Langford is an Australian actress best known for her starring role in the
Netflix series '13 Reasons Why,' about a high school teen who commits suicide.
Who Is Katherine Langford?
Langford was born in Perth, Australia, on April 29, 1996, but she became a star
in America playing a troubled high school teen named Hannah Baker in the
critically acclaimed Netflix series 13 Reasons Why starting in 2017.
A Golden Globe Nom For Her Very
First Acting Job
for a few student films she describes as “horrendous,” Langford had never acted
professionally at all until she won the role in 13 Reasons Why when she
was barely 20.
the role of Hannah earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by
an Actress in a Television Series - Drama (she lost to Elisabeth Moss, who won for The Handmaid’s
Tale on Hulu, at the 2018 Golden Globes in January 2018).
‘13 Reasons Why’
from a 2007 novel of the same name by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why is about
a high school teen who commits suicide – what led up to it, and what happened
afterward. Like the book, the TV show is centered on a collection of
audiocassettes the dead girl left behind on which she recorded an “audio diary”
detailing 13 reasons why she killed herself.
show’s episodes were each based on a single side of a cassette. For example,
Episode One was titled “Tape 1, Side A.”
13 Reasons Why Ignites Conversation, Controversy
About Teen Suicide
Reasons Why became a
sensation and so did Langford. It has been referred to as the “most
tweeted-about show of 2017” – a milestone it reportedly earned within a month
of its premiere in March 2017.
The show ignited an increase in discussions
about teen suicides, with on-line searches on the subject reportedly
“skyrocketing” after the show’s premiere. But the show was also controversial
for the graphic nature of some of its contents, including two rape scenes and
the scene of Hannah’s suicide in which she slit her wrists in a bathtub.
“When you make
a show like this, we expected controversy,” Langford said in an interview with Variety. “Overall, I think
it was a good thing. You need there to be opinions in order for there to be
discussions, and that’s really what the show is about — talking about issues
that are taboo or that people wouldn’t usually discuss with parents or
At least one
distraught father blamed 13
Reasons Why for the suicide of his 15-year-old daughter. He said
his daughter binge-watched the show just before killing herself.
Langford Pursues Acting After Lady Gaga Concert
formerly a high school swimmer, said she was inspired at age 16 to take up
acting after seeing Lady Gaga in concert. “It was like a spiritual
experience,” Langford told Entertainment Weekly. “I was so moved by her
performance that I went home and that week I taught myself how to play piano.”
took her first acting classes in Perth when she was 17. She concentrated on
acting classes in her senior year in high school, after which she went on
auditions (including auditions for parts in two network pilots that she didn’t
A Successful Audition for ’13
Reasons Why’ Via Videotape and Skype
Perth and unemployed, she then heard about auditions for 13 Reasons Why
and sent a videotape (something actors from abroad sometimes do when they
cannot audition in person). She had a follow-up audition via Skype and won the
tricky and very, very challenging casting Hannah,” said the show’s creator,
Brian Yorkey. “We saw many talented, wonderful actresses, but we just needed
the person that brought that very special luminosity. We needed that, and that
came via a self-tape from Perth, Australia, in the form of Katherine Langford.”
Selena Gomez Persuades Langford to
Go on Instagram
January 2018, Langford had 8.2 million followers on Instagram
wake of the first season of 13 Reasons Why, Langford was reluctant at
first to put herself out there on social media. But it was Selena Gomez who persuaded Langford to make
her Instagram account public. Gomez is one of the executive producers on 13
“It was a
bit of a big decision for me actually, because I wanted to be an actor purely
for the acting work,” Langford said in an interview with TheLast-magazine.com.
“I have never been attracted to increasing my popularity or hireability by
being on Instagram.
want to make myself a consumable product. I just wanted to be able to do my job
and then disappear. Selena pointed out that the show is targeting young adults
like me and that [social media] is a good medium to talk directly with those
who relate to my character, Hannah.”
Langford and Co-star Dylan Minette are NOT Dating
rumors have persisted that Langford is dating (or has dated) Dylan Minette, her
co-star and on-screen boyfriend on 13 Reasons Why, the rumors are not
true (or at least they have been denied by both Langford and Minette). As of
January 2018, she was not reportedly dating anyone.
Two New Movies in 2018
newfound fame earned her roles in at least three new movies. Two of them – The
Misguided and Love, Simon – were due to be released in 2018. A third
movie, Spontaneous, is in pre-production. The second season of 13
Reasons Why is also expected to premiere in 2018.
Clancy's comment: I have not seen the film in question, but I ask why was the subject within the film considered controversial. Youth suicide should be on everyone's lips.
This article taught me a fair bit about something that has always aggravated me - WHY IS AMERICAN ENGLISH DIFFERENT TO REAL ENGLISH?Theodore
Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman and writer who served as the 26th
President of the United States from 1901 to 1909.
In August 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt issued an order from his summer
residence in Oyster Bay, New York, that would soon be the talk of
Washington—and the world beyond.
Addressing himself to the
government printer, Roosevelt decreed that all documents issued by the White House
should now follow the spellings advocated by an organization known as the
Simplified Spelling Board. Launched the previous March and financed by
the steel baron Andrew Carnegie, the board wanted to strip the American
language of its antiquated British baggage and create a clean and modern
version for the 20th century.
Carnegie, who’d immigrated to the United States as a teenager with little
formal education, had high hopes for the project. “Mr. Carnegie has long been
convinced that English might be made the world language of the future, and thus
one of the influences leading to universal peace,” the New York Times reported. “He
believes that the chief obstacle to its speedy adoption is to be found in its
contradictory and difficult spelling.”
At the time, written German,
which had been simplified in 1901, seemed poised to become the “world language
of the future”—a development that neither Carnegie nor Roosevelt, both
intensely competitive men, could possibly have welcomed.
Carnegie recruited a long list of luminaries to the cause,
including the writer Mark Twain, the philosopher William James,
Melvil Dewey of Dewey Decimal System fame, and the
presidents of Columbia and Stanford universities, among others. If Carnegie’s
“universal peace” seemed like a grandiose goal, they could point to other, more
basic benefits. Spelling would be easier to teach in schools, possibly shaving
a year or more off the curriculum, educators said. Business correspondence
would be faster and cheaper to handle.
Publishers could save on typesetting,
ink, and paper costs.
In a September 1906 speech,
Twain argued that the reforms would also help new immigrants assimilate.
Traditional spelling, he maintained, “keeps them back and damages their
citizenship for years until they learn to spell the language, if they ever do
As a first step, the board
published a list of suggested substitutes for 300 words whose spelling it considered
archaic. For example, it proposed that “although” be shortened to “altho,”
“fixed” become “fixt,” and “thorough” be traded in for “thoro.”
Roosevelt forwarded the
list to the government printer, with his official blessing. The 26th president
was so “thoroly” convinced of the idea’s merits that he didn’t realize the
controversy he was about to spark.
Man of Words—and Lots of Them
Roosevelt’s obsession with
words wouldn’t have been a total surprise to Americans of the day. Despite his
popular image as a hard-charging soldier, big-game hunter, jungle explorer, and
all-around outdoorsy he-man, he was also one of the nation’s most literate
presidents. He wrote more than 30 books throughout his life and was a voracious
reader as well, reportedly averaging a book a day.
But the reaction to his
spelling move was swift and mostly negative, even though many of the words on
the list were already in wide use, such “honor” instead of “honour” and “check”
in place of “cheque.” The New
York Times, in fact, calculated that at least 131 of the 300
simplified spellings appeared regularly in its own pages.
That seemed to make little difference, though.
“Had President Roosevelt declared war against Germany, he could not have caused
much more agitation in Washington,” the Washington
“Of all President
Roosevelt’s moves to stir up the animals,” the WashingtonEvening
Star wrote a week after the order, simplified spelling seemed to
strike an unusually sensitive nerve. “Abroad it has particularly aroused the
latent animosity of the English,” the paper noted.
Indeed, barely a day after Roosevelt’s
announcement, the New York
Times reported that, “President Roosevelt is the laughing stock of
literary London,” adding that newspaper writers there were now simplifying his
surname, referring to him as Rusvelt and Ruzvelt, while Carnegie was caricatured
as Andru Karnegi and Karnege. (American papers also had their fun with the
men’s names. The Baltimore Sun
asked whether the president would start spelling his name Rusevelt or “get down
to the fact and spell it Butt-in-sky?”) Another report summed up
the reaction across England: “Mr. Roosevelt, heretofore regarded as only a
little lower than the angels, is now characterized as whimsical, silly,
headstrong, and despotic.”
Congress Cries Foul
Nowhere was the reaction
more negative than in the U.S. Congress.
where many members were irritated that Roosevelt had bypassed them.
attempted to calm the spelling storm. In a letter to the government printer, he
characterized his order as merely an experiment, saying that the American
public would ultimately decide its fate. “If the slight changes in the spelling
of the three hundred words proposed wholly or partially meet popular approval,
then the changes will become permanent without any reference to what public
officials or individual private citizens may feel; if they do not ultimately
meet with popular approval they will be dropt, and that is all there is about
it,” he wrote, managing to sneak in at least one word from the beleaguered
The controversy seemed to
have subsided, when, in October 1906, the U.S. Supreme Court
unexpectedly got involved. Reviewing a government brief that had been prepared
in accordance with Roosevelt’s order, Chief Justice Melville Fuller expressed
his displeasure at seeing the word “thru” substituted for “through.” The
government’s lawyer assured the court that it would never happen again.
The next month, a subcommittee of the House Committee on
Appropriations, noticing that the draft of a recent bill had been printed with
simplified spellings, announced that it would be calling on the public printer
to explain himself. Two weeks later the full committee weighed in, adding a
provision to the bill that, “Hereafter in printing documents authorized by law
or ordered by Congress… the Government Printing Office shall follow the rules
of orthography established by Webster’s or other generally accepted
dictionaries of the English language.”
The entire House took up
the matter the following week, debating the pros and (mostly) cons of
simplified spelling for three hours. While Roosevelt’s reforms had a few
supporters, the prevailing view was that he had overstepped his authority.
“Some time before very long, the people of the United States are going to
insist on having a President that will attend to his own business,” one
Two days later, on December
12, 1906, the House voted 142 to 25 to withhold funding for the printing of any
government document that deviated from conventional spelling. One impassioned
foe declared, “If the President can change 300 words, he can change the
spelling of 300,000.”
By now Roosevelt realized
that he had really “stept” in it. The following day, he declared surrender,
vowing to abandon the effort and admitting in a letter to a fellow advocate
that it was “worse than useless to go into an undignified contest when I was
Though the New
York Times praised the president for his grace in defeat, he might
have had a more pragmatic reason for backing down. The next presidential
election was coming up in 1908, and simplified spelling had the potential to be
a contentious issue in the campaign. As the Boston
Transcript put it, “Unable to excoriate Roosevelt for squelching
the coal strike, beginning work on the Panama Canal, stopping the
Russo-Japanese War, cleaning up the packing houses, and irritating the trusts,
[Roosevelt’s opponents] will denounce him with lurid frenzy for tampering with
the spelling book.”
Mark Twain also took note of
the over-the-top reaction to Roosevelt’s fairly modest proposal. In dinner
speech honoring Andrew Carnegie a year later, he joked that, “Simplified
spelling brought about sun-spots, the San Francisco earthquake, and the recent
business depression, which we would never have had if spelling had been left
From its hopeful start to
ignominious finish, Roosevelt’s initiative lasted barely four months. While it
may have been a failure at the time, quite a few of its recommendations have
long since come to pass. Although we haven’t adopted “kist” instead of “kissed”
or “rime” in favor of “rhyme,” numerous words on the list are now in common
use: “clue” (not “clew”), “draft” (not “daught”), “jail” (not “gaol”), “labor”
(not “labour”), and many others.
Americans today might
rightly wonder what all the clamor (not “clamour”) was about.
Clancy's comment: English is English - not American. Sadly, this is an example of where society has dropped its values, and most modern dictionaries will often give you an 'either / or' for a word. Like: flavour / flavor, or colour / color, or centre / center etc etc.
I could say,
that as a kid, I used to love looking at cutaway illustrations, but the
thing is: I still think they’re just the greatest thing ever. With
cutaway art, you get to examine and explore miniature hidden worlds
behind-the-scenes and under an x-ray. The best stuff surely came out of
the mid twentieth century, a golden age of illustration that generated a
voracious public demand for new graphic art in magazines and
periodicals. Fast-forward to the age of computer graphics and the
cutaway has lost its way; lost its charm. But today, I found some examples of the good stuff to gawk at.
While many of the great cutaway artists are sadly forgotten or unknown, if there’s one name to remember, it’s probably Frank Soltesz,
the “King of Cutaway Drawings”. He pretty much defined the look of
commercial illustration in the United States between the 1930s and
1960s, so this might be a good place to start.
Check out these pearlers ...
Clancy's comment: So clever. Love them, and it's a shame they do not exist today. Kids would find them enchanting, and they would enhance their learning.