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The li'l slut!
Photo Via City Press
Craig Urbani began performing professionally in The Rocky Horror Show in South Africa in 1992. A year later he did some film work with Robert Mitchum and Bo Derek in a movie called Woman of Desire and an international television series called Tropical Heat.
He returned to The Rocky Horror Show to play Brad Majors after performing the cabaret Hooray for Hollywood. He played the role of Buddy in The Buddy Holly Story and Claude in Hair in South Africa before going to the UK to play Buddy in the West End. Craig recorded The South African and London recordings of the show and played the part for two years in London before playing Nick Piazza in the UK tour of Fame.
He played Prince Charming in Wimbledon's Cinderella and the title role in Dick Whittington before becoming the first person to play the role of The Fonz on stage in the musical Happy Days under the direction of Henry Winkler.
He performed with Cliff Richard at the London Palladium and for Paul McCartney at The Buddy Holly Week. He then returned to South Africa to perform in the musical comedy I Love You You're Perfect Now Change. Craig has received a Vita Award and a Dalro Award for his work in South Africa and a Green Room Award in Australia for his portrayal of Buddy Holly. This is also a role he has played in Denmark, Spain, France and Singapore.
He played Rooster in Annie at the Civic theatre in South Africa and played Danny Zuko in the biggest stadium production of Grease ever staged, under the direction of David Gilmore, before heading back to the UK to play the role of Danny throughout the U.K. and on London's West End.
He starred in Contact at the Queen's Theatre for which he received an Olivier Award nomination. He has also played Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Shaftesbury Theatre - a role he reprised at the Civic Theatre in South Africa in early 2007 - and red/Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate. That same year, Urbani appeared as Billy Flyn in the South African production of CHICAGO.
Bio Via Speakers Inc
Just as a final aside, Craig Urbani looks equally good in person as he does in these photographs. A few weeks ago, at a performance of Alice in Wonderland (see my June 13th review), he and his daughter sat behind me and my partner. Naturally, being the shy retiring type that I am, I struck up a conversation. Okay, so I gushed all over him but I did try to maintain some modicum of decorum. He was friendly and chatty during the breaks. That's what I love about Johannesburg; the celebs mingle with we common folk. When I finally introduced myself, he said: "Oh! I know you. You're that evil reviewer from the Sunday Independent." We both laughed, but... You don't think he really thinks I'm evil, do you?
Via Sondag Via iAfrica
Ryk Neethling (pronounced Rake), the golden boy from, Bloemfontein, South Africa is best known for winning the Olympic gold swimming medal in the 4x100 freestyle relay at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Today, he is a hardworking and focused businessman who is in high demand as a motivational speaker where he shares his experiences in self-motivation and commitment to any goal a person may have.
Most recently, he has ventured into “vintnering” with the introduction of the Ryk Neethling wine label. Along with wine making, he has two new passions – property development and polo. Again,
Neethling has always attracted plenty of attention with his boyish good looks and his famously waxed chest. Both have garnered him gigs on television and in modelling. "As far as acting goes," he says, "I definitely know my limits. I don't act, I don't sing, I don't dance. I'll stick to the pool, sports, take some pictures, and that's about it... Modelling is a lot easier but I'm still not all that comfortable with it."
However, the gorgeous Mr. Neethling is not so uncomfortable with modelling that it deters him from doing product endorsements. Currently he is the face of Stuttafords stores men's clothing line and his glorious form has been used to hawk health food products. On the other hand, he is fiercely – not just proudly – South African. In November 2005, he announced he had refused a multi-million dollar offer by Qatar's Olympic body to switch nationalities and swim for Qatar at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
But in spite of all the glitz and adulation of a lucrative celebrity life, he seems to be an almost-too-good-to-be-true nice guy. He can and does show up in the most ordinary of places. Not long ago, I saw him sitting alone reading a paper and nursing a cuppa java at a coffee shop in Pretoria's Brooklyn Shopping Mall. And, about three years ago, I met him briefly at a pre-Christmas party at the Johannesburg Zoo's old elephant house. Trust me, the event was far more glam than the location might imply.
Just to avoid any confusion, I am on the left in pink.
Damn photographer didn't give me enough time to put on my photo face.
And like everyone else in South Africa, he has had to deal with the problem of crime. When asked what would you save if your house caught fire, he laughed. "I’ve been burgled so many times most of my things have been stolen. I’m not precious about stuff, but I would save my autographed copy of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom."
As for creature comforts, South Africa's Aquaman's wants are fittingly simple. "It has to be my heated swimming pool. In winter, it's nice to see steam coming from the water when it's freezing outside."
Via Waldo Swiegers