French clown, actor, writer, sleight-of-hand expert, and director Pierre Étaix has passed away at age 87. With all the scary clown talk of late, let us pay tribute to a gentler, more thoughtful form of clowning. His 1962 short Happy Anniversary won the 1963 Best Short Subject Academy Award, and he is most well-known for his 1965 feature-length comedy Yo Yo, about a wealthy heir who just wants to be a clown. [more inside]
Rest in peace, Terence Bayler - groundbreaking NZ actor, Monty Python alum, and so much more. [more inside]
In 1969 Marty Feldman was quite successful, in the second year of his own hit skit comedy show, so BBC gave him an hour of prime time television for a reality-based show. The result was One Pair of Eyes, a personal look at comedy and writing, with guests including Barry Took, Peter Sellers, and Dudley Moore. In 2011, almost 30 years after Feldman's death, BBC looked back at the forgotten legend and "missing link" between the golden age of BBC Radio comedy, the hothouse of 1960s television comedy, and finally Hollywood in the documentary Marty Feldman: Six Degrees of Separation. For more, there's The Official Marty Feldman (fan)site, which has a ton of great content, and has been posting television clips and movies from Marty's career on Vimeo for almost a year. [more inside]
Two weeks ago, workers announced the highly publicized formation of Stardust Family United under the Industrial Workers of the World, which is supported by over 70 employees of Ellen's Stardust Diner, a restaurant in midtown Manhattan recently profiled for by the New York Times. Ken Sturm, owner, then fired six long-time employees in retaliation for their efforts to form a union to protect and improve their working conditions. Ellen's, a diner which primarily employs Broadway and off-Broadway singers, has been a mainstay source of income for many since 1995.
David Huddleston, who portrayed the Big Lebowski as well as the mayor in Blazing Saddles and countless other character parts in movies and tv, passed away Tuesday in his Santa Fe home at 85. [more inside]
Which Actors Are Hated by Critics but Loved by Fans? Not a listicle.
RIP Bud Spencer (born Carlo Pedersoli, 31 October 1929 – 27 June 2016). Italian actor, swimmer, and politician, he rose to international fame playing Trinity's portly half-brother in 1970s spaghetti westerns "They Call me Trinity" and "Trinity is Still my Name", setting off a multi-decade film career with his frequent co-conspirator, Terence Hill.
Doris Roberts, an ubiquitous stage and screen actor from the United States, passed away April 17th at the age of 90. [more inside]
Victoria Wood - comedian, actress, singer and songwriter, screenwriter and director - has passed away at 62 on 20 April 2016, after a short battle with cancer. [more inside]
Francis Wayne "Frank" Sinatra, better known as Frank Sinatra Jr, died March 16th 2016 aged 72 of a heart attack while on tour in Florida. [more inside]
What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (*If you’re not a straight white man.) (SLNYTimes, Interactive)
Creed's star, Michael B. Jordan, and director, Ryan Coogler, talk about film and race. [more inside]
"Wayne Rogers, best known for playing Captain 'Trapper' John McIntyre on TV comedy series 'M.A.S.H.,' died Thursday in Los Angeles from complications of pneumonia. He was 82." [more inside]
Robert Loggia, Rugged but Versatile Character Actor, Dies at 85 [New York Times]
Robert Loggia, an Oscar-nominated actor who had a durable career in television and movies, notably in Brian De Palma’s gangster film “Scarface” and Penny Marshall’s comedy “Big,” died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 85. His wife, Audrey Loggia, said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease. “He struggled with Alzheimer’s disease for five years,” she said. “It just took its natural progression.”
As Johnny Depp goes bald for Black Mass, we hail the most startling cinematic metamorphoses. [slGuardian]
RIP actor Warren Mitchell who had significant career on both stage and screen but will always be best remembered for playing the iconic and controversial bigot, Alf Garnett in the British television series Till Death Us Do Part and In Sickness and in Health [more inside]
Fred Thompson, actor and senator who ran for president, dies at 73 - "An attorney who worked on the Watergate hearings, Thompson became a successful character actor after playing himself in the 1985 film Marie, based on a case in which he represented a whistleblower who exposed corruption in the government of Tennessee. He went on to be star in the TV series Law & Order." [more inside]
Maureen O'Hara, Irish-born star of The Quiet Man and more, dies aged 95. [The Guardian] [more inside]
...if I’m honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem “difficult” or “spoiled.” At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being “difficult” or “spoiled.”Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence on the wage gap between male and female actors
Catherine Coulson, Log Lady on ‘Twin Peaks,’ Dies at 71 [Variety]
Catherine Coulson, who played the Log Lady on David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” and was set to return to the new Showtime version, has died. She was 71. She died Monday of cancer, according to KOBI-TV NBC 5 in Oregon. She reprised the Log Lady role in the feature “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and more recently, she appeared on an episode of “Portlandia” and in the film “Redwood Highway.”[more inside]
Famed Shakespearean actor Sir Patrick Stewart recently appeared on NPR to perform a dramatic rendition of T. A. Swift's classic work, Blank Space.
Dean Jones dies at 84; starred in 'The Love Bug,' 'That Darn Cat!' and 'Beethoven'. He is also remembered for originating the role of Bobby in Stephen Sondheim's Company.
Kyle Jean-Baptiste died in an accident on Friday at the age of 21. Mr. Jean-Baptiste joined the company of Les Miserables this summer after his college graduation, and became the first African-American man to play Jean Valjean on Broadway on June 23, while understudying the role. He recently announced on Facebook that he would be joining the Broadway cast of The Color Purple alongside Jennifer Hudson. His last performance as Valjean was on Thursday night. [more inside]
Roger Rees has passed away at the age of 71. Mr. Rees, who most recently starred in The Visit on Broadway with Chita Rivera, won the Olivier and Tony Awards for Nicholas Nickleby. Among his many memorable roles on television, Rees created the roles of Robin Colcord on Cheers and Lord John Marbury on The West Wing. He is survived by his husband, and partner of more than 30 years, Rick Elice. [more inside]
[slatlantic] Are you telling me there’s nothing there worth playing?
Omar Sharif, 83, a Star in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Doctor Zhivago,’ Dies. [New York Times]
Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor who rode out of the desert in the 1962 screen epic “Lawrence of Arabia” into a glamorous if brief reign as an international star in films like “Dr. Zhivago” and “The Night of the Generals,” died on Friday in Cairo. He was 83. His death, at a hospital, was caused by a heart attack, his agent, Steve Kenis, said. Mr. Sharif — who later became as well known for his mastery of bridge as he was for his acting — was a commanding, darkly handsome presence on screen. He was multilingual as well, and comfortable in almost any role or cultural setting.
Intense-eyed character actor and frequent Clint Eastwood collaborator Geoffrey Lewis, father of Juliette Lewis, died april 7th in his home, of natural causes. [more inside]
Despite the mass appeal of music videos and the awesome amount of talent it takes to create them, IMDb has never cataloged these works like they do other short films. Now along to fill this niche is the Internet Music Video Database (IMVDb), a similar website for seeking and contributing information about music videos. Highlights include new releases, popular videos, upcoming videos, crew commentary tracks, and awards info. The website also has a podcast, a twitter, and a blog, where the editors have recently discussed the most popular music videos of 2014, listed their own year end favorites, and explained why the 2010s are a new Golden Age of music videos. (Extensive geekery inside!) [more inside]
"'I'm not that kind of guy. He was a physical man,' Hackman said of Popeye [Doyle] in the Ebert interview. 'We had to go back and re-shoot the first two days of scenes because I hadn't gotten into the character enough. I wasn't physical enough.'" (Steven Hyden's piece on actor Gene Hackman at Grantland.) [more inside]
Comedian and actor Taylor Negron, dead at 57 from cancer You may remember him from such movies as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Better Off Dead, or The Last Boy Scout. You may also remember him from his work as a writer and producer, notably in The Aristocrats. [more inside]
Broadway's Patrick Page Shares His Personal Struggle with Depression The night I heard that Robin Williams died, I slept very little. And it wasn't just grief keeping me awake. It was fear. I know my depression is lurking just around the corner-waiting. As Harvey Fierstein says, "All it wants to do is get you alone in a room and kill you."
DA Hamilton Burger may be the best-known loser of early TV, but his portrayer William Talman's life (content excerpted from the Perry Mason TV show book) was far more interesting. At the height of his fame in 1960, Talman arrested at a nude pot party, and was fired and blacklisted as a result. It took Raymond Burr, the cast, and the fans to eventually get him his job back. At the end of his life, on the verge of dying, he made a powerful anti-smoking PSA (the PSA itself)
Bob Hoskins, legendary British actor, has died aged 71. He is perhaps best known for his roles in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (clip), Hook (clip), Mona Lisa and The Long Good Friday, where he delivered one of the best movie endings ever. [more inside]
Filmmaker IQ offers an extensive variety of free online courses, articles and tutorial videos for aspiring filmmakers. Their image gallery is also fun to browse through. [more inside]
James Rebhorn, an actor often playing a man in a suit, Dies at 65 after a 12-year struggle with skin cancer.
Mr. Rebhorn had memorable supporting roles in major films and worked consistently in television and theater. He appeared in more than 50 films, including “Meet the Parents,” “Independence Day,” “My Cousin Vinny” and “Cold Mountain.”He penned his own obituary which can be read here.
Richard Pryor moved to New York City in 1963, where he performed regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. He even opened for singer and pianist Nina Simone, who talked of his early nervousness, when she put her "arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down." You can see something of that young man in this clip of Pryor singing a bit of jazzy blues in 1966. The performance is also available on YouTube with slightly better quality, but faded in from different scene. [more inside]
5 Minutes With Kumar, episodes 2 - 3 - 4
The Rituals of Kumar
“THE YOUNG AGE IS A STUPID AGE”
NO HUSTLE, NO BUSTLE
An interview with Kumar Pallana (1918-2013).
The Rituals of Kumar
“THE YOUNG AGE IS A STUPID AGE”
NO HUSTLE, NO BUSTLE
An interview with Kumar Pallana (1918-2013).
Daniel Radcliffe’s Next Trick Is to Make Harry Potter Disappear (slnyt profile, via) [more inside]
Lois Weber was an important early American film-maker who pushed the boundaries of film-making so she could better tell the stories she wanted to tell. Several of her early silent films are on youtube: Suspense (1913; ~10 minutes) (she directs herself, experiments with the split-screen view and unusual and effective camera angles including shots from above and using the car's side mirror); Hypocrites (1915; ~4 minutes) (featuring dual roles, nudity, and a strong use of techniques like multiple exposures and complex editing - as well as a strong moral message); and Where Are My Children (1916, ~1 hour, 10 minutes) (a complex and controversial film even then about birth control (pro) and abortion (anti)). [more inside]
In 2008 the actor Rupert Everett hosted (seemingly from his apartment) a rather strange documentary: The Victorian Sex Explorer ( 2 3 4 5 ), an attempt to follow in the footsteps of famed Explorer, translator, and author Sir Richard Burton and convince us of Sir Burton's passion for sexual experimentation while laying in lots of bathhouses and visiting brothels. [more inside]
What Does D-Day, MLK JR and Tennessee Williams have in common? NO, not that D-Day. The other D-Day. [more inside]
"Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice — pull down your pants, and slide on the ice." - Dr. Sidney Freedman, M*A*S*H. Allan Arbus, actor, photographer, and amateur clarinetist, passed away last Friday. He was 95. [more inside]
Richard Griffiths, star of stage and screen, perhaps globally best known for his role as Harry Potter's ill-willed uncle, has died at the age of 65 due to complications from heart surgery. [more inside]
Actor Richard Burton's diaries were published last fall, and are reviewed: Richard Burton Was A Great Writer, Richard Burton's Notes To A Modern Journaler, The Great Actor Who Hated Acting, For Love Of Lit And Liz [more inside]
Whoopi Goldberg Hugs Autistic Star Trek Fan on Dutch TV SLYT. Found on reddit here
"Oh, Anne! With your small head and pert nose and oversized, ready smile and glossy pixie cut and squeakily tuneful speaking voice, uttering lines like “It came true!” as you gaze at your newly won Oscar with moistened doe-eyes, wearing a powder-pink Prada gown adorned with diamonds and bows: Why are you so annoying?"