Friday, April 28, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: April 28, 1892 - John Jacob Niles

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
John Jacob Niles, ballad writer and collector, eldest son of John Thomas and Lula (Sarah) Niles, was born on April 28, 1892, in Louisville into a musical family. His great-grandfather was a composer, organist, and cello manufacturer, and his father had a local following as a folksinger and square dance caller. From his mother he learned music theory and the piano. Niles first sang publicly at the age of seven, and in 1907, at fifteen, he composed "go 'way From My Window." He was encouraged to continue his musical career by Henry Watterson , editor of the Louisville Courier-journal. He later studied music at the Universite de Lyon in France, the Schola Cantorum in Paris, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

In 1909 Niles graduated from Du Pont Manual Training High School in Louisville and began work as a mechanic at Burroughs Machine Company. In 1917 he enlisted as a private in the aviation section of the Army Signal Corps and was a pilot in France during World War I. When a plane crash left him partially paralyzed, he was discharged in 1918. He moved to New York City and in 1921 became master of ceremonies at the Silver Slipper nightclub there. He teamed with contralto Marion Kerby, and they toured both Europe and the United States giving performances. Niles also sang briefly for the Chicago Lyric Opera Company. He was described as a flamboyant, charismatic performer, and his performances did much to make folk music popular and were often imitated. His last concert was at Swannanoa, North Carolina, in September 1978.

Although he preferred performing, Niles is best remembered as a collector and popularizer of folk music. At the age of fifteen he began to record in a notebook the music of the Ohio Valley region. During the periods 1909-17 and 1928-34, he gathered and recorded songs of eastern Kentucky and the southern Appalachian area, a pioneer in collecting the songs of the common people. Niles arranged or composed more than 1,000 ballads, folk songs, carols, and wartime songs. Among his best known works are "i Wonder As I Wander," "black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair," "jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head," "lamentation," "mary The Rose," and "the Hangman." In 1961 many of his songs were published in the Ballad Book Of John Jacob Niles. His friendship with Trappist monk Thomas Merton resulted in the publication of Niles's last major work in 1972, when he set twenty-two of Merton's poems to music. He lectured and performed extensively, particularly on college campuses.

Niles also carved wood, made furniture, invented, and gardened. He married Rena Lipetz in 1936; they had two sons, Thomas Michael Tolliver and John Edward. Niles died at his Boot Hill Farm near Lexington on March 1, 1980, and was buried at St. Hubert's Cemetery in Clark County.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Pen, Ronald. The Biography and Works of John Jacob Niles. Lexington, Ky.: [s.n.], 1987. Print.
Theses 1987, Fine Arts Library

Farrell, David, Anne G. Campbell, Terry L. Birdwhistell, and Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. John Jacob Niles General Oral History Project. 1977.

Special Collections Research Center - Oral History Collection

Niles, John Jacob, and Thomas Merton. The Niles-Merton Songs : Opus 171 and 172. Champaign, IL: Mark Foster Music, 1981. Print.
M1621.N675 N5 1981, Special Collections Research Center

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: April 27, 1906 - Alice Allison Dunnigan

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Alice (Allison) Dunnigan, journalist and civil rights leader, was born April 27, 1906, near Russellville, Kentucky, to Willie and Lena (Pittman) Allison. She graduated from the two-year Knob City High School and attended Kentucky State University in Frankfort. She taught in local rural schools and continued her education during vacations. Alice Allison married Charles Dunnigan in December 1931; they had one son, Robert. In 1942 Dunnigan went to work at the U.S. Labor Department in Washington, D.C., where she started her lifelong fight against discrimination.

Dunnigan became a reporter for the Associated Negro Press and in August 1947 was accredited to cover presidential press conferences. In the 1940s she reported the early Washington, D.C., sit-ins to desegregate restaurants. Dunnigan gained greater access for black journalists at even the highest level of government. As a reporter she came to know four presidents. The first black journalist to accompany a U.S. president when traveling, she covered Harry S. Truman's 1948 campaign trip up the West Coast. In the 1960s she was a member of the President's Committee on Equal Opportunity under both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Dunnigan was a world traveler, a well-known speaker, and a leader in the civil rights movement. She was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1982. For a time, she wrote a weekly column for the Louisville Defender on the achievements of Kentucky blacks. Her book The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians: Their Heritage and Traditions was published in 1982. She died May 6, 1983, and was buried in Maryland National Memorial Park.


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Dunnigan, Alice Allison. The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians : Their Heritage and Traditions. Washington, D.C.: Associated, 1982. Print.
E185.93.K3 D86 1982, Young Library - 4th Floor

Dunnigan, Alice Allison. A Black Woman's Experience : From Schoolhouse to White House. Philadelphia: Dorrance, 1974. Print.
B D9223bl, Special Collections Research Center - Biography Collection

Hill, Ruth Edmonds., and Arthur Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. The Black Women Oral History Project : From the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College. Westport, CT: Meckler, 1991. Print.
 E185.86 .B454 1991, Young Library - 4th Floor

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: April 26, 1785 - John James Audubon

Image from www.arthistoryimages

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
America's foremost naturalist and illustrator of birds, John James Audubon was born April 26, 1785, in St. Dominque (now Haiti) on Les Cayes, his father's plantation. His father, Jean Audubon, was a French naval officer, merchant, and slave trader who had served under General LaFayette in the American Revolutionary War. Audubon's natural mother is thought to have been Jeanne Rabbine, his father's mistress, who died shortly after his birth. Audubon grew up in France under the affectionate care of his father's wife, Anne Moynette Audubon. He preferred roaming the woods and sketching birds to academic studies.

In 1803 Audubon arrived in America to manage his father's farm in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He led an active social life, with enough time to study and draw the abundant birds of his new country. His outgoing nature and accomplishments as a musician and dancer attracted Lucy Bakewell, daughter of a neighbor, who became his wife on April 5, 1808.

Audubon and Ferdinand Rozier, his fellow-Frenchman and business partner, had left Pennsylvania in 1807 to become storekeepers in Louisville. Both were aware of the frontier town's reputation as a gathering point for trappers and traders. The following year, Audubon brought his new bride to "temporary" quarters in Louisville's Indian Queen Hotel, which was to be their home for more than two years. In 1809 their first son, Victor Gifford, was born. As before, Audubon spent a great deal of his time in the woods, observing and drawing birds.

By 1810 Audubon's collection of bird portraits had grown to more than two hundred drawings. At that time, noted Scottish ornithologist Alexander Wilson arrived in Louisville to draw birds and to sell subscriptions to a published portfolio of his works. After seeing Wilson's drawings, Audubon confided that he, too, had been working for years in an effort to draw all the birds of America. Until that meeting, he had considered his efforts merely a personal pastime. However, he could see that his own drawings were superior to Wilson's.

Later that year, believing more profits could be made where there was less competition, Rozier convinced Audubon to move their business 120 miles downriver to Henderson, Kentucky. Along with Rozier, the Audubon family moved into a log cabin, setting up their store in the front room. By 1811 the ambitious Rozier suggested moving farther west, to the Mississippi River outpost of St. Genevieve, Missouri. After seeing St. Genevieve, Audubon decided that it lacked potential, and he and Rozier amicably agreed to end their partnership.

The first years in Henderson brought the Audubons relative prosperity and happiness. A second son, John Woodhouse, was born there on November 30, 1812. Audubon took advantage of frequent business trips to increase the number of drawings in his portfolio. Victor and John took an interest in their father's avocation, later becoming accomplished artists and playing roles in the successful completion and publication of Audubon's books on birds.

By 1818 Audubon had fallen into serious debt. Embittered by his misfortunes and grieving at the death of his two-year-old daughter, Lucy, in 1817, Audubon sold the family's belongings and they returned to Louisville, where he earned his living by painting portraits and giving art lessons. He was jailed briefly for his debts, and he filed for bankruptcy in the panic of 1819. The final sad note of his time in Kentucky came with the birth and death, in Louisville, of his daughter Rosa, who was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave. Audubon and his family left Kentucky in 1819, moving first to Ohio, where he became a taxidermist for Daniel Drake 's new Western Museum in Cincinnati, and in 1820 to Louisiana.

Audubon's four-volume Birds Of America was published in 1827-38, ensuring his place in history. His artistic renderings of America's birds and animals are unsurpassed in their accuracy and beauty. The work was followed by the five-volume The Viviparous Quadrupeds Of America (1842-45) and portfolios (1846-54). Audubon also wrote Ornithological Biography (1831-39), the text of the fifth volume of Birds Of America, and Synopsis Of Birds Of North America (1839), which cataloged the birds.

Audubon spent several years of increasing senility. He died on January 27, 1851, at Minnie's Land, his home on the Hudson River (now Audubon Park in New York City), and he was buried there.

Many of Audubon's engravings, paintings, personal artifacts, and one of the few remaining complete, four-volume sets of the double-elephant Birds Of America portfolios are on view at the John James Audubon Memorial Museum at Audubon State Park,
Henderson, Kentucky.


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Audubon, John James. John James Audubon Papers. Print.
87M4, Special Collections Research Center - Manuscripts Collection

 Audubon, John James, and Marshall B. Davidson. The Original Water-color Paintings by John James Audubon for The Birds of America : Reproduced in Color for the First Time from the Collection at the New-York Historical Society. Original Ed.]. ed. New York: American Heritage Pub.; Distributed to ellers by Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1966. Print.
598.297 Au29or, Special Collections Research Center - Oversize Collection

Audubon, John James, Howard Corning, Harvard University. Museum of Comparative Zoology, and Club of Odd Volumes. Journal of John James Audubon Made during His Trip to New Orleans in 1820-1821. Boston: Club of Odd Volumes, 1929. Print.

B Au29j 1929a, Special Collections Research Center - Biography Collection

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: April 26, 1897 - Philipine “Doc” Roberts

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Philipine ("Fiddlin' Doc") Roberts, musician, son of William and Rosa Roberts, was born in Madison County, Kentucky , on April 26, 1897. Considered Kentucky's outstanding fiddler, he performed with various other Kentuckians, including Edgar Boaz, Ted Chestnut, Dick Parman, Marion Underwood, Green Bailey, and Welby Toomey. In 1927 he teamed up with Asa Martin, who played the guitar, saw, and jug. He appeared on Nashville's " Grand Ole Opry" and on several other radio stations, including WLAP Lexington. Martin and Roberts recorded more than two hundred sides, under a dozen stage names, on eleven labels. They made up the Doc Roberts Trio along with Doc's son James Roberts, who later married Irene Amburgey and formed with her the gospel duo James and Martha Carson. Roberts died on August 4, 1978, and was buried in the Richmond Cemetery.

CHARLES F. FABER, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Old-Time Mountain Blues. County. Print.

Wolfe, Charles K. The Devil's Box : Masters of Southern Fiddling. 1st ed. Nashville: Country Music Foundation : Vanderbilt UP, 1996. Print.
ML3551.7.S68 W65 1997, Special Collections Research Center

Wolfe, Charles K. Kentucky Country : Folk and Country Music of Kentucky. Lexington, Ky.: U of Kentucky, 1982. Print.
ML3551 .W64 1982, Fine Arts Library

Monday, April 24, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: April 24, 1905 - Robert Penn Warren

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Robert Penn Warren, one of the most distinguished scholar-writers America has produced, was born in Guthrie, Todd County , Kentucky, on April 24, 1905. He was one of three children of Robert Franklin and Ann Ruth (Penn) Warren. Warren attended public schools in Guthrie and graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 1925. (An eye injury had forced the cancellation of his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.) He had intended to major in chemistry, but under the influence of John Crowe Ransom, he switched to English. While at Vanderbilt, he joined the group known as the Fugitives, participating in literary discussions and in founding the journal called The Fugitive, published during 1922-25. He later belonged to the Agrarians, a social-political group that included other such literary lights as Ransom, Donald Davidson, and Allen Tate . Warren (known to his friends as "Red") continued his studies at the University of California, Berkeley, earning his M.A. in English there in 1927. He subsequently studied at Yale and, for two years, at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He earned the B.Litt. degree at Oxford in 1930.

Warren's long and distinguished teaching career began at Louisiana State University in 1934. While there, he cofounded (along with Cleanth Brooks, another Kentuckian, and Charles W. Pipkin) The Southern Review, a literary journal that lasted from 1935 until 1942. Warren taught at the University of Minnesota during 1942-51, then returned to Yale as a professor of playwriting and retained that post until 1956. He was named professor of English at Yale in 1961 and retired in 1973.

As well as teaching and lecturing, Warren achieved both critical and popular acclaim as a poet, novelist, essayist, dramatist, literary critic, and editor. Among his better-known works are Night Rider (1939), All the King's Men (1946), Audubon: A Vision (1969), Now and Then: Poems 1976-1978 (1979). The nation's first Poet Laureate and a three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize (the only writer to win for both fiction and poetry), Warren also received a National Book Award, the Copernicus Award For Poetry, the Bollingen Prize For Poetry, the National Medal For Literature, and a Macarthur Foundation award. He was awarded the Gold Medal For Poetry from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Practically all of Warren's critics have commented on how his poetic powers improved as he grew older. (Friends said he was writing until the last few months of his life.) In A Literary History Of Kentucky (1988), William S. Ward expresses the widespread critical view: "Nothing has distinguished Warren's career so much as the late flowering of his poetic powers, during which he became both a more prolific and steadily better poet. His New and Selected Poems, 1923-1985, presumably well-represents the poetry he is willing to trust his reputation to; and indeed it reflects well the informal, personal and meditative poem that has become the trademark of the work that traces back to Promises and even to `The Ballad of Billy Potts."' Western Kentucky University in 1987 established the Center for Warren Studies, and a committee in Guthrie completed restoration of Warren's birthplace in 1989. In 1988 Warren received the Milner Award Of The Governor's Awards For The Arts In Kentucky.

Warren married Emma Brescia in 1930; they were divorced in 1951. He married the writer Eleanor Clark in 1952; they had two children: Rosanna Warren Sculley, a poet, and Gabriel, a sculptor. Warren died on September 15, 1989, and was buried in the Stratton, Vermont, cemetery.


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Farrell, David, Susan E. Allen, and Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. Robert Penn Warren Oral History Project. 1977.
Special Collections Research Center - Oral History Collection

Cronin, Gloria L., and Ben Siegel. Conversations with Robert Penn Warren. Jackson: U of Mississippi, 2005. Print. Literary Conversations Ser.
B W2557GA, Special Collections Research Center - Biography Collection

Stewart, John L. The Burden of Time: The Fugitives and Agrarians; the Nashville Groups of the 1920's and 1930's, and the Writing of John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1965. Print.
PS255.N3 S7 1965, Young Library - 5th Floor

Moyers, Bill D., and Robert Penn Warren. Bill Moyers' Journal : A Conversation with Robert Penn Warren. New York: WNET, 1976. Print.
PS3545.A748 M640 1976, Special Collections Research Center

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: April 22, 1787 or 1788 - Matthew Harris Jouett


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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Matthew Harris Jouett, one of the most significant antebellum portraitists of the South, was born on April 22 in 1787 or 1788 near Harrodsburg in Mercer County, Kentucky. He was one of twelve children born to Capt. John and Sallie (Robards) Jouett. When Jouett was five, his family moved to Woodford County. He enrolled in Transylvania University in Lexington in 1804. After graduating with honors four years later, Jouett began to study law with Judge George M. Bibb of the Kentucky appellate court in Frankfort.

In 1812 Jouett enlisted in the 3d Mounted Regiment of the Kentucky Volunteers. He was appointed first lieutenant and paymaster of the 28th U.S. Infantry and on July 13, 1814, was promoted to a captain. He resigned his position on January 20, 1815. Jouett decided not to practice law but to follow his ambition to become a portrait painter and miniaturist, based in Lexington. After studying with Gilbert Stuart in Boston from July through October 1816, he was able to double his price for portraits.

Jouett was unable to make a living in Kentucky, however, and from 1817 until his death, he spent winters in New Orleans, Natchez, and other southern cities along the Mississippi River, painting portraits of notable citizens. The New Orleans directory of 1824 lists Jouett as a portrait painter with a studio at 49 Canal Street. From 1817 to 1825 Jouett's Lexington studio was in the Kentucky Hotel on Short Street. In June 1817 Jouett arranged an exhibition of his paintings and those of other artists for the benefit of the Fayette Hospital.

A total of 334 portraits and miniatures are attributed to Jouett between the years 1816 and his death. One of the most celebrated is that of General Lafayette. He painted several portraits of Henry Clay , one of which hangs in Ashland, the Clay estate. Other subjects included Gen. George Rogers Clark , Gov. Isaac Shelby (1792-96, 1812-16), Sen. Isham Talbot , Dr. W.C. Galt, Asa Blanchard , Robert Crittenden, and Dr. Horace Holley . In 1826 Jouett maintained a studio in Louisville as well as Lexington.

As popular as Jouett's portraits were in the South, he did not become known nationally until his paintings of Gen. Charles Scott and John Grimes were shown in the Chicago Exposition in 1893. Jouett's first one-man exhibition was a retrospective held at the J.B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville between February 19 and March 4, 1928. Jouett's paintings are owned by the Filson Club, the Kentucky Historical Society, and the Speed Museum , as well as numerous private collectors.

Jouett married Margaret Henderson Allen of Fayette County on May 25, 1812; they had nine children. Jouett died at his home outside Lexington on August 10, 1827, and was buried in the family burial ground of his father-in- law, William Allen. Around the turn of the century, the bodies of Jouett and his wife were reburied in Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Strode-Jackson, Arnold N. S. Kentucky Heyday, 1787-1827; the Life and times of Kentucky's Foremost Portrait Painter. 1st Ed.]. ed. New York: Vantage, 1956. Print.
ND237.J8 S75, available, Fine Arts Library

Martin, Mary Farmer Rodgers. Catalogue of All Known Paintings by Matthew Harris Jouett. Louisville, 1939. Print.
759.1 Sp32, Special Collections Research Center

Jonas, Edward A. Matthew Harris Jouett, Kentucky Portrait Painter (1787-1827). Louisville, Ky.: J.B. Speed Memorial Museum, 1938. Print. SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN02173.02 KUK.
ND237.J8 J6, Fine Arts Library

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: April 24, 1926 - Cawood Ledford

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From Wikipedia (Accessed April 19, 2016):

Cawood Ledford (April 24, 1926 – September 5, 2001) was a longtime radio play-by-play announcer for the University of Kentucky basketball and football teams. Ledford's style and professionalism endeared himself to many sports fans in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and he remains among the most popular sports figures in the state.

 A native of Harlan, Kentucky, Ledford was educated at Hall High School and Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He began broadcasting high school basketball and football games for WHLN radio in Harlan in 1951 and began broadcasting Kentucky Wildcats games in 1953 after moving to Lexington.[1] He remained in his position of play-by-play announcer for University of Kentucky basketball for 39 years. His last game as an announcer for a Kentucky basketball game was in 1992, when Kentucky fell to Duke 104-103 in overtime in the NCAA East Regional Final, a game widely considered to be the greatest college basketball game ever played.[2] In a gesture of appreciation, Duke head coach Mike
Krzyzewski walked to the broadcast area immediately after the game's conclusion and congratulated Ledford on his career.

He also worked as the play-by-play announcer for national radio broadcasts of the NCAA Men's Final Four on the CBS Radio Network, and called many runnings of the Kentucky Derby for CBS Radio. Ledford also announced broadcasts of basketball games of the Kentucky Colonels, a successful American Basketball Association franchise.

Style and sayings
Ledford's play-by-play style was known for its technical prowess, excellent command of the English language and colloquialisms, enunciative quality, gentility, timeliness, humor, and rapid but unhurried delivery. Listeners to his basketball radio broadcasts found that he was able to paint an extremely detailed visual picture of the game and call the action as it happened without sounding rushed. Fans observe that Ledford rarely let a call "lag" behind the action (e.g., when the sound of the crowd cheering is heard before the announcer comments on the game's action). Ledford's voice was generally higher pitched and mildly nasal, which allowed for clear enunciation. However, the tonal quality of his voice was smokey and resonant, which balanced a subtle twang and provided his listeners with a smooth and highly articulate delivery.

Among Ledford's memorable sayings are:
"Hello Everybody, this is Cawood Ledford"[3] – His "sign-in" at the beginning of his radio broadcasts is probably his most memorable saying
"The Wildcats will be moving from left to right (or right to left) on your radio dial."[3] – This now commonplace saying is thought to have originated with Ledford and was mentioned at the outset of basketball games
"Got it" – In reference to a made basket or free throw
"A beauty" – A beautifully made basket, especially in reference to an opponent's play
"Slam" – Exclaimed in a drawn-out style after a dunk shot
"On the dribble" – A very common saying of Ledford's, used when a player elected to dribble the ball rather than pass or shoot in an offensive attack
"He had a notion" – When a player momentarily deliberated about taking a shot, but thought better of it and passed the ball to a teammate.
"Bullseye" – A made basket, especially a long-range shot
"He went to war on that one."[3] – Used to describe a player who demonstrated exceptional or extraordinary effort on a play while encountering significant physical opposition. Said especially of players who drove the lane and shot the ball while drawing a foul, fiercely contested for a rebound, or exerted sustained intense effort over the course of a key play.
"Puts it up and in" – Said of a close range shot made in heavy traffic
"The Cats are Runnin'" – A beloved saying of Ledford's believed to have originated in the 1950s when the Wildcats played in an almost exclusively up-tempo style
"Shoot it, Sean" – when Ledford suspected that a player was being too hesitant, he occasionally inserted into his commentary an exhortation to shoot
"He shot that one from Paducah" – After an especially long shot, Ledford would insert the name of a town in the state of Kentucky at the end of this saying for effect. Variant: When Kentucky played a road game, this changed to a local landmark. For example, after a long 3-point shot made by Rex Chapman in 1986 at Louisville, he changed it to "the Watterson Expressway."
"It danced around a bit, but it finally fell"/"It had a lot of iron on it, but it finally fell" – Said of a made basket in which the ball bounced around the rim or backboard excessively before passing through the hoop.
"Any flags, Ralph?" – During Kentucky football games, if a Wildcat player scored a long touchdown, Ledford would ask long-time broadcast partner and color commentator Ralph Hacker if the referee had thrown a flag. This question was as much about genuine concern that the play would be called back as much as his remembering how many similar plays were negated due to Kentucky penalties in previous games. The humorous question caught on with fans, and is perhaps Ledford's most memorable football saying.

Fan memories
Fans of Ledford frequently share stories about listening to his University of Kentucky broadcasts over the years. Many of these stories revolve around themes of fans going to great lengths to pick up Kentucky radio affiliates from faraway locales, tuning in to hear Ledford's voice over the radio even when the game was televised, and feeling as if Ledford's voice extended a feeling of warmth, familiarity, and comfort on sometimes dreary winter nights.[4]


A banner honoring Ledford hangs in Rupp Arena

Perhaps because of the success of the University of Kentucky's men's basketball program, Ledford is generally best remembered as a basketball announcer. In a 2001 dedication, the University of Kentucky named its basketball court at Rupp Arena in Ledford's honor. The words "Cawood's Court" and a radio microphone are painted on the floor in commemoration. The microphone is located at the sideline opposite the scorer's table close to where Ledford broadcast games.

Cawood Ledford was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987. He won three Eclipse Awards for outstanding coverage of thoroughbred racing. He was also named Kentucky's Sportscaster of the Year a record 22 times.[5]

Ledford is generally considered among the finest play-by-play commentators in the history of American sports broadcasting and is highly esteemed by his peers.[6] He was and remains a much beloved and respected figure in Kentucky, in college basketball, in college football, and in horse racing.

Commenting on Ledford's legacy after his death, longtime friend and Lexington-based CEO of Host Communications, Jim Host, said "Cawood was the ultimate in genteel class. He exuded a quiet confidence, but always remembered who he was, where he came from and who he worked for." In 1992 Host Communications published Cawood Ledford's autobiography, Hello Everybody, This is Cawood Ledford,[7] as told to sportswriter and author Billy Reed.

During the Summer of 2014, Kentucky announced that it's multi-team event will be called the Cawood Ledford Classic. Last season, this event was known as the Keightly Classic. The Cawood Ledford Classic has 5 participants for 2014, including Kentucky, Grand Canyon, Texas-Arlington, Montana State and Buffalo.

1. "Cawood Ledford laid to rest in Harlan". Retrieved October 10, 2012.
2. "SI Vault - Your Link to Sports History - Sports Illustrated". Retrieved October 10, 2012.
3. " Cawood: Kentucky remembers a legend". September 5, 2001. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
4. "Hazard, KY WSGS & WKIC - Cawood Ledford, Voice of the Cats for 39 years". Retrieved October 10, 2012.
5. "CollegeInsider.Com". CollegeInsider.Com. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
6. " - Dick Vitale - vcolumn010905Cawood Ledford".
7. Hello Everybody, This Is Cawood Ledford. "Hello Everybody,This Is Cawood Ledford: Billy Reed: 9781879688179: Books". Retrieved October 10, 2012.

External links
Biography portal "Cawood Ledford". Find a Grave. Retrieved August 10, 2010. Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame induction

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Ledford, C., & Wallace, T. (1991). Cawood's comments : 39 years of notes, quotes and anecdotes. Lexington, Ky.: Host Creative Communications.
GV707 .L440 1991, Young Library Books - 4th Floor

Ledford, C., & Reed, B. (1992). Hello everybody, this is Cawood Ledford : The story of a Kentucky legend, as told to Billy Reed. Lexington, Ky.: Host Creative Communications.
GV719.L43 A3 1992, Special Collections Research Center Closed Stacks

Ledford, C. (1995). Heart of blue. Lexington, Ky.: Host Communications.
GV885.43.K4 L430 1995, Special Collections Research Center Closed Stacks

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: April 24, 1940 - Sue Grafton

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From Wikipedia (Accessed April 18, 2016):

Sue Taylor Grafton (born April 24, 1940) is a contemporary American author of detective novels. She is best known as the author of the 'alphabet series' ("A" Is for Alibi, etc.) featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. The daughter of detective novelist C. W. Grafton, she has said the strongest influence on her crime novels is author Ross Macdonald. Prior to success with this series, she wrote screenplays for television movies.


Early years
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Sue Grafton is the daughter of novelist C. W. Grafton and Vivian Harnsberger, both of whom were the children of Presbyterian ministers. Grafton and her sister Ann were raised in Louisville. The town features in some of her novels.

She attended both the University of Louisville (first year) and Western Kentucky State Teachers College (now Western Kentucky University) in her sophomore and junior years[2] before graduating from the University of Louisville in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in English Literature and minors in humanities and fine arts. She is a member of Pi Beta Phi.[3]

After graduating, Grafton worked as a hospital admissions clerk, a cashier, and a medical secretary in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, California.[3]

Writing career
Grafton began writing when she was 18 and finished her first novel four years later. She continued writing and completed six more manuscripts. Two of these seven novels were published.[2] Unable to find success with her novels, Grafton turned to screenplays.[4][dead link] Grafton worked for the next 15 years writing screenplays for television movies, including Sex and the Single Parent, Mark, I Love You, and Nurse. Her screenplay for Walking Through the Fire earned a Christopher Award in 1979. In collaboration with her husband, Steven Humphrey, she also adapted the Agatha Christie novels A Caribbean Mystery and Sparkling Cyanide for television and co-wrote A Killer in the Family and Love on the Run.[3][5] She is also credited with the story upon which the screenplay for the made for TV movie Svengali (1983) was based.[6][7]

Her experience as a screenwriter taught her the basics of structuring a story, writing dialogue, and creating action sequences. Grafton then felt ready to return to writing fiction.[5] While going through a "bitter divorce and custody battle that lasted six long years," Grafton imagined ways to kill or maim her ex-husband. Her fantasies were so vivid that she decided to write them down.[8]

She had long been fascinated by mysteries that had related titles, including those by John D. MacDonald, whose titles referenced colors, and Harry Kemelman, who used days of the week. While reading Edward Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies, an alphabetical picture book of children who die by various means, she had the idea to write a series of novels based on the alphabet. She immediately sat down and made a list of all of the crime-related words that she knew.[5]

This exercise led to her best-known works, a chronological series of mystery novels. Known as "the alphabet novels," the stories are set in and around the fictional town of Santa Teresa, California. It is based on Santa Barbara, outside of which Grafton maintains a home in the suburb of Montecito. (Grafton chose to use the name Santa Teresa as a tribute to the author Ross Macdonald, who had used it as a fictional name for Santa Barbara in his own novels.)[9]

In the series, Grafton writes from the perspective of a female private investigator named Kinsey Millhone, who lives in Santa Teresa.[10] In apparent tribute to Macdonald, Millhone refers to her private investigator license as a "photostat," as did Macdonald's character Archer. Grafton's first book of this series is "A" Is for Alibi, written and set in 1982. The series continues with "B" Is for Burglar, "C" Is for Corpse, and so on through the alphabet, with the exception of the 24th novel, simply titled "X". After the publication of "G" Is for Gumshoe, Grafton was able to quit her screenwriting job and focus on her novels.[8]

The timeline of the series is slower than real time. "Q" Is for Quarry, for example, is set in 1987, even though it was written in 2002. Grafton has publicly stated that the final novel in the series will be titled "Z" Is for Zero.[11]

Grafton's novels have been published in 28 countries and in 26 languages, including Bulgarian and Indonesian.[12] She has refused to sell the film and television rights to her books, as her time writing screenplays had "cured" her of the desire to work with Hollywood.[5] Grafton has also threatened to haunt her children if they sell the film rights after she is dead.[13]

Grafton's "B" Is for Burglar and "C" Is for Corpse won the first two Anthony Awards for Best Novel (1986 & 1987), which are selected by the attendees of the annual Bouchestery Convention, ever awarded.[14][15] She has won the Anthony Best Novel Award once more (1991 for "G" Is for Gumshoe) and has been the recipient of three Shamus Awards.[15][16] Additionally in 1987 Grafton's short story, "The Parker Shotgun", won the Anthony Award for Best Short Story.[15]

On June 13, 2000, Sue Grafton was the recipient of the 2000 YWCA of Lexington Smith-Breckinridge Distinguished Woman of Achievement Award.[17]

In 2004, she received the Ross Macdonald Literary Award, which is given to "a California writer whose work raises the standard of literary excellence." In 2008 Grafton was awarded the Cartier Dagger by the British Crime Writers' Association, honoring a lifetime's achievement in the field. Grafton received the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 2009. In 2013, she was presented Bouchercon's Lifetime Achievement Award.[18]

In 2014, she was a Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime.[19] She has also been nominated for a 2014 Shamus Award in the category of Best Hardcover Novel, which she has won three times previously.[20]

Grafton, who has been divorced twice,[8] has been married for more than 20 years to Steven F. Humphrey. She has three children from previous marriages and several grandchildren, including granddaughters named Erin and Kinsey.[3] Grafton and her husband live in Montecito, California, and Louisville, Kentucky, as Humphrey teaches at universities in both cities.[8]


Early novels
Keziah Dane (1967)
The Lolly-Madonna War (1969) – filmed as Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973)[21]

Kinsey Millhone series
"A" Is for Alibi (1982)
"B" Is for Burglar (1985)
"C" Is for Corpse (1986)
"D" Is for Deadbeat (1987)
"E" Is for Evidence (1988)
"F" Is for Fugitive (1989)
"G" Is for Gumshoe (1990)
"H" Is for Homicide (1991)
"I" Is for Innocent (1992)
"J" Is for Judgment (1993)
"K" Is for Killer (1994)
"L" Is for Lawless (1995)
"M" Is for Malice (1996)
"N" Is for Noose (1998)
"O" Is for Outlaw (1999)
"P" Is for Peril (2001)
"Q" Is for Quarry (2002)
"R" Is for Ricochet (2004)
"S" Is for Silence (2005)
"T" Is for Trespass (2007)
"U" Is for Undertow (2009)
"V" Is for Vengeance (2011)
"W" Is for Wasted (2013)
"X" (2015)

Also published
"Teaching a Child" (2013) – essay in the anthology Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, published by W. W. Norton & Company.
Kinsey and Me (2013) – a collection of Kinsey Millhone short stories along with other short stories about Grafton's own mother.
The Lying Game (2003) – a Kinsey Millhone short story which appeared in the September 2003 special 40th anniversary Lands' End catalogue. It also appeared as a separate pamphlet given to attendees at Malice Domestic 2011 conference, where Grafton was recognized for Lifetime Achievement.

In popular culture
In the "Mayham" episode of The Sopranos, Carmela sits by Tony's bedside in the hospital, reading Sue Grafton's "G" Is for Gumshoe.[22]
In the "Local Ad" episode of The Office, Phyllis goes to a Sue Grafton book signing at the mall to try to get her to be in the Dunder-Mifflin Scranton branch commercial.[23] She is told by Michael Scott not to take no for an answer. After waiting in line, Phyllis meets Grafton, only to be rebuffed by her.[23] Phyllis continues to ask until she is thrown out of the store. Meanwhile, Andy and Creed talk about how "crazy hot" the author is.
A scene in the film Stranger Than Fiction shows Prof. Hilbert reading a Sue Grafton novel ("I" Is for Innocent) while serving as a lifeguard.[24][25]
In the Season 7 episode of Gilmore Girls titled "To Whom It May Concern," Sookie confesses that she sits at the ski lodge reading "R" Is for Ricochet and "S" Is for Silence.
In the television series Reaper, one of the things Ben looks for in his ideal woman is an interest in Sue Grafton novels. He does eventually find a love interest in a nurse who replies with "G Is For Gumshoe" when he asks if she's reading a Sue Grafton novel.
In Stieg Larsson's novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, protagonist Mikael Blomkvist sits down with "a mystery by Sue Grafton."
In the Superego podcast Season 3 Episode 14, guest star and famous Twitter personality Rob Delaney impersonates Sue Grafton.[26]
In Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr series, Sue Grafton's alphabet series of novels is discussed on several occasions. Block has a running gag in which Rhodenbarr and his friend Carolyn make up fictitious titles for Grafton's books based on the alphabet. At one point Carolyn states that she is convinced Kinsey is gay (ostensibly because Carolyn is too) and provides some argument to support her position, though Rhodenbarr is skeptical.

Natalie Hevener Kaufman, Carol McGinnis Kay (1997). "G" Is for Grafton: The World of Kinsey Millhone (Hardcover ed.). Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5446-4.

1. "Sue Grafton". Retrieved June 23, 2008.
2. "Questions and Answers". Sue Grafton Website. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
3. "The Kinsey Report". Sue Grafton Website. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
4. "'Lolly-Madonna' changed lives". Anchorage Daily News. July 8, 1973. p. 14.
5. "A Conversation with Sue Grafton". Sue Grafton Website. 1996. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
6. O'Connor, John J. (March 9, 1983). "TV Movie: 'Svengali'". New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2011.
7. "More credits for'Svengali'". New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2011.
8. White, Claire E. "A Conversation with Sue Grafton". Writers Write. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
9. "Bestselling Mystery Writer Sue Grafton To Speak at Annual Literary Voices Event". The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County. 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
10. Brantingham, Barney (July 1, 2008). "W Is for Writers Conference; Sue Grafton Is Kinsey Millhone". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
11. Gulbransen, Susan (September 1, 2002). "Racing Time: Alphabet author Sue Grafton counts down to Zero". Book. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
12. "Sue Grafton". Sue Grafton Website. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
13. Richards, Linda L. (1997). ""G" Is for Grafton: Sue Grafton's Murderous Moments". January Magazine. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
14. "Anthony Awards". Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
15. "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards and History". Retrieved March 5, 2012.
16. "Sue Grafton". Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
17. "YWCA to honor Grafton". Lexington Herald-Leader. June 4, 2000. p. H5.
18. "History of Guests of Honor". Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
21. Lolly-Madonna XXX at the Internet Movie Database
22. Schwarzbaum, Lisa (January 13, 2007). "The Coma-Back Kid". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
23. Fenno, Christine (October 28, 2007). "The Office: See Spot Not Run". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
24. Crust, Kevin (November 10, 2006). "He's hearing things". Los Angeles Times. p. E1.
25. Silvis, Steffen (April 11, 2007). "One character in search of an author". The Prague Post.
26. "Sue Grafton – The Superego Podcast: Profiles In Self-Obsession". July 1, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2012.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Gardner, Julia Elizabeth. Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky : (Re)writing the Hardboiled Genre. Lexington, Ky.: [s.n.], 2001. Print.
Young Library Theses 5th Floor Stacks (Theses 2001)

Kaufman, Natalie Hevener., and Carol McGinnis Kay. "G" Is for Grafton : The World of Kinsey Millhone. 1st ed. New York: Henry Holt, 1997. Print.
PS3557.R13 Z75 1997, Special Collections Research Center Closed Stacks

Beattie, L. Elisabeth, Wade Hall, Susan. Lippman, and University Press of Kentucky. Conversations with Kentucky Writers. Lexington: U of Kentucky, 1996. Kentucky Remembered. Web.

PS266.K4 C66 1996, Young Library Books - 5th Floor

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: April 19, 1968 - Ashley Judd


Image from

From Current Biography (Bio Ref Bank) -
Although she was born into a singing family--mother Naomi and sister Wynonna comprised the Grammy-winning country duo the Judds, and Wynonna has had a successful solo career since the early 1990s--Ashley Judd chose to pursue a career in Hollywood. She had prominent roles in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Sisters before winning the title role, that of a dreamy loner, in the 1993 movie Ruby in Paradise, and she has since starred in several hits, including Heat (1995), Kiss the Girls (1997), and Double Jeopardy (1999). Critics have praised Judd for the feminine strength she conveys on-screen; writing in Us magazine (January 1996) about the actress, who spent much of her childhood in rural Kentucky, David Hochman observed, "Ashley Judd is the sort of character Tennessee Williams might have created had he grown up watching MTV."

Ashley Judd was born on April 19, 1968 in Los Angeles to Michael Ciminella, a marketing specialist in the horse-racing industry, and Naomi Ciminella, who would go by her maiden name--Judd--after her divorce, when Ashley was four. Following several tumultuous years of struggling to survive on their own in California, Ashley, her older sister, Wynonna, and their mother moved to Kentucky. Money was scarce in that rural environment, and the trio moved around a lot, from one run-down house to another. Often they didn't have heat or running water. By the time she was 13, Ashley Judd had attended 12 different schools, an experience, she has said, from which she learned to be adaptable. According to Chuck Arnold in People (October 13, 1997), Naomi, who supported her daughters by working as a nurse, would often say, "Kids, pour more water in the soup. Better days are coming." Naomi also repeatedly told the girls that they were special and were destined to achieve great things. Judd still cites her mother's confidence in her as one of the greatest gifts she has ever received.

Because few other sources of entertainment were available, music played a big part in the household. Someone gave Naomi an old guitar, and Wynonna soon showed a knack for playing it. Although Ashley enjoyed the music, she had no interest in performing, and she has joked that given the quality of her voice, the public is lucky she followed another career path. While Naomi and Wynonna practiced the act that would eventually make them stars, the youngest Judd spent her time alone, reading. When she was 15, her mother and sister landed a major recording contract and embarked on a strenuous concert schedule. When the Judds, as her mother and sister became known, were on the road, Ashley lived with her father or grandparents. Many journalists have portrayed Ashley Judd as a Cinderella figure, pointing out that she used to clean the tour bus for pocket money. Judd herself has claimed that her family's fame didn't prevent her from leading the life of an average teenager, although she told Gail Buchalter for Parade (August 22, 1993), "A few times, I got mad waiting for them to stop rehearsing, but that's no different from any kid whose parents work at home. I remember getting really angry when no one picked me up at cheerleading practice or student council meetings." A television miniseries about the Judds, which aired in 1995, portrayed the teenage Ashley as petulant and dependent. Although she admitted to being engrossed by the show (she even provided the narrative voice-over for it), Judd told Lawrence Grobel for TV Guide (May 13, 1995), "I feel I look a little whiny, and I come across as having been frequently put out by their pursuit of their dream. That wasn't the reality, though I'm sure at times my feelings were hurt or I felt excluded."

After finishing high school, Judd attended the University of Kentucky, where she majored in French and minored in four separate disciplines--anthropology, women's studies, art history, and theater. When a prominent member of the board of trustees at the school made a racist remark, Judd led a campus-wide walkout to demand his resignation. Devoted to her studies, she generally maintained a 4.0 average. She graduated in 1990, with Phi Beta Kappa honors. (She remains passionate about the school's basketball team, the Wildcats.)

After graduation Judd was accepted into the Peace Corps. Fluent in French, she volunteered to go to a French-speaking part of Africa--preferably "an extremely traditional village," as she told Buchalter, "so I could start my career as a sociocultural anthropologist." But she felt conflicted. She had been interested in acting since she had seen Jane Fonda's performance in The Dollmaker (1984). Worried that her age would be against her if she delayed trying her luck in Hollywood, Judd approached her family for advice. Naomi was resistant to the idea at first. "She was aghast," Judd told Buchalter. "In her plans for me, I was running the Cousteau Society. But by the end of my presentation, Mom was as excited as I was and said she'd do anything to help me."

Judd moved to Los Angeles, got a restaurant job to support herself, and began taking acting classes. She asked the Triad Agency, where she had interned during her junior year of college, to represent her, and the firm agreed to send her on one audition. At this pivotal juncture in Judd's life, her mother announced publicly that she was ill with hepatitis C and would no longer perform with Wynonna. Some journalists have theorized that the news of the family's tribulations overshadowed the actress's fledgling career, but others think that it drew additional attention to her. "When I auditioned, I didn't tell anyone who my family was," Judd told Buchalter. "I was raised to be self-sufficient, and that's paramount to any success I attain. I guess my faith and arrogance kept me thinking I could make it on my own." Judd was offered the role for which she had tried out--the female lead in the movie Kuffs, starring Christian Slater--but turned it down in favor of a smaller role, because the Kuffs part required a nude scene. "My mother worked too hard for me to take off my clothes in my first movie," she told Cynthia Sanz for People (October 12, 1992).

That job was quickly followed by the recurring role of Ensign Mussler on the television show Star Trek: The Next Generation. Not long after she landed that assignment, she joined the cast of the critically acclaimed dramatic series Sisters. From 1991 to 1994 she portrayed the daughter of the character played by Swoosie Kurtz. Meanwhile, eager for more film roles, in 1993 she earned the part of the title character in Ruby in Paradise, the tale of a dreamer from a small Tennessee town who escapes to find her identity in Panama City, Florida. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, and Judd received an Independent Spirit Award, as well as unanimously favorable reviews, for her powerful portrayal. Victor Nunez, who directed the picture, explained why, after despairing of ever finding the right person to portray Ruby, he chose Judd. "It was a fluke," he told the New York Times (October 3, 1993, on-line). "Three of the actresses were very good. But they were all a little too much Tennessee Williams and not enough Tennessee. Their experience of the South was from doing Williams, not from living in the north of Florida. Not only did Ashley have an intuitive sense of who Ruby was, she also knew what it was like to weather a winter in Appalachia."

After the success of Ruby in Paradise, Judd was advised to make her next project a big-budget Hollywood movie. Ever independent, she opted instead to go to New York to star in a revival of William Inge's play Picnic, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1953. After that she returned to Hollywood, where her next performance, in Oliver Stone's film Natural Born Killers (1994), ended up on the cutting-room floor. Hired to play the sole survivor of a slumber-party massacre in the movie, Judd imbued her character with chilling realism. The Ratings and Classification Board of the Motion Picture Association of America initially gave the picture an NC-17 rating, specifically citing Judd's scenes as being too emotionally harrowing, and Stone deleted them. Judd has said that she viewed his action as a testament to her acting ability.

In 1995 Judd made an appearance in the movie Smoke. Cast opposite veteran actors Stockard Channing and Harvey Keitel, she drew raves from the critics with her vivid turn as Channing's drug-addicted daughter. Her Hollywood profile rose even higher with her appearance in the 1995 film Heat. In it she played the wife of Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), one of a band of audacious robbers headed by Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) and pursued by detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino). Judd held her own with the heavy-hitting cast, and she was soon offered the role of Matthew McConaughey's wife in the film A Time to Kill (1996), based on a John Grisham novel.

Also in 1996 Judd starred in Normal Life, opposite Luke Perry. The story of a bank-robbing couple, the movie went straight to video after a corporate shake-up at Fine Line Features, its distributor. In the same year Judd starred in the unusual Home Box Office (HBO) movie Norma Jean & Marilyn. The project, which presented the life of Marilyn Monroe from the perspectives of two different aspects of her personality, starred Mira Sorvino as the glamorous side of the screen goddess and Judd as Norma Jean, the insecure orphan who would be transformed by the Hollywood studio system. Judd had never been interested in Monroe, perhaps because she was born almost six years after the actress's death, but after studying Monroe's work, she began to develop respect for her larger-than-life subject. "I have a lot of admiration for her animal brilliance, her ability to survive, to know what she needed and how to go about getting it," Judd told Hilary De Vries for TV Guide (May 18, 1996). So capably did Judd portray the young Monroe that she was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award.

By the end of 1996, Judd felt exhausted, and she sank into a deep depression. She secluded herself and began intensive therapy, through which she examined her childhood years and came to the realization that they were not "quite as sunny as she had wanted to remember," as Bernard Weinraub reported in Redbook (November 1997). "I was looking at old stuff," she explained to Weinraub. "And the fact is, I really encourage people to look at it, because it doesn't break you. It actually heals you."

Judd emerged from that bleak time ready to work, and her next roles cemented her screen image as a strong woman. While the 1997 movie The Locusts was not a hit, critics singled out for praise Judd's performance as a free-spirited midwesterner; she herself told Michael Angeli for Esquire (February 1997), "It's the proudest I've ever been of my work." The actress's biggest hit to date also came out that year. Kiss the Girls starred Judd as a feisty doctor who teams up with a detective, played by Morgan Freeman, to thwart a serial killer. The movie was a huge success at the box office, and Judd was particularly proud that she did most of her own stunt work--even learning kickboxing for the role. Discussing her casting, Gary Fleder, who directed Kiss the Girls, told Lucy Kaylin for Gentlemen's Quarterly (October 1999), "The thing that was important to me was that the character couldn't be a victim. And I thought Ashley was the perfect nonvictim. She refused to be broken."

Judd's 1998 film, Simon Birch, was not as well received by moviegoers, but as usual, Judd's performance--this time as the mother of the title character--was hailed by critics. Later that year Judd narrated a Family Channel special on the life of her sister. But if 1998 was a relatively low-profile year on her resume, 1999 would prove to be anything but. Opening in September of that year, Double Jeopardy starred Judd as a woman wrongly imprisoned for killing her husband. While in jail, she discovers that her husband is still alive and enjoying himself with her best friend. Reasoning that you can't be tried and convicted for the same crime twice, she plots her revenge. Originally the role had been intended for Jodie Foster, but Foster dropped out of the project when she discovered that she was pregnant. A determined Judd then lobbied the director, Bruce Beresford, for the part. The movie features several scenes of Judd working out in prison in preparation for her release; critics found those sequences charmingly reminiscent of similar scenes in Sylvester Stallone's Rocky. In the first two weeks after its premiere, the movie, which co-starred Tommy Lee Jones, made almost $50 million and established Judd as a bona fide leading lady. (Its earnings eventually reached more than $116 million in the U.S. alone.)

Judd next starred in The Eye of the Beholder (2000), as a psychopathic killer who frequently changes her appearance to foil her pursuers. The film was almost universally panned, but Stephen Holden wrote for the New York Times (January 28, 2000), "Judd, at least, emerges from this fiasco with her dignity intact. . . . She is clearly giving her all to an unsalvageable enterprise." Judd appeared opposite Natalie Portman in Where the Heart Is (2000), a movie based on the Southern Gothic novel of the same name by Billie Letts, which the talk-show host Oprah Winfrey had selected for her popular book club. Although the book sold well, the movie was neither a critical nor commercial success. Judd currently has several projects in production, including a film based on the life of the artist Frida Kahlo, which is due to be released in 2001.

Unable to pigeonhole Judd, journalists have often resorted to comparing her to other actresses, and she has been described variously as having the casual beauty of Elizabeth Taylor, the icy sophistication of Grace Kelly, and the strength of Katharine Hepburn. Feature writers seem to relish the challenge of analyzing Judd--a woman who, on the one hand, has described herself as a "ball-buster" and, on the other, carries quilts and stuffed animals with her when she travels, to make her hotel rooms cozier. "True to her rural Kentucky roots," Hilary De Vries wrote, "Judd is a classic southern woman, all syrupy charm on the outside, wrought iron underneath. One minute, she is the girl next door with her well-scrubbed sexiness and down-home aphorisms, nattering on about 'Mawma' and 'grandaddy' and life on the farm. Spend enough time with her, however, and you realize Judd's cultivated farm-fresh image can yield with startling speed to that of a cool-headed careerist."

Riveted by her on-screen work, Judd's fans have shown just as much interest in the star's personal life. Judd had a widely publicized romance with Matthew McConaughey during the filming of A Time to Kill, and the two remain good friends. She was also linked with Robert De Niro, but although the two admitted to admiration for each other, they denied any deeper involvement. Judd laughed at the idea that she always dated her leading men. "I actually sat down and counted," she told Ned Zeman during an interview for Harper's Bazaar (May 1997). "In 10 professional outings, [I was involved with] exactly two of my co-stars, both of which were wonderful love affairs. Just 20 percent. Which, by the way, is well below the national average." Judd's next confirmed relationship was with the singer Michael Bolton, whom she met through her sister. Although the romance eventually ended, she credited Bolton for helping her through her depression in 1996. In May 2000 she announced that she was engaged to be married to the Scottish race-car driver Dario Franchitti.

A devoted aunt, Judd has frequently regaled listeners with tales of Wynonna's children. She is said to be intensely loyal to her friends. The actress lives in a century-old house on the property of Peaceful Valley, the Judd family's 1,000-acre Tennessee farm. She told David Hochman for Us, "I'm modeling it after C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, with cubbyholes and secret passageways, old gun cabinets and medicine chests built of chestnut, all because it was the first book ever read to me as a child and my house needs to be a magical place." Interviewers who have seen the house confirm that it is, indeed, magical--full of overstuffed chairs and whimsically painted surfaces. -- M.R.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Nunez, Victor., Ashley. Judd, Todd. Field, Bentley. Mitchum, Full Crew/Say Yea Productions, Ruby In Paradise Ltd, and October Films. Ruby in Paradise. Los Angeles: Republic Pictures, 1994.
AV-V4476, Young Media Library
Mazzello, Joseph., Oliver. Platt, Ian Michael. Smith, and Ashley. Judd. Simon Birch. S.l.]: Hollywood Pictures Home Video, 1999.
AV-D4482, Young Media Library

Freeman, Morgan., Ashley. Judd, Cary Elwes, Tony. Goldwyn, Jay O. Sanders, Gary. Fleder, David Klass, James Patterson, Paramount Pictures Corporation, and Rysher Entertainment. Kiss the Girls. Hollywood, CA: Paramount, 1998. Widescreen DVD Collection.
AV-D4481, Young Media Library