentaries. 

 
 
Part 1 Monday, April 1st at 9pm
Part 2 Tuesday, April 2nd at 9pm
In this special two-part series 

filmmaker David Sutherland introduces us to Robin Charboneau and her two children who are living on an Indian Reservation in North Dakota. The special co-presentation of Frontline and Independent Lens follows Robin over a three year period as she tries to raise her children and rebuild her life after an abusive marriage. 
 
Tuesday, April 2nd at 8pm
In 1936 African American sprinter Jesse Owens broke Olympic records and won four gold medals in Berlin, the headquarters of Hitler's Nazi regime. Rather than boycotting the games, he used with athletic ability to defy Hitler and amaze the rest of the world. Join us for this hour episode of American Experience featuring one of our country’s most important athletes. 
 
Wednesday, April 3rd at 10pm
 
Wednesday, April 10th at 10pm
 
Wednesday, April 17th at 10pm
Meet Michael Mosley, a man determined to live longer, stay younger and loose weight. Will his secret to a healthier life be fasting, exercise or digestion? Join us in this new series as Michael experiments on himself with these techniques to longevity. 
 
Friday, April 5th at 9pm
This is one man who’s probably graced your TV screen in one form or another already. Prehaps you know him as Rooster Cogburn, Bad Blake or the Dude. Learn all about Jeff Bridges and his unique style that’s landed him some of the most memorable roles in Hollywood. 
 
Saturdays at 8pm
Sometimes it’s just as important to get together with old friends as it is meet new ones. Don’t forget about your favorite grumpy Doc, Martin, who can be found helping the citizens of the town Portwenn every Saturday at 8pm. 
 
 
Saturday, April 6th at 9:30pm
James Stewart is one of the most loved American Actors, using his roles of ordinary men to remind us what’s really important. Follow his rise to fame with this documentary paying tribute to his career.
 
Saturday, April 7th at 12am
This is a story about three lives interconnected. After Tibetan master Geshe Lama Konchog passes away, his devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa is faced with the challenge of finding his mater’s reincarnation in a new body. Will this unmistaken child be found among the millions of children in the world? 
 
Tuesday, April 9th at 8pm and Friday, April 12th at 9pm 
Known for her comedy, The Carol Burnett Show, this famous actress’s life hasn’t always been laughs and smiles. Join us for this episode of American Masters as Carol Burnett’s life and career comes into focus.
 
Saturday, April 13th at 9:30pm
After starring in films such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday and My Fair Lady, Audrey Hepburn has left her mark as one of the most successful and glamorous women in Hollywood. Go behind the scenes of her career with interviews and rare footage in this documentary 
celebrating Ms. Hepburn’s life. 
 
Saturday, April 13th at 10:30pm
The life of this self-made movie mogul is just as interesting as the characters she plays. Discover the story of Joan Crawford and her career that spans from the flapper era of the 1920s to thrillers in the 1960s. 
 
Tuesday, April 16th at 9pm
In 1989, five black and Hispanic teenagers were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City. In this new documentary by Ken Burns we hear see from the perspective of those accused and the effects the Central Park Jogger case has had on their lives.
 
Thursday, April 18th at 9:30pm
Meet Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, star of the British crime series based on the Peter Robinson novels. After a succession of murders DCI Banks does everything in his power to find the person responsible for these horrible crimes.

 
Saturday, April 20th at 9:30pm
This leading man was more than just good looks. He had a charismatic personality that landed him in roles such as To Catch a Thief and North by Northwest. Follow Cary Grant’s rise to fame from the working class, through archival footage, family photos and film clips.
 
Saturday, April 20th at 10:30pm
Gregory Peck worked his way up through theater roles to Academy Award winning, Hollywood actor by the end of his career. Learn about the trails and tribulations along the way and his reaction to landing important roles in films such as To Kill a Mockingbird.
 
Saturday, April 20th at 11:30pm
The popular Superherione Wonder Woman has been around in comic books since the 1940s, but what has a powerful woman represented to society both past and present? Learn about the history of super power and the inspiration she’s been for generations of women. 
 
Friday, April 26th at 9:00pm
Star of one of the most loved films in history, The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland captured hearts at a young age and went on to produce a large body of work. Join us for the story of her life told through her own words and the legacy that she leaves behind. 
 
Saturday, April 27th at 11:30pm
This is the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man working to ensure the survival of his country and its citizens. As the most low-lying country in the world, a minor rise in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives. Tune in to learn more about this leader the intensifying responsibilities he has to his people. 
 
Saturday, April 27th at 2am
Set your DVRs and meet Rowan, a young boy diagnosed with autism in Texas. After trying unsuccessfully to help their son, his parents discover he has a deep, calming connection with horses. Determined to heal in whatever way possible, the family embarks on a spiritual journey on horseback through Mongolia in search of a shaman. 
 

 

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An Evening with Jerry Lewis: Live From Las Vegas

 

Born in 1926, Jerry Lewis is one of America’s most iconic slapstick comedians. He rose to fame with partner Dean Martin with the Martin and Lewis comedy act, which first appeared on television in 1948. In the 1950s, he embarked on a solo career and starred in films such as The Ladies Man, The Nutty Professor, and It’s Only Money. More recently, Lewis has performed on Broadway and been awarded for his humanitarian acts, always known as being a key member of the comedic community.

Click here to watch a preview!

 

An Evening with Jerry Lewis: Live From Las Vegas

This Saturday, comedian Jerry Lewis takes to the stage of the Showroom at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, as he tells stories of his eight-decade career in a tribute to his 87th birthday. The performance will feature narrative and musical acts by Lewis, as well as footage from his career, both classics and never before seen. At the end of the evening, Lewis will take questions from fans in the audience. Join us for this monumental presentation with Jerry Lewis, this Saturday at 6:30pm.

Watch An Evening with Jerry Lewis: Live From Las Vegas on Saturday March 2 at 6:30pm. Also airs March 7 at 8:00pm, March 8 at 1:00pm and March 15 at 10:30pm.

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Travel Around the World with WETA | WETA February Schedule

This wild Washington, DC weather can make anyone want to get out of town! Alas, dropping everything to ship off to the tropics for a week isn’t much of a reality. Instead, take a month-long vacation around the world with WETA because this February, we have a wide selection of television shows that will take you to some fantastic places without having to leave your couch. Read on for your travel itinerary!

Watch video previews of all these shows by reading the full article!

 

To the west of the Serengeti and Lake Victoria, beyond the misty mountains of the Rift Valley, lies the second largest river system on earth: the Congo. This vast arena - the size of Europe - is home to an array of wildlife richer and more varied than any other region of Africa and yet it is hardly known. Today, parts of the Congo still remain inhospitable and virtually inaccessible. In a television first, the Natural History Unit has been given unprecedented access to film in this region and you can experience it on WETA TV26 & WETA HD.
Friday February 1: The River That Swallows All Rivers
Friday February 8: Spirits of the Forest
Friday February 15: Footprints in the Forest

 

In Janesville, Wisconsin there has been economic upheaval after General Motors closed one of their factories, leaving 2,000 residents unemployed. To learn more about this film and watch a preview, visit our blog post Free Movies in DC | WETA Movie Night February 2.

 

Globe Trekker is a regular WETA series in which show hosts delve into the culture of both known and unknown locations in the world. Each episode is a window into a foreign scene and this month, we’re going to some exciting locations on WETA TV26 & WETA HD!
Sunday, February 3: Globe Trekker Special: Planet of the Apes
Sunday, February 17: Globe Trekker Food Hour: Brazil
Sunday, February 24: Panama & Columbia

 

As one of Britain's favorite attractions, Chatsworth draws more than one million visitors each year. This three-part series follows the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the Dowager Duchess, and the lively characters that make up the 700-person staff at Chatsworth House. The documentary camera crew was given unprecedented access to the 30,000 acre Peak District estate making this a unique television experience on WETA TV26 & WETA HD.

 

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Antiques Roadshow host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Eric Silver visit beautiful Brookgreen Gardens to discuss early 20th-century female sculptors. Appraiser Debra Force discovers a Joseph Henry Sharp oil painting. Antiques Roadshow investigates a story about stolen art from South Carolina's Hobcaw Barony estate with appraiser Debra Force and a former FBI agent. Discoveries from Roadshow’s visit to Myrtle Beach include an 1860 letter signed by Abraham Lincoln, a gift of crystals from Marilyn Monroe and a 1850s South Carolina sword on WETA TV26 & WETA HD.

 

In 1957, eight scientists invented the microchip within the Silicon Valley. Now, 56 years later, the Valley is still a hub for brilliant scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs who have helped make this nation one of the most technologically advanced in the world. Join us for American Experience: Silicon Valley, as we travel back in time to relive the discoveries on WETA TV26 & WETA HD.

 

Be sure to tune in to WETA TV26 & WETA HD for the final and third part of the Nature special, Attenborough’s Life Stories: Our Fragile Planet. For more about this episode and the series, read our blog post and watch a video preview Attenborough on WETA | Wildlife Specials.
 
 
This is a lavish adaptation of James A. Michener's tale of the impact of New England missionaries on the native population of Hawaii in the nineteenth century. The film stars Julie Andrews and Max von Sydow. Bookmark the Programmer's Choice blog to learn more in our WETA Movie blog post for February 9! On WETA TV26 & WETA HD.
 
 
Satellite data is transformed into visual sequences that detail the interwoven forces that sustain life on Earth. In this two-hour NOVA special on WETA TV26 & WETA HD, learn how dust from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon and how a vast underwater "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents. Bookmark the Programmer's Choice blog to learn more about this series on February 12!
 
 
This is a biography of Charles Lindburgh on WETA TV26 & WETA HD covers his days of precarious mail runs in aviation's infancy through his design of a small transatlantic plane and the vicissitudes of its takeoff and epochal flight from New York to Paris in 1927. Bookmark the Programmer's Choice blog to learn more in our WETA Movie blog post for February 16!
 
 
Take a trip to the Earth’s oldest mountains. In this 4 part series we discover how the Appalachian Mountains were formed over millions of years and the life that came to exist around them on WETA TV26 & WETA HD. DVR this special series!
 
 
This Pioneers of Television episode goes back in time with the help of the stars who made Westerns the classic shows we still love today. Join us on WETA TV26 & WETA HD in this behind the scenes look at the visionary actors who made characters like Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett so famous. 
 
 
In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the disaster and NASA’s annual Day of Remembrance, we take time to learn about the astronaut Colonel Ilan Ramon who was prepared to travel as far as any human can go: outer space. On WETA TV26 & WETA HD.
 
 
Take a trip to the most densely populated areas of plant and see rare animal species on WETA TV26 & WETA HD. In this 3 part series, we journey through the jungles of the Canopyworld, the Underworld, and the Waterworld.
 
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Free Movies in DC | WETA Movie Night January 26

Passion is a powerful emotion that can make people do just about anything, good and bad, but it’s how humans choose to use it that is the most fascinating side of this awesome affection. Join us this Saturday starting at 9:30pm on the Washington, DC area PBS station WETA TV26 & WETA HD for a look at the passion of two lovers and the passion of an artist in this weekend’s WETA movie line-up. Enjoy these free films in the comfort of your home without commercial interruption.

Click here to read the full article and see video previews of these movies.

 

An Affair to Remember (1957) – Romantic Passion

Cary Grant and Deborah Kerra make their duet debut in this weekend’s classic romantic drama, An Affair to Remember. The film follows Nicky Ferrante, a famous international playboy and Terry McKay, a high-profile nightclub singer, as the two become romantically involved while on an oceanic cruise from Europe to New York. Complications arise when the lovebirds remember that they are already committed to other people. Despite being already engaged, the two schedule to meet again atop the Empire State Building six months later.  While on her way, disaster strikes when Terry is involved in an accident preventing her from showing up. Unaware of the accident, Nicky is left to assume that the woman he truly loves no longer feels the same way and will not be making an appearance. Will Nicky lose the woman he longs to be with or find out the truth about her failure to show?

Tune in to WETA TV26 & WETA HD for An Affair to Remember Saturday at 9:30pm, also airs Sunday at 11:30am.

 

Independent Lens: Beauty is Embarrassing – Artistic Passion 

Independent Lens reveals a touching documentary as we explore the life of Wayne White, an American artist, cartoonist, and director from Tennessee on his way to stardom.  After starting as a cartoonist in the New York City, he went on to showcase his talent in Los Angeles as one of the creators of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.  White’s iconic imagery, creativity, and original artistic style are an inspiration to the people around him, encouraging those with self-doubt to follow their life’s passion no matter how different it may be.  Follow Wayne as we take a tour through his life in this self-narrated story which uncovers his rise and fall in the competitive world of art.

Watch WETA TV26 & WETA HD Beauty is Embarrassing Saturday at 11:30pm.