Earl Cameron (8 August 1917 – 3 July 2020). [Photo courtesy: Helen Rutstein]
Many actors must dream of landing a leading role in a major Hollywood thriller with an A-list cast. But to be offered such a part at the age of 87 would likely be a stretch of the imagination for anyone. It happened, though to Earl Cameron. The Bermudan-born, British actor, who was a Baha’i, passed away last year at the age of 102.
Yet, for Cameron, even getting the chance to act alongside Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn in The Interpreter (2005) did not match the thrill that he got from giving a speech in the film to the United Nations General Assembly—even though he was speaking the words of an unsavoury despot and the ambassadors were a multi-racial array of 2,000 film extras. Just to be standing at the lectern before the world’s nations reinforced Cameron’s strong belief in justice and global cooperation. “Seeing the names of all the countries on the desks in front of me, I got a real sense of the importance of the UN,” Cameron would often say afterwards. “The world is desperate for peace and there’s no other way it can go but towards greater cooperation at a global level.”
For an actor so passionate about the unity of humanity—who himself led the way in breaking down the colour bar in film and television—it was a strange twist of fate that the issue of racial equality was leading the news agenda around the world on 3 July 2020, the day he died. The extensive coverage of his passing did not fail to pick up on the fact; there was a huge outpouring of affection in the press and on social media, including from fans of James Bond (Earl appeared alongside Sean Connery in Thunderball), and the cult TV series Dr Who and The Prisoner, through which Cameron became a familiar face in the 1960s. Continue reading
We’re so excited to let everyone know about this exciting new documentary about Carole Lombard by Vargha Mazlum! Carole Lombard was a famous American actress who lived from 1908 to 1942 and who ranks among the greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema. Carole was a Baha’i and Vargha set out to tell her story. Narrated by Eva La Rue, this documentary is available for purchase and download from 9StarMedia. We’re always keen to find out more about Baha’i movies and documentaries so we were thrilled when Vargha agreed to be interviewed!
Baha’i Blog: Hi Vargha! Thanks for joining us! To begin, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your film background?
Hi Naysan! Thank you for this opportunity. I was raised in Italy and lived over 19 years in China. Now I am back in Europe. I have been involved with music since my childhood. I was part of a music group and we traveled all around Europe and the US to share what we believe in: ‘the world is one country and mankind its citizens’. The passion for music is always there and now I am recording audio material for China and Italy. Some years ago I started to look into filming as there was a need for creating audiovisual material for China and in the last few years this has become more and more a passion of mine.
A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of meeting up with actor Rainn Wilson. We have a bunch of mutual friends and they always spoke so highly of him – not just because he’s such a great actor and played the role of Dwight Schrute so brilliantly in the hit TV show The Office – but more importantly because he was just a really nice down-to-earth guy who was sincere in his desire to serve humanity.
Well, my friends were right! I was finally able to meet him at the Texas Baha’i School a couple of months back, and let’s just say I wanted to hug him straight away. His spirit of humility and his attitude of service to others made my heart smile. He was one of the main speakers at the school and his humble posture of learning and dedication and focus on working with others, and especially teenagers was awesome.
I wasn’t going to ask him, but it’s not everyday you get to hang out with a Baha’i actor with celebrity status, and I know a lot of my friends and other Baha’is around the world are curious about him and would love to get to know him more, so Rainn happily agreed to be interviewed on Baha’i Blog. Continue reading
With some five to six million Baha’is in the world it’s no surprise that some of the most accomplished people in any discipline are bound to be Baha’i. Being a bit of a television and movie junkie I decided to find out if there were any famous Baha’is in Hollywood. Sure enough shows like Heroes and the Office have featured Baha’i actors, as have movies like the Interpreter and the Godfather! Continue reading