MGM HD to Celebrate Theatrical Release of 'Fame' with Month-Long Focus on Celebrity Breakthrough Performances

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"First Taste of Fame" to Feature Films Highlighting Career Launching Roles for Will Smith, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney and Others

George Clooney in "Sunset Beat"

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To celebrate MGM's highly anticipated theatrical release of "Fame" on September 25, MGM HD, the studio's high-definition television channel, has scheduled a month-long tribute to the breakthrough performances of some of today's biggest stars. "First Taste of Fame" will feature a different star-making movie each night throughout September, along with a special Labor Day marathon of films that proved pivotal in the careers of Hollywood's elite.

The who's who lineup of featured stars includes George Clooney ("Sunset Beat"), Katie Holmes ("Disturbing Behavior"), Will Smith ("Six Degrees of Separation"), Jim Carrey ("Once Bitten"), Reese Witherspoon ("The Man in the Moon"), Sharon Stone ("Stardust Memories"), Keira Knightley ("Innocent Lies"), Anne Hathaway ("Nicholas Nickleby"), Drew Barrymore ("Bogie"), Daniel Day-Lewis ("Sunday Bloody Sunday"), Winona Ryder ("1969"), Gary Oldman ("Sid and Nancy"), Ethan Hawke ("Mystery Date"), Uma Thurman ("Johnny Be Good") and Virginia Madsen ("Modern Girls"), among others. The films chosen mark game changing roles for each of these actors and provide a fascinating perspective of their paths to fame and fortune.

George Clooney, for example, got his start on TV at the age of 5, when he began appearing on his father's talk-show, "The Nick Clooney Show." Although he proved to be a crowd favorite, Clooney always wanted to be a professional baseball player and only turned to acting seriously after he was rejected from a Cincinnati Reds tryout in 1977. But it wasn't until 1990, in the TV series "Sunset Beat," that he got his first starring role in a drama.

Clooney, as quoted in Esquire, on his early days in the business: "I didn't become really successful until I was in my thirties. I can still remember sitting on the closet floor of my buddy's house, completely broke. My friends would want to go out to dinner, to get a hamburger, and I couldn't afford to go. They had the money to pay, but I didn't want them to pay. That happened a lot. At one point, I remember my buddy Brad loaning me a hundred dollars. He's now running our production company. I'm still paying that debt off, you know?"

Fittingly, MGM HD's parent company MGM Studios will offer movie-goers another unique glimpse of the journey from breakthrough to stardom through veteran entertainer Debbie Allen, who returns to the big screen with a new role in "Fame," the movie that launched her career. Allen danced her way into America's hearts as instructor Lydia Grant in the 1980 film and returns nearly 30 years later as Principal Simms.

A reinvention of the original Oscar®-winning hit film, "Fame" follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors and artists over four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts, a diverse, creative powerhouse where students from all walks of life are given a chance to live out their dreams and achieve real and lasting fameā€¦the kind that comes only from talent, dedication and hard work.

For the complete MGM HD schedule, and to find out if your provider carries MGM HD, visit:

MGM HD is backed by the world's largest modern film library, consisting of more than 4,100 film titles and winner of 209 Academy Awards®.

About MGM HD
MGM HD, the studio's first wholly-owned channel in the United States, delivers a robust library of classic and contemporary films in high definition, 1080i. MGM HD is the ultimate resource for serious movie fans. MGM HD is composed of a 24/7 linear network, a companion MGM HD VOD offering, and It draws from the largest modern film library in the world. And with world premieres of newly re-mastered hits and exclusive original programming, MGM HD is the way movies were meant to be seen. For more information, visit

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., through its operating subsidiaries is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., Ventanazul, MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching over 125 countries and territories around the world. MGM ownership is currently as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), Texas Pacific Group (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%). For more information, visit

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Kristien Brada-Thompson
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