Biography is a documentary television series. Originally produced by CBS in 1962 and hosted by Mike Wallace, the A&E Network later re-ran it and has produced new episodes since 1987. The series has featured biographies on such people as Elvis Presley, Plácido Domingo, Pope John Paul II, Enrico Caruso, Diego Rivera, Mick Foley, Mao Zedong, and Queen Elizabeth II, and fictional characters like The Phantom, Superman, and Santa Claus. The program ended up profiling enough figures, that in 1999 A&E spun the program off into an entire network, The Biography Channel.
Ottis Toole, serial killer and cannibal, confessed to killing more than a hundred people with his partner Henry Lee Lucas. Toole murdered John Walsh's son. Henry Lee Lucas as an American criminal, convicted of murder. He killed at least three women but confessed to killing upwards of 600.
Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez is an American serial killer who left more than 25 victims in his wake. He is on death row at San Quentin Prison.
Andrei Chikatilo confessed to 56 murders when he was eventually caught in 1990. The brutal killer preyed on children and young vagrants, eating intimate parts of their bodies. On 22nd December 1978, Chikatilo killed his first documented victim; 9 year old Lena Zakotnova was lured into an abandoned shed, where Chikatilo tried to rape her. Trying to control the struggling child, Chikatilo slashed her with a knife, ejaculating whilst doing so, confirming his psychological connection between violent death and sexual gratification that went on to typify all future attacks. An eyewitness had seen Chikatilo with the victim, shortly before her disappearance, but his wife provided him with a cast-iron alibi that enabled him to evade any further police attention. A 25-year old, Alexsandr Kravchenko, with a previous rape conviction, was arrested and confessed to the crime under duress, probably as a result of extensive and brutal interrogation. He was tried for the killing of Lena Zakotnova, and executed in 1984.
American painter who was a leading exponent of Abstract Expressionism, an art movement characterized by the free-associative gestures in paint sometimes referred to as “action painting.” During his lifetime he received widespread publicity and serious recognition for the radical poured, or “drip,” technique he used to create his major works. Among his contemporaries, he was respected for his deeply personal and totally uncompromising commitment to the art of painting. His work and example had enormous influence on them and on many subsequent art movements in the United States. He is also one of the first American painters to be recognized during his lifetime and after as a peer of 20th-century European masters of modern art.
Ed Gein was obsessively devoted to his mother, a religious fanatic. After her death, Gein began robbing graves––keeping body parts as trophies, practicing necrophilia, and experimenting with human taxidermy. He then turned to murder, killing at least two women in 1957. Gein inspired film characters Norman Bates, Hannibal Lecter, and Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Serial killer Joel Rifkin killed 17 women in the 1990s before the police tried to pull him over for a missing license plate (and discovered his latest victim).
A look at the turbulent life of the Israeli Prime Minister beloved by right-wingers but hated by Palestinians. A great military commander who scored impressive victories in the 1967 and '73 Arab-Israeli wars Sharon blundered in the '80s as mastermind of the disastrous invasion of Lebanon. As one of the architects of Israel's West Bank settlement policy Sharon walks a political tightrope trying to maintain Israeli security while offering Palestinians limited self-determination.
South Africa’s worst serial killer was found guilty in 1997 of 38 murders and 40 rapes. What drove Moses Sithole to commit his heinous crimes?
erial killer. Born Pedro Alonzo Lopez in 1949 in Tolmia, Colombia. The son of a prostitute, Lopez grew up in a world of poverty and political violence. His mother kicked him out at age eight, forcing him to fend for himself on the streets. After being raped and practically starving to death, he ended up at a school for orphans. By his mid-teens, Lopez had left school and returned to Colombia where he took to stealing cars. He ended up in prison where he was brutally gang raped. He retaliated by killing each of his assailants and was released in 1978. Following his release, Lopez claimed to have raped and killed at least 100 girls from various Indian tribes throughout the region. In 1980, while in police custody, Lopez revealed that he had performed similar grisly acts with more than 100 others throughout Peru and Colombia. Police were skeptical at first, but Lopez escorted agents to his burial sites, where they uncovered 81 bodies. Though it is impossible to know exactly how many lives Lopez took, some guess the number to be more than 300. In late 1980, Lopez was convicted on multiple counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
William Hurt narrates this profile of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), "a loner thrown into the public eye," which recalls his social causes and scientific achievements. Featured: interviews with colleagues, including fellow Nobel laureate Linus Pauling; archival footage; excerpts from his speeches and writings.
A legend in his own time, he was once simply T.E. Lawrence, a child fascinated by archaeology. He grew up to work for British Military Intelligence, and ultimately joined the Arab Revolts. But what drove Lawrence in his passionate fight for Arab independence? This profile provides remarkable insights into the man whose romantic and violent story captivated the world.
An overview of Jayne Mansfield's life and tragic death.
Born in 1788, Lord Byron was one of the leading figures of the Romantic Movement in early 19th century England. The notoriety of his sexual escapades is surpassed only by the beauty and brilliance of his writings. After leading an unconventional lifestyle and producing a massive amount of emotion-stirring literary works, Byron died at a young age in Greece pursuing romantic adventures of heroism.
Don Adams from the show Biography profiles the popular TV actor, best known for his hit series "Get Smart." The Manhattan native began his show business career as a stage comic. After winning three Emmys as Maxwell Smart, Adams went on to a successful career as a voice actor on "Inspector Gadget" and "Spike & Mike."