Friday, September 22, 2006

Neo and the other Hollywoodpushers

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

I have featured in previous articles, actors and actresses who play chess like Humphrey Bogart, who used to make a living “hustling” passersby in Times Square and Central Park; Charles Boyer, who had a rating of about 2000; and Julia Roberts, who can give tournament players a run for their money.

Also featured before, among others, were actresses Ava Gardner, Morgan Fairchild, Kate Jackson and singer Barbra Streisand, who was also the classmate of Bobby Fischer in grade school, Will Smith, Nicolas Cage, Frank Sinatra, who is also known as the “Chairman of the checkered board” and Marlon Brando the “godfather of chessplayers”.

Woody Allen, actor, producer and director claims that he did not make the high school chess team because he was “too short.” His previous wife, Mia Farrow, also plays chess. It will be recalled that they had a protracted legal battle where Mia accused Woody of sexually abusing their seven-year-old adopted daughter, Malone. The judge eventually concluded that the charge was inconclusive.

Another avid chess player is Ben Affleck, who had a high-profile romance with actress Gwyneth Paltrow after her break-up with Brad Pitt, and with Jennifer Lopez. Among his successful movies are the Sum of All Fears, Pearl Harbor and Armageddon. He is also a good poker player, having won the California Championship in 2004, earning $356,000 and qualifying to the World Poker Tour final table in 2004.

Keanu Reeves, not related to our Keana Reeves, is a highly successful actor best known as Neo in the action film trilogy Matrix. He gave a dozen Harleys to his stunt men in Matrix Reloaded and gave several million dollars to the special effects technicians in Matrix. He has never reconnected with his estranged biological father. who served time in prison. It is said that once he sees a chessboard, he cannot leave without playing the game.

Tom Selleck is best known for his starring role in the long-running television show Magnum P.I. His good looks, muscular physique, moustache and sense of humor make him popular for almost all kinds of movies.

Sylvester Stallone achieved his greatest success in a number of action films, notably the Rocky and Rambo series. He is also a director, producer and screenwriter. When he starred in Rocky I, his salary was $23,000. Now, he averages $20 million per movie. He partly owns the Planet Hollywood restaurants together with Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was voted by his classmates in high school to “most likely die in the electric chair”.

Al Pacino is regarded by many as one of the greatest actors of his generation. Among his movies are the Godfather series, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, City Hall and Cruising. He rarely grants interviews and has never been married. He was voted as No. 1 greatest movie star of all time by channel 4. He is also well known for playing chess between movie takes.
More (Holly)wood pushers next time

CEPCA NEWS. The Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association had its yearly election last Sunday at the Stella Maris Seafarer Center. Emmanuel Matuco, Genera Manager of CIPDI (Aboitiz Industrial Park) was elected president, succeeding Mandy Baria, who will still continue as president until yearend. Other officers elected, who are at the same time members of the board of trustees, are Dante Arguelles (vice president internal), Percival Fiel (vice president external), Jun Olis (secretary/pro), Jeffrey Solis (treasurer), Felix Balbona (auditor, FYP-membership), Norway Lara (ways and means) and Mandy Baria (tournaments).

A lot of my friends are asking where is Free-For-All, the highly popular column of my previous editor in Sun.Star Cebu, Paul Taneo. Well, I have good news. You can still read his Ludlum–style of writing at Enjoy.

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