Portal:Greater Los Angeles

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The Greater Los Angeles Portal

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Greater Los Angeles is the second-largest urban region in the United States, encompassing five counties in southern California, extending from Ventura County in the west to San Bernardino County and Riverside County on the east, with Los Angeles County in the center and Orange County to the southeast. It consists of three metropolitan areas in Southern California: the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the Inland Empire, and the Ventura/Oxnard metropolitan area (Ventura County).

Throughout the 20th century, it was one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, although growth has slowed since 2000. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a population of nearly 13 million residents. Meanwhile, the larger metropolitan region's population at the 2010 census was estimated to be over 17.8 million residents, and a 2015 estimate reported a population of about 18.7 million. Either definition makes it the second largest metropolitan region in the country, behind the New York metropolitan area, as well as one of the largest urban agglomerations in the world. Read more...

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Fire Station No. 23, is a former fire station in Downtown Los Angeles. Built in 1910 as an operating fire station, it was also the Los Angeles Fire Department's headquarters until 1920 and the residence of every fire chief from 1910-1928. When it opened, it spawned a political firestorm due to the ornate interior and expensive imported materials, leading to its being called the "Taj Mahal" of firehouses. After 50 years of operation, the station was closed in 1960 as the department began replacing older stations with new facilities. Since the 1980s, Fire Station No. 23 has been a popular filming location. Motion pictures filmed at the station include the Ghostbusters movies, The Mask, Police Academy 2, Flatliners, Firehouse and National Security.

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Katharine Houghton Hepburn (sometimes spelled Katherine Hepburn) (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003) was an American actress of film, stage and television. Known for her headstrong independence and spirited personality, Hepburn was a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years. She appeared in a range of genres, from screwball comedy to literary drama, and received four Academy Awards for Best Actress—a record for any performer. In 1999, Hepburn was named by the American Film Institute as the greatest female star in Hollywood history.

Raised in Connecticut by wealthy, progressive parents, Hepburn began to act while studying at Bryn Mawr College. After four years in the theatre, favorable reviews of her work on Broadway brought her to the attention of Hollywood. Her early years in the film industry were marked with success, including an Academy Award for her third picture, Morning Glory (1933), but this was followed by a series of commercial failures which led her to be labeled "box office poison" in 1938. After bearing that label for two years, Hepburn masterminded her own comeback, buying out her contract with RKO Radio Pictures and acquiring the film rights to The Philadelphia Story, which she sold on the condition that she be the star. In the 1940s she was contracted to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where her career focused on an alliance with Spencer Tracy. The screen-partnership spanned 25 years, and produced nine movies.

Hepburn challenged herself in the latter half of her life, as she regularly appeared in Shakespeare stage productions and tackled a range of literary roles. She found a niche playing middle-aged spinsters, such as in The African Queen (1951), a persona the public embraced. Three more Oscars came for her work in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968) and On Golden Pond (1981). In the 1970s she began appearing in television films, which became the focus of her career in later life. She remained active into old age, making her final screen appearance in 1994 at the age of 87. After a period of inactivity and ill health, Hepburn died in 2003 at the age of 96.

Hepburn famously shunned the Hollywood publicity machine, and refused to conform to society's expectations of women. She was outspoken, assertive, athletic, and wore trousers before it was fashionable for women to do so. She married once, as a young woman, but thereafter lived independently. A 26-year affair with her co-star Spencer Tracy was hidden from the public. With her unconventional lifestyle and the independent characters she brought to the screen, Hepburn came to epitomize the "modern woman" in 20th century America and is remembered as an important cultural figure. More...


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January - May 2006

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