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Drawing on data from well-known actors in popular films and TV shows, this reference guide surveys the representation of accent in North American film and TV over eight decades. It analyses the speech of 180 film and television performances from the 1930s to today, looking at how that speech has changed, how it reflects the regional backgrounds, gender and ethnic ancestry of the actors, and how phonetic variation and change in the 'real world' have been both portrayed in, and possibly influenced by, film and television speech. It also clearly explains the technical concepts necessary for understanding the phonetic analysis of accents. Providing new insights into the role of language in the expression of North American cultural identity, this is essential reading for researchers and advanced students in linguistics, film, television and media studies, and North American studies, as well as the larger community interested in film and television.