50 (passed away Jun. 25th, 2009)
Aug. 29th, 1958
Gary, Indiana, USA
Michael Jackson's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
American superstar Michael Jackson (born August 29, 1958) in Gary, Indiana, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, 'Joe Jackson III', had been a guitarist but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine (Scruse). Together they prodded their growing family's musical interests at home. By the early 1960s, the older boys Jackie, Tito and Jermaine had begun performing around the city; by 1964, Michael and Marlon had joined in.
A musical prodigy, Michael's singing and dancing talents were amazingly mature, and he soon became the dominant voice and focus of The 'Jackson 5'. An opening act for such soul groups as the O-Jays and 'James Brown, it was 'Gladys Knight' (not 'Diana Ross') who officially brought the group to Berry Gordy's attention, and by 1969, the boys were producing back-to-back chart-busting hits as Motown artists ("I Want You Back," "ABC," "Never Can Say Goodbye," "Got to Be There," etc.). As a product of the 1970s, the boys emerged as one of the most accomplished black pop/soul vocal groups in music history, successfully evolving from a group like 'The Temptations' to a disco phenomenon.
Solo success for Michael was inevitable, and by the 1980s, he had become infinitely more popular than his brotherly group. Record sales consistently orbited, culminating in the biggest-selling album of all time, "Thriller" in 1982. A TV natural, he ventured rather uneasily into films, such as playing the Scarecrow in _The Wiz (1978), but had much better luck with elaborate music videos.
In the 1990s, the downside as an 1980s pop phenomenon began to rear itself. Michael grew terribly child-like and introverted by his peerless celebrity. A rather timorous, androgynous figure to begin with, his physical appearance began to change drastically, and his behavior grew alarmingly bizarre, making him a consistent target for scandal-making, despite his numerous charitable acts. Two brief marriages -- one to Elvis Presley's daughter 'Lisa Marie Presley' -- were forged and two children produced by his second wife during that time, but the purposes behind them appeared image-oriented. Despite it all, Michael Jackson's passion and artistry as a singer, dancer, writer and businessman are unparalleled, and it is these prodigious talents that will ultimately prevail over the extremely negative aspects of his seriously troubled adult life.
For it all to end on June 25, 2009, with his sudden death at age 50 of a drug-induced cardiac arrest, just as he was coming out of a four-year reclusive period and rehearsing for a sold-out London concert "comeback" in July, seems uncommonly cruel and tragic. Millions upon millions of dedicated fans will remember where they were "the day Michael died".
- The name of his 2700-acre ranch near Santa Ynez, California, is Neverland Valley Ranch. It contains Jackson's house, an amusement park co-designed by 'Macaulay Culkin' (qv), a private theater and dance stage, and exotic animals.
- 'Tatum O'Neal' (qv), was Jackson's first girlfriend and allegedly his first real love.
- Originally intended to begin his solo career when he turned eighteen in 1976, but financial problems forced him to remain with the Jackson Five, renaming themselves The Jacksons for legals reasons, until 1979.
- Jackson hired film director 'Martin Scorsese' (qv) to direct the video for the "Bad" album's title track. When the 18-minute music video debuted on television, it sparked a great deal of controversy as it was apparent that Jackson's appearance had changed dramatically. Although Jackson's skin color had been a medium- brown color for the entire duration of his youth, his skin had gradually become paler since 1982, and had now become a light brown color. This was now so noticeable that the entire press took out widespread coverage on it and claimed that Jackson had bleached his own skin. In 1993 Jackson claimed that his changing skin color is due to a skin disorder vitiligo whilst on _"The Oprah Winfrey Show" (1986)_ (qv).
- Uncle of 'Jermaine Jackson II' (qv), 'Valencia Jackson' (qv), 'Brittany Jackson (II)' (qv), 'Marlon Jackson Jr.' (qv), 'Stevanna Jackson' (qv).
- At his peak, Jackson was reportedly worth around $1 Billion.
- He was thwarted in his bid to buy the remains of the Victorian "Elephant Man, John Meyrick, in June 1987. The London Medical College told Jackson he would not be allowed to buy it, no matter how much money he offered.
- Has his look-alike puppet in the French show _"Les guignols de l'info" (1988)_ (qv).