celebrities

British Actor Bob Hoskins Dies At 71

Apr 30, 2014

Bob Hoskins, the British actor who starred in memorable films such as The Long Good Friday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mona Lisa and The Cotton Club, has died. He was 71.

The Guardian cited his agent as saying Hoskins died Tuesday from pneumonia. He had retired from films in 2012, a year after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Here's more from The Guardian:

Chion Wolf / WNPR

If you are a person of a certain age, you probably remember the moment when you were first seized by Karen Carpenter's voice. For me, it was getting into my mother's Pontiac LeMans after a commencement ceremony at Kingswood School in 1970. I was a sophomore at an all-boys school, and nobody wanted to be "Close To" me.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In the space of a lifetime, the status of gay and lesbian people in the United States and Western Europe has been transformed. So to watch a play like "A Song at Twilight," written by Noel Coward in 1966, is to journey back in time and then wonder how far, really one has traveled.

After 5-Decade Career, NPR's Carl Kasell Will Retire

Mar 4, 2014

After a five-decade career in broadcasting, Carl Kasell announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Carl will record his final broadcast for Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! this spring. He will, however, remain "scorekeeper emeritus" for the show. Before becoming the official scorekeeper for the NPR news quiz show in 1998, Carl anchored the newscast for Morning Edition.

Picture this: You're standing on a stage. You're the center of attention in an auditorium filled with over 3,000 people. Roughly 40 million more are watching you on TV.

No, this isn't a nightmare — it's the Academy Awards. Every year, the standout members of the film industry are presented with Hollywood's highest honor: an Oscar.

But what happens after you've won the coveted gold statue? What does it feel like to walk away from the flashbulbs and fans, and step into the quiet darkness behind the curtains?

Comedy actor, writer and director Harold Ramis is best known for the 1984 film Ghostbusters, which he co-wrote and starred in along with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. Ramis had co-written and planned to star in the long-awaited Ghostbusters III — but did not get the chance. Ramis died Monday in Chicago from an autoimmune disorder. He was 69 years old.

Ramis co-wrote Animal House, Meatballs and Stripes. He co-wrote and directed Caddyshack and directed Murray in Groundhog Day.

Shirley Temple, who charmed the nation as a child movie star in the 1930s and went on to become one of the nation's diplomats in posts that included ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, has died.

She was 85.

The Associated Press writes that publicist Cheryl Kagan says the actress, known as Shirley Temple Black in her private life, died late Monday evening at her home near San Francisco. Kagan tells the AP that Temple's family and caregivers were with her.

The Beatles are not only considered the top of the heap when it comes to musical acts of the 20th century, they're also apparently the kings of the lunchbox.

The comedian and movie director Woody Allen responded vigorously late Friday to allegations that he had sexually abused his daughter more than two decades ago.

The story of why Allen chose to address these once-dormant allegations again involves celebrity, trauma and a battle newly joined in the press and on social media.

United Press International / Creative Commons

In February of 1964, the Beatles appeared not once, but on three consecutive Sunday nights on "The Ed Sullivan Show," attracting what was the the largest audience in television history, and still might be the largest percentage of all possible viewers. To some of us, the whole thing is still kind of exciting 50 years later. But why?

Justin Hoch and the Hudson Union Society / Creative Commons

On Sunday, two people named Dylan made news. So much so that you had to be careful on Twitter. If you tweeted "Dylan sold out" about Bob Dylan's Super Bowl commercials, you might offend people who thought you meant Dylan Farrow who broke 20 years of silence to talk about her memory of childhood molestation by Woody Allen. 

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment. He was 46.

Hoffman was steeped in his profession — in film, on stage, in the spotlight and behind the scenes.

In 2005, he won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote. The movie focuses on Capote's interviews with two murderers on death row for his nonfiction novel In Cold Blood.

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won a best actor Oscar for the title role in the 2005 film Capote, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment at the age of 46.

A New York Police Department spokesman tells NPR that authorities are "investigating Hoffman's death as a possible drug overdose."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It was a fertile week for topics, but here at The Nose, we've boiled them down to four.

First, the decision by NBC to capitalize on its live Sound of Music ratings hit with a revival of the live TV Peter Pan. No cast has been announced yet, so that allows us to do some "dreamcasting. "

In a combative interview from North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman defended his "basketball diplomacy" in the repressive country and seemed to imply that he believes American businessman Kenneth Bae, sentenced to 15 years' hard labor for allegedly trying to overthrow the Kim Jong Un regime, is guilty.

Blond, blue-eyed and wearing blazing white robes in Lawrence Of Arabia, Peter O'Toole was handsome enough — many said beautiful enough — to carry off the scene in which director David Lean simultaneously made stars of both his title character and his leading man.

"For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world's largest faith to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is Time's 2013 Person of the Year."

The magazine adds that:

"We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars," says a character in an Oscar Wilde play. That pretty well sums up Lou Reed. We're both honored and saddened to tackle him as our first topic as we experiment with putting more immediacy into our Monday show. We decided to let the weekend tell us what our topics were. 

Lou Reed, the singer and songwriter whose work as a solo artist and as the leader of cult-favorite band The Velvet Underground influenced generations of musicians, has died at age 71.

Chion Wolf/Official Artist Photograph

"Two names you never thought you would ever hear in the same sentence: hip-hop artist André 3000 and NPR's Frank Tavares," said the latter. He's been the voice of NPR for more than three decades. But Frank Tavares is wrapping up his tenure later this year. Not sure exactly who I'm talking about?

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were the real-life star-crossed lovers of the 1960s and '70s. No relationship better merited the adjective "tempestuous," and of none was that word more often uttered.

BBC America offers a dramatized glimpse of the relationship in its movie Burton and Taylor. The film focuses not on the couple's scandalous beginnings when they met filming the 1963 movie Cleopatra, but rather on their public curtain call as a couple, the 1983 Broadway revival of Noel Coward's play Private Lives.

Chion Wolf

He's widely recognized as Alcide from HBO's 'True Blood,' but did you know Joe Manganiello is a classically-trained actor who graduated from Carnegie Mellon? Or that he inhabited the role of Stanley Kowalski from Tennessee Williams' iconic 1947 play "A Streetcar Named Desire," multiple times before landing his gig as a tall, brown-eyed lupine?

Chion Wolf

It just goes on and on. We're in New Haven today where the Yale Rep is getting ready to mount a production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," but there's already one playing in Dublin at the Gate. There probably hasn't been one year in the last 50 when there wasn't a significant staging of this play.

Copyright © & Ⓟ Sandra Boynton 2013

Connecticut resident Sandra Boynton is hard to label. She's arguably one of America's most popular children's book authors. She's an artist whose whimsical greeting cards are wildly popular. She's also a music composer who's produced five albums and been nominated for a Grammy.

Alterna2, Flickr Creative Commons

Michael Bolton has reinvented himself many times. A few years ago, he cut off his trademark hair.  He put out an album of opera arias and another of American Songbook Standards. But probably his biggest challenge was dealing with his image as a romantic icon so permanently rooted in the dead center of the mainstream that poking fun at him became an easy way for people who really weren't all that cool to prove they were at least cool enough to reject Michael Bolton.

Wikimedia Commons

If you seek parallels between J.D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon they're easy to find. Both were literary geniuses. Both were publicity-shunning recluses. Both men were psychosexually arrested by God knows what primal wound.

Salinger seemed able to bond only with very young women and girls. Pynchon had a pattern -- somehow linked to inability to form normal alliances --  of hijacking the wives and partners of his friends.

Chion Wolf

Thirteen years ago, I wrote an amusing but fairly ignorant op-ed piece for The New York Times triggered by watching a planetarium movie narrated by Tom Hanks. I wrote: "I miss the days of the anonymous, nobody-special narrator. Playing next door to Mr. Hanks at the museum was a Mount Everest Imax movie narrated by Liam Neeson. Take a cab to get there, and Isaac Hayes tells you to take your stuff when you get out, and don't forget your receipt." 

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