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Session 4

Do you want to be famous? In this session we practise our tenses while we take a look at why some people want to be famous, and discover what they will do to get the fame they want.

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

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    Activity 1
  • 0 / 8
    Activity 2
  • 0 / 0
    Activity 3

Robin Williams honoured

Welcome to News Report. Today's report is about the US actor and comedian, Robin Williams, who was found dead in 2014 in an apparent suicide at the age of 63. Now his achievements are being honoured.

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The late American actor and comedian Robin Williams has been honoured by the Screen Actors Guild in a ceremony in Los Angeles.

Williams died in an apparent suicide in August 2014. He was 63 years old.

Williams was born on 21 July 1951 in Chicago, Illinois. In his teens, he joined his school's drama club as a way to overcome shyness.

Later, when he was studying at New York's famous Juilliard School, his tutor suggested a career in stand-up comedy.

His breakthrough came when he appeared on the TV show Happy Days as an alien called Mork.

The character inspired a spin-off TV series, Mork and Mindy, which made Williams a star.

He then appeared in several films, but it was not until 1987's Good Morning Vietnam that Hollywood found a suitable vehicle for him. This role earned him his first Oscar nomination for best actor.

His second nomination came two years later for Dead Poets Society, in which he played an inspirational English teacher at a strict boys' school, who encourages his pupils to think for themselves.

He was finally awarded an Oscar in 1998 for his role in Good Will Hunting.

He later turned to darker roles, like the serial killer in the Alaska-set Insomnia.

"People think of me as likeable, so the appeal was to play against those expectations," he told Empire magazine in 2010.

At his funeral, President Obama described him as "one of a kind".

This story is based on an original BBC News story

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Vocabulary

late
used to refer to a person who is dead

apparent
seeming to be real

teens
teenage years; the period in a person’s life from age 13 to age 19

overcome
to defeat an enemy or deal with a problem

shyness
feeling uncomfortable and nervous in the company of other people

stand-up comedy
a style of comedy performance where one person stands on the stage and talks to the audience

breakthrough
an event which starts a successful period in someone’s career

alien
a creature from another planet

spin-off
a TV programme involving characters from a previous TV programme

vehicle
a film, TV programme, etc., which shows the talents of a particular actor

nomination
an official suggestion that someone should get a prize

inspirational
someone or something that encourages you and makes you feel confident or creative

strict
tough; imposing strong rules, or threatening serious punishment if someone doesn’t obey the rules

one of a kind
someone or something which is unique

End of Session 4

That's it for this session. By now you should have a better understanding of tenses - and you should be better at talking and writing about celebrity culture. In the next session, you can enjoy the final epsiode of our drama Frankenstein, and test what you have learnt in the weekly quiz. See you there!

Session Vocabulary

  • late
    used to refer to a person who is dead

    apparent
    seeming to be real

    teens
    teenage years; the period in a person’s life from age 13 to age 19

    overcome
    to defeat an enemy or deal with a problem

    shyness
    feeling uncomfortable and nervous in the company of other people

    stand-up comedy
    a style of comedy performance where one person stands on the stage and talks to the audience

    breakthrough
    an event which starts a successful period in someone’s career

    alien
    a creature from another planet

    spin-off
    a TV programme involving characters from a previous TV programme

    vehicle
    a film, TV programme, etc., which shows the talents of a particular actor

    nomination
    an official suggestion that someone should get a prize

    inspirational
    someone or something that encourages you and makes you feel confident or creative

    strict
    tough; imposing strong rules, or threatening serious punishment if someone doesn’t obey the rules

    one of a kind
    someone or something which is unique