3 Dylan McDermott Lived a Scorsese Film
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Dylan McDermott is famous for playing a sexy lawyer on The Practice and a string of roles as sexy villains in American Horror Story, Hostages, and Olympus Has Fallen.
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And for his starring role in Goddamnit, for the Last Time, I'm Not Dermot Mulroney.
As it turns out, there's a reason he frequently gets cast as Handsome Bad Guy -- Dylan was born Mark Anthony McDermott to the teenage girlfriend of a gangster named John Sponza (although Sponza was not his biological father). Unfortunately, Sponza wasn't a singing and dancing gangster like in West Side Story or Guys and Dolls so much as a heroin addict racketeer like in Donnie Brasco and Goodfellas. In 1962, when Dylan was 5, Sponza further challenged his reputation by murdering Dylan's mother, a crime he wasn't convicted of until 50 years later in 2012 (Sponza himself was found shot dead in the trunk of a car in 1972, so the conviction was largely symbolic).
Dylan went to live with his grandmother for a while in a neighborhood that was so bad that a burglar once stole the underwear out of his dresser. Deciding that he didn't want to spend the rest of his adolescence padlocking his underwear drawer, he tracked down his bartending father in New York City. Dylan helped his dad out, and by "helped" we mean he broke up fights, cleaned up pools of vomit, and served 8 a.m. beers to men who would make Nick Nolte look like a solid job interview candidate. Working in a sketchy bar with your estranged dad after your mother gets murdered by a career gangster sounds like the plot of the darkest sitcom in television history.
"-- find out who's really calling the Shots! Fridays on NBC!"
Dylan could have easily grown up shaking down deadbeats and powdering people's kneecaps with a baseball bat if it wasn't for his stepmother, Eve Ensler (whom you may recognize as the author of The Vagina Monologues). She knew that handsome people can get paid way more pretending to be villainous thugs, so she encouraged Dylan to get into acting, and despite being only a few years older than Dylan, she even legally adopted him years after she divorced his father, which is only the tiniest bit creepy.
2 Olivia Newton-John's Parents Were Nazi-Fighting War Refugees
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You probably know Olivia Newton-John from her leading role in the film Xanadu, although it's possible that you also saw her in Grease. Additionally, she's responsible for the song "Physical," which everyone born in 1981 was conceived to.
Craft services on the shoot was just bananas and melons.
But it's Olivia's parents who are the real story, because the lives of Irene Born and Brinley Newton-John read like a subplot from Inglourious Basterds. Irene was the daughter of Max Born, a Nobel Prize-winning atomic physicist and one of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics. Her family was forced to flee Germany after the Nazis took over, and it was in England where Irene met Brinley.
Brinley was born in Wales, but despite that disadvantage, he grew up to be a brilliant linguist who earned a double major from Cambridge, which is a school for people who think Harvard is adorable. During World War II, Brinley's fluency in German led him to a job interrogating captured Nazi pilots. Forgoing the standard torture and intimidation, Brinley would take the pilots out for dinner and drinks. He figured that people are generally more willing to give you information if you're being friendly, rather than if you're smashing them in the crotch with a fuel canister. His technique worked so well that it was adopted by Ian Fleming, which makes us wonder if there's a rough draft of a Bond novel wherein 007 and Goldfinger just get drunk and hug things out.
"Yeah, he was totally cool after I got him laid. We turned the giant laser into a vaporizer."
One of his interrogations led to the capture of Rudolf "I'm Crazy Even by Nazi Standards" Hess, the Deputy Fuhrer who launched an unauthorized one-man mission to negotiate a treaty between Britain and Germany that (spoilers!) didn't quite pan out.
Later in the war, Brinley joined Bletchley Park, MI5's code-breaking headquarters. Brinley was part of a team that had to quickly and accurately translate decoded German messages into the Queen's English. Brinley himself translated the secret German battle plans for El Alamein, which you may recognize as a level in Call of Duty 2 (and, to a lesser degree, as an important turning point in World War II). So, to sum up, Olivia Newton-John's father helped win a major battle and capture one of the highest-ranking Nazis (and was also a kickass opera singer), and her mother was the war refugee daughter of one of the greatest minds in atomic science. Olivia, meanwhile, grew up to make Christmas albums with John Travolta.
So, in a way, this is just another atrocity the Nazis are responsible for.