By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Tuesday July 3, 2012 @ 9:06am PDTTags: Julian Goodman, NBC
Julian Goodman, a former president of NBC who tussled often with the Nixon administration and signed Johnny Carson to a record-breaking contract to remain on The Tonight Show, died Monday in Florida. He was 90. The NY Times said he died of kidney failure. Goodman became NBC’s president in 1965 and with other network bosses worked to end the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to give equal time to opposing political opinions. He also was the network chief who advocated for David Brinkley and Chet Huntley to anchor the 1956 Democratic and Republican national conventions, a team that went on to anchor NBC’s newscasts for 14 years. Goodman also had to apologize to viewers after NBC cut away from a national broadcast of an NFL game so the network could air the movie Heidi as scheduled — the network cut away from a game the Oakland Raiders won in the final minutes, angering sports fans watching the contest. Goodman also produced the second televised Nixon-Kennedy debate in 1960, and he eventually was considered a political opponent of Nixon. (The LA Times says Goodman was proud to be on the president’s “enemies list”.)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ernest Borgnine, the beefy screen star known for blustery, often villainous roles, but who won the best-actor Oscar for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in "Marty" in 1955, died Sunday. He was 95.
His longtime spokesman, Harry Flynn, told The Associated Press that Borgnine died of renal failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with his wife and children at his side.
Borgnine, who endeared himself to a generation of Baby Boomers with the 1960s TV comedy "McHale's Navy," first attracted notice in the early 1950s in villain roles, notably as the vicious Fatso Judson, who beat Frank Sinatra to death in "From Here to Eternity."
Then came "Marty," a low-budget film based on a Paddy Chayefsky television play that starred Rod Steiger. Borgnine played a 34-year-old who fears he is so unattractive he will never find romance. Then, at a dance, he meets a girl with the same fear.
"Sooner or later, there comes a point in a man's life when he's gotta face some facts," Marty movingly tells his mother at one point in the film. "And one fact I gotta face is that, whatever it is that women like, I ain't got it. I chased after enough girls in my life. I-I went to enough dances. I got hurt enough. I don't wanna get hurt no more."
The realism of Chayefsky's prose and Delbert Mann's sensitive direction astonished audiences accustomed to happy Hollywood formulas. Borgnine won the Oscar and awards from the Cannes Film Festival, New York Critics and National Board of Review.
Mann and Chayefsky also won Oscars, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hailed the $360,000 "Marty" as best picture over big-budget contenders "The Rose Tattoo," ''Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing," ''Picnic" and "Mister Roberts."
"The Oscar made me a star, and I'm grateful," Borgnine told an interviewer in 1966. "But I feel had I not won the Oscar I wouldn't have gotten into the messes I did in my personal life."
Those messes included four failed marriages, including one in 1964 to singer Ethel Merman that lasted less than six weeks.
But Borgnine's fifth marriage, in 1973 to Norwegian-born Tova Traesnaes, endured and brought with it an interesting business partnership. She manufactured and sold her own beauty products under the name of Tova and used her husband's rejuvenated face in her ads.
During a 2007 interview with the AP, Borgnine expressed delight that their union had reached 34 years. "That's longer than the total of my four other marriages," he commented, laughing heartily.
Although still not a marquee star until after "Marty," the roles of heavies started coming regularly after "From Here to Eternity." Among the films: "Bad Day at Black Rock," ''Johnny Guitar," ''Demetrius and the Gladiators," ''Vera Cruz."
Director Nick Ray advised the actor: "Get out of Hollywood in two years or you'll be typed forever." Then came the Oscar, and Borgnine's career was assured.
He played a sensitive role opposite Bette Davis in another film based on a Chayefsky TV drama, "The Catered Affair," a film that was a personal favorite. It concerned a New York taxi driver and his wife who argued over the expense of their daughter's wedding.
But producers also continued casting Borgnine in action films such as "Three Bad Men," ''The Vikings," ''Torpedo Run," ''Barabbas," ''The Dirty Dozen" and "The Wild Bunch."
Then he successfully made the transition to TV comedy.
From 1962 to 1966, Borgnine — a Navy vet himself — starred in "McHale's Navy" as the commander of a World War II PT boat with a crew of misfits and malcontents. Obviously patterned after Phil Silvers' popular Sgt. Bilko, McHale was a con artist forever tricking his superior, Capt. Binghamton, played by the late Joe Flynn.
The cast took the show to the big screen in 1964 with a "McHale's Navy" movie.
"We lost another great guy today," tweeted actress Barbara Eden, who starred in another 1960s television show, "I Dream of Jeannie."
Borgnine's later films included "Ice Station Zebra," ''The Adventurers," ''Willard," ''The Poseidon Adventure," ''The Greatest" (as Muhammad Ali's manager), "Convoy," ''Ravagers," ''Escape from New York," ''Moving Target" and "Mistress."
More recently, Borgnine had a recurring role as the apartment house doorman-cum-chef in the NBC sitcom "The Single Guy." He had a small role in the unsuccessful 1997 movie version of "McHale's Navy." And he was the voice of Mermaid Man on "SpongeBob SquarePants" and Carface on "All Dogs Go to Heaven 2."
"I don't care whether a role is 10 minutes long or two hours," he remarked in 1973. "And I don't care whether my name is up there on top, either. Matter of fact, I'd rather have someone else get top billing; then if the picture bombs, he gets the blame, not me."
Ermes Efron Borgnino was born in Hamden, Conn., on Jan. 24, 1917, the son of Italian immigrant parents. The family lived in Milan when the boy was 2 to 7, then returned to Connecticut, where he attended school in New Haven.
Borgnine joined the Navy in 1935 and served on a destroyer during World War II. He weighed 135 pounds when he enlisted. He left the Navy 10 years later, weighing exactly 100 pounds more.
"I wouldn't trade those 10 years for anything," he said in 1956. "The Navy taught me a lot of things. It molded me as a man, and I made a lot of wonderful friends."
For a time he contemplated taking a job with an air conditioning company. But his mother persuaded him to enroll at the Randall School of Dramatic Arts in Hartford. He stayed four months, the only formal training he received.
He appeared in repertory at the Barter Theater in Virginia, toured as a hospital attendant in "Harvey" and played a villain on TV's "Captain Video."
After earning $2,300 in 1951, Borgnine almost accepted a position with an electrical company. But the job fell through, and he returned to acting, moving into a modest house in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley.
His first marriage was to Rhoda Kenins, whom he met when she was a Navy pharmacist's mate and he was a patient. They had a daughter, but the marriage ended in divorce after his "Marty" stardom.
Borgnine married Mexican actress Katy Jurado in 1959, and their marriage resulted in headlined squabbles from Hollywood to Rome before it ended in 1964.
In 1963, he and Merman startled the show business world by announcing, after a month's acquaintance, that they would marry when his divorce from Jurado became final. The Broadway singing star and the movie tough guy seemed to have nothing in common, and their marriage ended in 38 days after a fierce battle.
"If you blinked, you missed it," Merman once cracked.
Next came one-time child actress Donna Rancourt, with whom Borgnine had a daughter, and finally his happy union with Tova.
On Jan. 24, 2007, Borgnine celebrated his 90th birthday with a party for friends and family at a West Hollywood bistro. He seemed little changed from his years as a lusty villain or sympathetic hero on the screen. His only concession to age had come at 88 when he gave up driving the bus he would take around the country, stopping to talk with local folks along the way.
During an interview at the time, Borgnine complained that he wanted to continue acting but most studio executives kept asking, "Is he still alive?"
"I just want to do more work," he said. "Every time I step in front of a camera I feel young again. I really do. It keeps your mind active and it keeps you going."
I didnt have internet till today... but i will like to say than i am very sad for Andy Griffiths death he is my favourite Tv-Actor and MAtlock was my favourite lawyer and one of my all time favourite tv-shows. i am very sad for his lost. and it is a pity he didnt got any emmy
NEW YORK (AP) — Celeste Holm, a versatile, bright-eyed blonde who soared to Broadway fame in "Oklahoma!" and won an Oscar in "Gentleman's Agreement" but whose last years were filled with financial difficulty and estrangement from her sons, died Sunday, a relative said. She was 95.
Holm had been hospitalized about two weeks ago with dehydration after a fire in actor Robert De Niro's apartment in the same Manhattan building. She had asked her husband on Friday to bring her home, and she spent her final days with her husband, Frank Basile, and other relatives and close friends by her side, said Amy Phillips, a great-niece of Holm's who answered the phone at Holm's apartment on Sunday.
Holm died around 3:30 a.m. at her longtime apartment on Central Park West, Phillips said.
"I think she wanted to be here, in her home, among her things, with people who loved her," she said.
In a career that spanned more than half a century, Holm played everyone from Ado Annie — the girl who just can't say no in "Oklahoma!"— to a worldly theatrical agent in the 1991 comedy "I Hate Hamlet" to guest star turns on TV shows such as "Fantasy Island" and "Love Boat II" to Bette Davis' best friend in "All About Eve."
She won the Academy Award in 1947 for best supporting actress for her performance in "Gentlemen's Agreement" and received Oscar nominations for "Come to the Stable" (1949) and "All About Eve" (1950).
Holm was also known for her untiring charity work — at one time she served on nine boards — and was a board member emeritus of the National Mental Health Association.
She was once president of the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center, which treats emotionally disturbed people using arts therapies. Over the years, she raised $20,000 for UNICEF by charging 50 cents apiece for autographs.
President Ronald Reagan appointed her to a six-year term on the National Council on the Arts in 1982. In New York, she was active in the Save the Theatres Committee and was once arrested during a vigorous protest against the demolition of several theaters.
But late in her life she was in a bitter, multi-year legal family battle that pitted her two sons against her and her fifth husband — former waiter Basile, whom she married in 2004 and was more than 45 years her junior. The court fight over investments and inheritance wiped away much of her savings and left her dependent on Social Security. The actress and her sons no longer spoke, and she was sued for overdue maintenance and legal fees on her Manhattan apartment.
The future Broadway star was born in New York on April 29, 1919, the daughter of Norwegian-born Theodore Holm, who worked for the American branch of Lloyd's of London, and Jean Parke Holm, a painter and writer.
She was smitten by the theater as a 3-year-old when her grandmother took her to see ballerina Anna Pavlova. "There she was, being tossed in midair, caught, no mistakes, no falls. She never knew what an impression she made," Holm recalled years later.
She attended 14 schools growing up, including the Lycee Victor Duryui in Paris when her mother was there for an exhibition of her paintings. She studied ballet for 10 years.
Her first Broadway success came in 1939 in the cast of William Saroyan's "The Time of Your Life." But it was her creation of the role of man-crazy Ado Annie Carnes in the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical "Oklahoma!" in 1943 that really impressed the critics.
She only auditioned for the role because of World War II, she said years later. "There was a need for entertainers in Army camps and hospitals. The only way you could do that was if you were singing in something."
Holm was hired by La Vie Parisienne, and later by the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel to sing to their late-night supper club audiences after the "Oklahoma!" curtain fell.
The slender, blue-eyed blonde moved west to pursue a film career. "Hollywood is a good place to learn how to eat a salad without smearing your lipstick," she would say.
"Oscar Hammerstein told me, 'You won't like it,'" and he was right, she said. Hollywood "was just too artificial. The values are entirely different. That balmy climate is so deceptive." She returned to New York after several years.
Her well-known films included "The Tender Trap" and "High Society" but others were less memorable. "I made two movies I've never even seen," she told an interviewer in 1991.
She attributed her drive to do charity work to her grandparents and parents who "were always volunteers in every direction."
She said she learned first-hand the power of empathy in 1943 when she performed in a ward of mental patients and got a big smile from one man she learned later had been uncommunicative for six months.
"I suddenly realized with a great sense of impact how valuable we are to each other," she said.
In 1979 she was knighted by King Olav of Norway.
In her early 70s, an interviewer asked if she had ever thought of retiring. "No. What for?" she replied. "If people retired, we wouldn't have had Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud ... I think it's very important to hang on as long as we can."
In the 1990s, Holm and Gerald McRainey starred in the CBS's "Promised Land," a spinoff of "Touched by an Angel." In 1995, she joined such stars as Tony Randall and Jerry Stiller to lobby for state funding for the arts in Albany, N.Y. Her last big screen role was as Brendan Fraser's grandmother in the romance "Still Breathing."
Holm was married five times and is survived by two sons and three grandchildren. Her marriage in 1938 to director Ralph Nelson lasted a year but produced a son, Theodor Holm Nelson. In 1940, she married Francis Davies, an English auditor. In 1946, she married airline public relations executive A. Schuyler Dunning and they had a son, Daniel Dunning.
During her fourth marriage, to actor Robert Wesley Addy, whom she married in 1966, the two appeared together on stage when they could. In the mid-1960s, when neither had a project going, they put together a two person show called "Interplay — An Evening of Theater-in-Concert" that toured the United States and was sent abroad by the State Department. Addy died in 1996.
Funeral arrangements for Holm haven't been made. The family is asking that any memorial donations be made to UNICEF or to The Lillian Booth Actors Home of The Actors Fund in Englewood, N.J.
William Asher, the prolific writer-director of such groundbreaking TV sitcoms as I Love Lucy, Bewitched, Gidget and Our Miss Brooks, died today in Palm Springs, according to local reports. He was 90.
Asher’s first gig in the beginning days of TV was adapting his short stories for the anthology series Invitation Playhouse, which he also directed. In the early 1950s, CBS asked him to shoot a pilot starring movie actress Eve Arden that became Our Miss Brooks. (When the network came calling for the gig, according to Asher in a later interview, he asked, “What did a television director do”?) He soon was hired to try his hand on another sitcom that was struggling in its first season, I Love Lucy. He went on to direct more than 100 episodes of the series.
He eventually worked with pretty much every TV legend-to-be there was from Danny Thomas to Dinah Shore to Sally Field, on shows ranging from The Patty Duke Show, which he co-created with Sidney Sheldon, to The Thin Man, the Linda Lavin-starring Alice, Private Benjamin, and Harper Valley. He also wrote and directed several ’60s-era beach-blanket movies, including Beach Blanket Bingo starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. In 1963 he married his Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery, and they had three children together before splitting in 1973. He won the Best Director Emmy for the series in 1966. He retired in 1991.
Tom Davis, one half of the comedy team Franken and Davis that also included comedian-turned-Minnesota senator Al Franken, died Thursday at his Hudson, N.Y. home of throat and neck cancer, the New York Times reports. Davis was 59.
Franken and Davis grew up in Minnesota together and performed skits in high school. They later served as some of the earliest writers for "Saturday Night Live," joining the show in 1975, also appearing occasionally in skits on the series. The pair contributed to some of the most memorable moments in the series' nascent days, helping to craft the Coneheads characters. Davis also worked with Dan Aykroyd on the latter's famous imitation of celebrity chef Julia Child, during which Aykroyd-as-Child bleeds to death after a grave kitchen injury.
The pair also wrote the screenplay and appeared in the 1986 comedy "One More Saturday Night," and had cameos in "Trading Places" and "The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash."
Though Davis was overshadowed by Franken, he won his share of accolades, including three shared Emmys for his work on "SNL," and another for his work on 1977's "The Paul Simon Special."
Davis originally wrote for "SNL" from 1975 to 1980, and returned for another run that lasted from 1986 to 1994. Though he retired in the mid-1990s, he occasionally continued to write for the show as late as 2003.
In addition to his work for the big and small screen, Davis also penned a memoir, “Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL From Someone Who Was There,” which was published in 2009.
Davis is survived by his wife, Mimi Raleigh, as well as his brother Robert and mother Jean Davis.
By NIKKI FINKE | Monday July 23, 2012 @ 11:22am PDT
Exceptional screenwriter and director Frank Pierson who became presidents of both the Writers Guild, West, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has died, according to his manager. He was 87. Gentlemanly yet ornery, meticulous yet creative, Pierson compiled a remarkable writing resume, starting in the 1950s with television shows like Have Gun – Will Travel and Playhouse 90, followed by five decades of films like Cat Ballou (screenplay by Walter Newman and Frank R. Pierson), Dog Day Afternoon (screenplay by Frank Pierson), A Star Is Born (screenplay by Joan Didion & John Gregory Dunne and Frank Pierson), In Country (screenplay by Frank Pierson and Cynthia Cidre), and Presumed Innocent (screenplay by Frank Pierson and Alan J. Pakula). In his later years he worked for HBO as a consulting producer on Mad Men. He also wrote some of the most iconic quotes in motion picture history, as the WGA itself pointed out: “Odds are, all of you know the famous line he came up with while writing 1967’s Cool Hand Luke (screenplay by Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson): “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” The line was not in Pearce’s original novel. (“The phrase just sort of appeared on the page. I looked at it and thought, ‘Now that’s interesting.’” Pierson to the WGA described his process this way: “Sit down at 10 o’clock in the morning and write anything that comes into my head until 12. One of the few things I’ve discovered about writing is to form a habit that becomes an addiction so that if you don’t put something down on paper every day, you get really mean and awful with withdrawal symptoms, and your wife and your dog and your kids are going to kick your ass until you get back to it because they can’t bear you in that state of mind.”
Pierson was born in Chappaqua, NY and attended Harvard. (Pierson’s parents, family and their lives, were the subject of the 1945 film Roughly Speaking, starring Rosalind Russell and Jack Carson.) He got his break in Hollywood in 1958 as scripted editor for Have Gun, Will Travel and moved on to write for the television series Naked City, Route 66 and others. He went on to write or co-write many notable Academy Award-nominated films including Cat Ballou and Cool Hand Luke. It was Dog Day Afternoon which won Pierson his Oscar. He directed and contributed to the screenplay of A Star Is Born. The in-fighting on the film between himself, Barbra Streisand, her boyfriend/producer Jon Peters, and Kris Kristofferson led him to write the notorious and controversial article “My Battles With Barbra And Jon” in New West magazine. Many flt that his talking-out-of-school about Hollywood bigwigs irreparably damaged his career.
Later Pierson directed several notable films produced for television, including Dirty Pictures, Citizen Cohn, Conspiracy (which won him a Directors’ Guild Award for Best Television Movie, and his second Peabody and BAFTA Award), and Somebody Has To Shoot The Picture.
He was President of the Writers Guild of America, West, from 1981—1983 and again from 1993—1995. He also was President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences from 2001-2005. In 2003, Pierson was the recipient of the Austin Film Festival’s Distinguished Screenwriter Award. He also was a member of the teaching staff of Sundance Institute, and Artistic Director of the American Film Institute.
He was recently a consulting producer for both "The Good Wife" and "Mad Men."
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — George Jefferson was a bigot. A loudmouth. Rude. Obsessed with money. Arrogant. And yet he was one of the most enjoyable, beloved characters in television history.
Much of that credit belongs to Sherman Hemsley, the gifted character actor who gave life to the blustering black Harlem businessman on "The Jeffersons," one of TV's longest running and most successful sitcoms — particularly noteworthy with its mostly black cast.
The Philadelphia-born Hemsley, who police said late Tuesday died at his home in El Paso, Texas, at age 74, first played George Jefferson on the CBS show "All in the Family" before he was spun off onto "The Jeffersons." The sitcom ran for 11 seasons from 1975 to 1985.
With the gospel-style theme song of "Movin' On Up," the hit show depicted the wealthy former neighbors of Archie and Edith Bunker in Queens as they made their way on New York's Upper East Side. Hemsley and the Jeffersons (Isabel Sanford played his wife) often dealt with contemporary issues of racism, but more frequently reveled in the sitcom archetype of a short-tempered, opinionated patriarch trying, often unsuccessfully, to control his family.
Hemsley's feisty, diminutive father with an exaggerated strut was a kind of black corollary to Archie Bunker — a stubborn, high-strung man who had a deep dislike for whites (his favorite word for them was honkies). Yet unlike the blue-collar Bunker, played by Carroll O'Connor, he was a successful businessman whose was as rich as he was crass. His wife, Weezie, was often his foil — yet provided plenty of zingers as well.
Despite the character's many faults — money-driven, prejudiced, temperamental, a boor — Hemsley managed to make the character endearing, part of the reason it stayed on the air for so long. Much like O'Connor's portrayal of Archie Bunker, deep down, Hemsley's Jefferson loved his family, his friends (even the ones he relentlessly teased) and had a good heart. His performance was Emmy and Golden Globe nominated.
"He was a love of a guy" and "immensely talented," Norman Lear, producer of "The Jeffersons" and "All in the Family," said after learning of his death. El Paso police said the actor was found dead at a home where neighbors said he'd lived for years, and that no foul play is suspected.
"When the Jeffersons moved in next door to the Bunkers, I wanted to deliver the George Jefferson who could stand up to Archie Bunker," Lear recalled Tuesday. "It took some weeks before I remembered having seen Sherman in 'Purlie' on Broadway."
Hemsley read for the part and "the minute he opened his mouth he was George Jefferson," Lear said. Hemsley was smaller than O'Connor's Archie but "he was every bit as strong as Archie," Lear said.
Sherman Alexander Hemsley, though, was far less feisty. The son of a printing press-working father and a factory-working mother, Hemsley served in the Air Force and worked for eight years as a clerk for the Postal Service.
Having studied acting as an adolescent at the Philadelphia Academy of Dramatic Arts, he began acting in New York workshops and theater companies, including the Negro Ensemble Company. For years, he kept his job at the post office while acting at night, before transitioning to acting full-time.
He made his Broadway debut in 1970's "Purlie," a musical adaptation of Ossie Davis' Jim Crow-era play "Purlie Victorious." (Hemsley would later star in a 1981 made-for-TV version of "Purlie," as well.) It was while touring the show that Hemsley was approached by Lear about playing a character on the sitcom that would become "All in the Family."
Hemsley joined the show in 1973, immediately catapulting himself from an obscure theater actor to a hit character on the enormously popular show. Two years later, "The Jeffersons" was spun off. Among the numerous "All in the Family" spin-offs ("Maude," ''Archie Bunker's Place, "704 Hauser"), "The Jeffersons" ran the longest.
The character, the owner of a chain of dry-cleaning stores, was devised, Hemsley said, as "pompous and feisty."
"All of it was really hard ... because — rude, I don't like to be that way," Hemsley said in a 2003 interview for the Archive of American Television. "But it was the character, I had to do it. I had to be true to the character. If I was to pull back something, then it just wouldn't work."
And he brought some of his hometown with him. "That dance I do (as George Jefferson), it's the Philly Slop," he told the Philadelphia Daily News in 1996.
After "The Jeffersons" was abruptly cancelled, Hemsley starred in the sitcom "Amen" as a fiery Philadelphia church deacon, Ernest Frye. The show latest five years, running 1986 to 1991.
Jackee Harry, a longtime friend who made appearances on the show, said she and Hemsley had planned to tour in the musical "Ain't Misbehavin'''. She said they had discussed it recently and that he seemed in good health and in good spirits.
"It's a sad, sad, sad day," she said from her home in Beverly Hills, Calif.
She recalled when the two of them were on a Manhattan sidewalk during the era of "The Jeffersons," and passers-by went wild.
"He got mauled and mugged," she laughed. "He said, 'What's all the screaming about?' He was so popular and he didn't even know it."
She described him as "a very private person unlike George Jefferson. But he was very kind and very sweet, and generous to a fault."
Hemsley frequently turned up as a guest on sitcoms like "Family Matters," ''The Hughleys" and even, in a voice role, "Family Guy." He twice reprised George Jefferson, appearing as his famous character on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and, in 2011, on "House of Payne."
Hemsley, whose films include 1979's "Love at First Bite," 1987's "Stewardess School" and 1987's "Ghost Fever," released an album, "Ain't That a Kick in the Head," in 1989.
In an interview with the Gloucester County Times in 2011, Hemsley said his show business career actually began in childhood.
"Making people laugh was automatic," he said. "I was in a play in elementary school and had to jump up and run away. I was nervous and tripped and fell down and everyone laughed. Their laughter made me relax, so I pretended it was part of the show."
"I always told my mother I wanted a job where I could have a lot of fun and have a lot of time off," Hemsley added. "She asked me where I was going to find that, and I said, 'I don't know, but it's out there.'"
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chad Everett, the blue-eyed star of the 1970s TV series "Medical Center" who went on to appear in such films and TV shows as "Mulholland Drive" and "Melrose Place," has died. He was 75.
Everett's daughter, Katherine Thorp, said he died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles after a year-and-a-half-long battle with lung cancer.
Everett played sensitive surgeon Joe Gannon for seven seasons on "Medical Center." The role earned him Golden Globe nominations in 1971 and 1973.
With a career spanning more than 40 years, Everett guest starred on such TV series as "The Love Boat," ''Murder, She Wrote" and "Without a Trace." Everett most recently appeared on the TV shows "Castle" and "Supernatural," where he appeared as an older version of Jensen Ackles' character Dean Winchester.
Everett's films credits included "The Jigsaw Murders," ''The Firechasers" and director Gus Van Sant's remake of "Psycho."
Everett was born Raymon Lee Cramton in South Bend, Ind., and graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit before moving to Los Angeles and becoming a contract player with MGM.
In perhaps his most memorable recent film role, Everett played a lothario who engages in a steamy audition with a young ingenue portrayed by Naomi Watts in director David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive".
Everett is survived by his two daughters, Katherine and Shannon, and six grandchildren. He was married to actress Shelby Grant for 45 years until her death last year.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Veteran actress Lupe Ontiveros, who appeared in scores of TV shows and movies including "Desperate Housewives," ''Selena" and "As Good As It Gets," has died. She was 69.
Ontiveros died Thursday at a hospital in Whittier, Calif., a suburb southeast of Los Angeles, after a brief battle with liver cancer, according to longtime friend and family spokesman Jerry Velasco.
She was perhaps best known for her role in "Selena," the 1997 biopic based on the life story of the Tejano pop star. Ontiveros played Yolanda Saldivar, who in real-life was convicted of killing Selena Quintanilla. The film launched the career of Jennifer Lopez, who played the title part.
Lopez said Friday she was "tremendously saddened by the news of Lupe's passing!"
"I've enjoyed her work throughout the years," Lopez said in a statement. "She was a great actress and working with her in 'Selena' was an unforgettable experience. She will truly be missed."
Ontiveros worked steadily in TV and film for more than 35 years.
"I want to go from the set to the grave," she quipped in 2010 while receiving a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. "From the stage to the grave, that's how I want go."
Her credits include "Real Women Have Curves," TV's "Desperate Housewives" and — as in "The Goonies" — many, many turns as a housekeeper. She once estimated she played a maid more than 300 times on the stage and screen.
"I've had a hell of a good time playing those maids," she told LA Weekly in 2002. "Each one to me is very special ... No matter how much I resent the stupidity that is written into them, the audacity that the industry has when they portray us in such a nonsensical, idiotic, such — oh my God! — such a degrading manner, still, my humor survives in these maids. I'm very proud of them."
Born Guadalupe Moreno in El Paso, Texas, on Sept. 17, 1942, Ontiveros caught the acting bug in 1972 when she answered a newspaper ad for movie extras. She went on to help establish the Latino Theater Company in Los Angeles and advocated for Latino performers throughout her career.
"She worked tirelessly to perfect her craft and open doors for countless Latinos along the way," said Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. "Hollywood never gave her the lead role, but in our hearts she will be remembered as our leading lady. She will be deeply missed by all of us."
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis cited the actress as an inspiration.
"Lupe Ontiveros' great talent extended far past television, stage and motion pictures," Solis said in a statement. "Indeed, she was a fine actress, but more than that, she was a woman of great action. And she was my friend for more than 20 years."
Ontiveros is survived by her husband, three sons and two granddaughters.
Oscar-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch dies at 68.
Composer Marvin Hamlisch dies at 68
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Marvin Hamlisch, who composed the scores for dozens of movies including "The Sting" and won a Tony for "A Chorus Line," has died in Los Angeles at 68.
Family spokesman Jason Lee said Hamlisch died Monday after a brief illness. Other details aren't being released.
Hamlisch's career included composing, conducting, and arranging music from Broadway to Hollywood.
The composer won every major award in his career, including three Academy Awards, four Emmys, a Tony, and three Golden Globes.
His music colored some of film and Broadway's most important works.
Hamlisch composed more than 40 film scores, including “Sophie's Choice,” “Ordinary People,” and “Take the Money and Run.” He won his third Oscar for his adaptation of Scott Joplin's music for “The Sting.” On Broadway, Hamlisch received the Pulitzer Prize for long-running favorite “The Chorus Line” and wrote “The Goodbye Girl” and “Sweet Smell of Success.” A news release from his publicist said he was scheduled to fly to Nashville, Tenn., this week to see a production of his hit musical, “The Nutty Professor.”
Hamlisch earned his place in American culture through his music, but he also had a place in popular culture. Known for his nerdy look, complete with thick eyeglasses, that image was sealed on NBC's “Saturday Night Live” during Gilda Radner's “Nerd” sketches. Radner, playing Lisa Loopner, would swoon over Hamlisch.
Hamlisch was principal pops conductor for symphony orchestras in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Dallas, Pasadena, Seattle, and San Diego. He was to be announced to the same position with the Philadelphia Orchestra and also was due to lead the New York Philharmonic during its upcoming New Year's Eve concert.
He leaves behind a legacy in film and music that transcended far beyond notes on the page. As illustrative as the scenes playing out in front of the music, his scores helped define some of Hollywood's most iconic works.
Albert Freeman Jr., who played Elijah Muhammad, the Nation of Islam leader and Malcolm X's mentor, in Spike Lee's epic 1992 biopic "Malcolm X," died Thursday, Aug. 9. He was 78.
Howard U. in Washington, D.C., confirmed the death of the actor whose career spanned film, stage and television Friday night but details weren't immediately available.
Freeman's later feature work included 1995's "Once Upon a Time... When We were Colored," in which he starred with Phylicia Rashad, and the Maya Angelou-directed "Down in the Delta" (1998), in which he starred with Alfre Woodard.
The actor also did memorable work in television. He played "Malcolm X" in miniseries "Roots: The Next Generations," drawing an Emmy nomination in 1979.He had drawn an earlier nomination, in 1970, for starring with Patty Duke in the influential telepic "My Sweet Charlie." He played a black New York lawyer who encounters a pregnant white Southern girl in rural girl while both are on the run.
Freeman also won a best-actor Daytime Emmy for his work as Capt. Ed Hall on the soap opera "One Life to Live." (He also directed some episodes of the ABC sudser.)
Freeman was a star of the ABC sitcom "Hot L Baltimore" in 1975 and recurred on "Homicide: Life on the Street" as Deputy Commissioner James Harris.
Onstage, he delivered an important performance in Amiri Baraka's powerful, explosive "Dutchman" Off Broadway. He played a black subway passenger traumatized by an emotionally disturbed white woman, played by Shirley Knight. The actors appeared in a bigscreen adaptation in 1967.
Freeman taught acting for decades at Howard U. and served as chairman and artistic director of its theater arts department for the last six years.
"He was a brilliant professor, a renowned actor and a master director who made his mark in the classroom as well as on stage, screen and television. ... He has mentored and taught scores of outstanding actors. He was a resounding voice of Howard and will be missed," university spokeswoman Kerry-Ann Hamilton said in a statement.
Albert Cornelius Freeman Jr. was born in San Antonio, Texas. His father was a jazz pianist and stage actor.
He made his first television appearance in 1958 in an episode of "Suspicion," and he guested on a variety of shows during the 1960s including "The Defenders" and "The F.B.I." He also made a number of appearances in high-profile films during the period, including "Black Like Me," "Ensign Pulver," "For Pete's Sake," Frank Sinatra starrer "The Detective" and "Finian's Rainbow."
In 1970 Freeman starred on Broadway in the brief-running musical version of the film "Lilies of the Field," which had starred Sidney Poitier. He had appeared on Broadway in several plays during the 1960s, including "Blues for Mister Charlie," written by James Baldwin. In 1973 he played the Messenger in a Rialto production of "Medea."
Mel Stuart, who directed 1971 children's classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," among more than 180 producing or helming efforts in a career that spanned more than five decades, died Thursday, Aug. 9, from cancer in Los Angeles. He was 83.
The Stuart-helmed "Willy Wonka," adapted by Roald Dahl from his children's book and starring Gene Wilder, has been beloved by generations of both kids and adults. (Tim Burton's 2005 remake was compared unfavorably to it.)
Stuart's feature films also include the 1969 travel comedy "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium," starring Suzanne Pleshette and Ian McShane, but many of his most notable efforts were documentaries or prestigious films for television such as the Emmy winner "Bill," starring Mickey Rooney.
He directed and produced Theodore H. White's influential documentary "The Making of the President 1960," which won four Emmys in 1964, including program of the year. (Stuart and White followed up with "The Making of the President 1964" and "The Making of the President 1968.") Stuart also helmed key John F. Kennedy assassination documentary "Four Days in November," drawing an Oscar nomination in 1965, and produced William Shirer's classic account of Nazi Germany, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" (1968), and 1972 concert film "Wattstax," featuring a young Richard Pryor.
Less political documentary efforts included profiles of Billy Wilder and Man Ray that aired as part of PBS' "American Masters" series.
In the early 2000s, Stuart produced and directed a series of literary documentaries for the BBC, and in 2005 he documented the efforts of a teacher to bring Shakespeare to fifth graders in a poor, dangerous neighborhood of Los Angeles in "The Hobart Shakespeareans," which aired on PBS.
At the time of his death, Stuart had just completed his final documentary, "Shakespeare in Watts," about an inner city high school cast on a journey of discovery through Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." (BAFTA/LA is involved in expanding the Shakespeare program into other schools.)
For his documentary work, Stuart also won four Emmys and a Peabody Award.
In addition to "Bill," Stuart directed telepics including "Brenda Starr," "The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal" and "Sophia Loren: Her Own Story," which starred Loren as herself.
He was also exec producer of the "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" series and of television specials such as three of the "AFI's 100 Years… 100 Movies" efforts and "Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond."
Stuart was born in New York City and graduated from NYU, where he studied music. He originally wanted to be a composer but changed direction; in 1954, he began working as an assistant editor for a commercials production company, where he became a special assistant to avant-garde filmmaker Mary Ellen Bute. Several years later, Stuart he was a film researcher for Walter Cronkite's series "The 20th Century." In 1959, David Wolper asked Stuart to join his newly formed production company, where Stuart made several of his documentaries, including "The Making of the President" films.
Stuart influenced Hollywood not just with his films but by mentoring such notables as directors James L. Brooks and William Friedkin, the reality producer Bertram van Munster and screenwriter David Seltzer.
Stuart served as president of the International Documentary Assn. for two years.
He was a guest lecturer on the subject of film and video production at various universities.
Stuart's "Pure Imagination: The Making of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," the director's remembrance of the creation of the film, was published in 2002.
He is survived by daughter Madeline, an interior designer; sons Peter, a filmmaker, and Andrew, a literary agent, and two grandchildren.