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On “The Big Bang Theory,” Dr. Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) idolizes his childhood hero, Professor Proton (Bob Newhart), much to the professor’s dismay. In real life, though, the admiration is a bit more mutual — and that was clearly evident when the two Emmy-nominated actors (Parsons for “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Normal Heart”; Newhart for “Big Bang”) met at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills for a conversation with Variety. As it turns out, the pair have more in common than brilliant comic timing: Parsons grew up in Houston, where Newhart recorded the 1960 album that launched his career, “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart.” And on stage, both played the role of Elwood P. Dowd, a sweet man who befriends an invisible 6-foot rabbit in “Harvey.”
Variety: How did you two first meet?
Parsons: At the table read.
Newhart: Actually, we met at the Emmy Awards before that. »
- Jenelle Riley
Conan O’Brien told the attendees at Variety’s TV Summit that he now realizes that he had a unique perspective on the changing face of latenight talk shows.
“I was standing on a fault line,” he said in his keynote conversation with Cynthia Littleton, Variety editor-in-chief, television. On one side was “traditional, old-time viewers”; on the other, “niche, social media driven, very vocal.”
O’Brien admits he wasn’t aware of Twitter at the time, but that all changed when the younger demographic “rose up in my defense,” he said. “I was crippled by my old world view of checking overnight ratings.”
During the blackout when he wasn’t allowed to communicate with the press , he was allowed to use social media — “I sent out one tweet and sold out the comedy tour,” he recalled. “I didn’t even know what the show was, and we sold out venues across America. »
- Debra Birnbaum
Chicago – What can be said for a man who has portrayed Jesus close to 5,000 times, and starred in the definitive Broadway and film versions of the most famous rock opera about Christ? Ted Neeley is as virtuous as his famous title role in “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Ted Neeley had the perfect show business start when coming of age in the 1960s. After venturing out of his native Texas to find a music career in Los Angeles, Neeley landed the role of Claude in both the Los Angeles and New York versions of “Hair” in 1969. The director of that show remembered Neeley when he was casting for the Broadway stage version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He understudied in New York, and played the role on Broadway and in Los Angeles. That garnered interest from the producers of the 1973 film version, and he »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Alcoholism in the movies have been played for both dramatic and comical effect. In fact some of the binge drinking done on the big screen have garnered considerable praise and pathos resulting in many performers winning Oscars and Oscar nominations based on this very serious addiction.
The alcoholic in cinema is larger in life because it is a societal reflection of the demons and destruction that affect millions of people globally. Film allows for the liberty to use creative licenses to highlight the physical and psychological pain and false feelings of pleasure to convey the true face of alcoholism and its hold on fictional characterizations that are bound by the poisonous allure of the bottle. However heavy-handed or hearty it may seem in portraying the detached drinker or happy drunk one thing is for certain…the depth and dimensional range of the chronic cinema sipper has never disappointed in giving »
- Frank Ochieng
Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.
Amplify has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Austinites David and Nathan Zellner's Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, Indiewire reports. The drama follows a lonely Japanese woman who, after becoming obsessed with Fargo, heads to Minnesota on a quest to unearth the cash-filled briefcase from the movie. Debbie reviewed the movie at Sundance. A release date hasn't yet been announced. This month, the Alamo Drafthouse has announced it's "going to 11" with its programming -- celebrating music in movies in all the chain's theaters. A Hard Day's Night and This is Spinal Tap screen tonight at Alamo Ritz and Alamo Lakeline, respectively. Other musical movies scheduled for July include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, High Fidelity, Wattstax, Gimme Shelter, Empire Records and Stop Making Sense.The Austin Film Festival's Free Family Film Series presents a screening of Bandolero! on Tuesday at 7 pm at the Texas Spirit Theater. »
- Jordan Gass-Poore'
When mixing black and white movie characters as either friends or foes on the big screen should not produce any gray areas at all. Whether amiable or adversarial the pairing of interracial tandems makes for an interesting sociological study in cinema where tension, togetherness, stereotypical profiling and mutual or reluctant acceptance makes for some captivating film fodder.
Sure, in many ways it is an overused cliched in the movies to produce racial tandems for the sake of the entertainment to allow the creative juices to overflow. In Salt and Pepper: Top 10 Black and White Movie Tandems we will take a look at various “salt and pepper” teams as they come together in the name of law and justice, hostile necessity, friendly frivolity or professional attachment to bring movie audiences a sense of adventure and curiosity in the name of comedic or dramatic license. Maybe you have your favorite cultural »
- Frank Ochieng
Eli Wallach, the actor best known for his roles in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and The Godfather franchise, has died. He was 98.
Wallach’s daughter Katherine confirmed his death to the New York Times.
The New York City-born actor appeared in scores of films over his 60-plus year career alongside the likes of Clark Gable (The Misfits), Omar Sharif (Ghenghis Khan), Dean Martin (How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life), Yul Brunner (The Magnificent Seven) and Robert Shaw (The Deep).
Wallach’s storied run in Hollywood also extended into TV, where he had roles in Playhouse 90, »
- Lynette Rice
Steve Rossi, one half of the prolific comedy duo Allen & Rossi, which became a favorite of The Ed Sullivan Show and other TV variety shows, died Sunday at age 82. His friend of 40 years, Michael Flores, told the Associated Press on Sunday that he visited the pal who introduced him to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in hospice care in Las Vegas on Friday, and that Rossi was weak from cancer of the esophagus that had spread but wasn't in any pain. "I met every major entertainer in the country through Stevie, and I'm going to miss him, »
- Associated Press
Steve Rossi, one half of the prolific comedy duo Allen & Rossi, which became a favorite of The Ed Sullivan Show and other TV variety shows, died Sunday at age 82. His friend of 40 years, Michael Flores told the Associated Press on Sunday that he visited the pal who introduced him to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in hospice care in Las Vegas on Friday, and he was weak from cancer of the esophagus that had spread but wasn't in any pain. "I met every major entertainer in the country through Stevie, and I'm going to miss him," said Flores, »
- Associated Press
It is not really difficult in coming up with cinema siblings and assessing their impact on the films they graced with humor, horror or hedonism. Whatever the combination–brother and sister, brother and brother, sister and sister–the big screen has always produced some of the most compelling siblings to entertain or shock us as the lights go dim at the local cinemaplex.
So who do you favor as your all-time favorite movie siblings? Perhaps you wouldn’t mind brothers Michael and Sam from 1987′s The Lost Boys? Or how about sisters Drizella and Anastasia from the 1950 animated film Cinderella? Maybe you could go for the transformation of television’s Brady kids into the film version of 1995′s The Brady Bunch Movie?
- Frank Ochieng
With Jonah Hill’s involvement in both of the sequels that opened as the No. 1 and 2 highest-grossing titles this past weekend, the actor has earned the right at age 30 to be proclaimed not just one of Hollywood’s most coveted court jesters but also a king of the box office. And he did it the hard way, proving himself yet again to be a genius at playing sidekicks. In “22 Jump Street,” which claimed the top spot by pulling in $60 million, he and Channing Tatum take their Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis hunk-geek man-love thing (as Tatum’s Jenko says to Hill’s Schmidt, “We don’t have to put a label on it”) to the next level. They continue to milk homoerotic in-jokes and high jinks out of a premise based on a very ‘80s TV undercover cop show (one that Johnny Depp probably wishes he could disown) and turn »
- Susan Wloszczyna
Everybody knows that Casey Kasem was the voice of “American Top 40″ and countless cartoon characters for decades. But who could forget him on “Astrology for Young Lovers”? Or in “Scream Free!” Or as the host of “Shebang.”
In the 1960s and ’70s, Kasem, who died Sunday at age 82, logged roles in a string of B-grade independent features, from American International Prods. and others. He romped with wild bikinis, frisky teenagers, motorcycle clubs, “high on Jesus” types etc. He did a fair amount of on-camera TV work too, as a host and through gusts shots on “Baretta,” “Hawaii 5-0” and such. He was money on NBC’s “Dean Martin Celebrity Roast” specials, judging by the number of appearances he made.
See Also: Radio Legend Casey Kasem Dies at 82
But nothing plumped Kasem’s pocketbook like his commercial work. In 1973 his agent Charles Stern bragged that Kasem had voiced 600 commercials in four years. »
- Cynthia Littleton
While the musical biopic today suffers from inescapable story arcs and tired imitations, thankfully a good story remains that way when told by those who actually lived it. Consider well-made music docs a personal sweet spot -- a blend of archival footage, a famous record, and an aged, accented character explaining how, when they tweaked a guitar amp then threw it down a city sewer, the song’s tone really took off. “Billy Mize and The Bakersfield Sound” adopts this path, charting the rise of a unique style in the mid-‘50s Southern California country scene, but more importantly it highlights one of the pivotal figures that helped it thrive. Billy Mize is a name missing from mentions of the era that spawned Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, yet here is a documentary that has you smiling at each cultural icon that respected it. Names like Dean Martin, The Beatles, »
- Charlie Schmidlin
Stars may head to Hollywood to make their careers, but their hometown fans don’t have to travel far for the festivals that celebrate them. Regional fests are taking place throughout the country this summer to honor showbiz legends Lucille Ball, Judy Garland and Dean Martin.
Since 1975, Grand Rapids, Minn., (pop. 11,000) has celebrated Garland, and the film that made her famous, with the Wizard of Oz festival. This year’s 39th annual fest includes her son, Joe Luft, as guest of honor, and features carriage rides on a yellow brick road with a horse of a different color and an outdoor screening of the film. The town has restored Garland’s childhood home and built a $3 million Judy Garland Museum next door. “Our community is very proud that their native daughter … starred in the world’s most beloved movie,” says John Kelsch, the museum’s executive director. Kelsch expects as »
- Nikara Johns
Born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1924, Hyer studied theater at Northwestern University before joining the Pasadena Playhouse in California. There, she was spotted by a Hollywood talent agent and later signed a three-year contract with Rko Pictures.
- Jake Perlman
Charlize Theron brought along Sean Penn to watch her pal Seth MacFarlane perform in Los Angeles over the weekend. The Family Guy creator sang for a packed house with the Ron Jones' Influence Jazz Orchestra at Vibrato. MacFarlane is a well-known screenwriter, producer, director and actor, but few know that he can carry a tune—specifically old hits by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole. A source tells E! News that Theron and her boyfriend were "very close the entire evening" as they enjoyed MacFarlane's set. But guests got an unexpected surprise when the blond beauty took the stage to sing alongside her A Million Ways to Die in the West co-star. A candid »
Trailers typically precede movies and excite auds about coming attractions, but they were the main event at Friday night’s 15th annual Golden Trailer Awards, held at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills.
The lengthy ceremony, honoring the best in motion pictured marketing, featured 17 of the 75 awards that were bestowed. Big winner Warner Bros. racked up a total of 15 prizes, including best thriller and best of show for “Gravity.”
Host Jay Mohr did his best to keep the crowd laughing throughout the evening and kicked off the ceremony by poking fun at some recent blockbusters.
“Tonight we’re honoring the people who in two and a half minutes convince everyone that the world needs another ‘Spider-Man’ movie,” Mohr joked.
“What a year for movies,” he continued. “Can you imagine if you were in a coma and you just woke up and you said ‘What’s going on?’ and I had »
- Andrea Seikaly
Need some help planning out the music for your wedding? Not only do we have a complete guide, but we also have suggestions for songs for all aspects of the wedding. Recently, we gave you ideas for the processional, which is when you walk down the aisle. Now it's time for the companion piece: recessional songs! Also known as when you walk back up the aisle after saying "I do," the recessional signifies that it's time to celebrate. We have 50 ideas that will work for you, whether you want a classic or modern feel, whether you love Dean Martin or Beyoncé. Source: Fox »
- Shannon Vestal
We're holding a free screening of a crime classic of your choice next week. Here's a closer look at one option: 1997's La Confidential...
On the 5th June, we're holding a free crime classic cinema screening to celebrate the launch of the videogame Murdered: Soul Suspect. You can find out details of the screening, and how you can vote for the film you most want to see, here.
For now, here's our look back at the first of the films you can choose from: the 1997 crime classic, La Confidential.
Please note: this piece contains spoilers for the film (apologies to those who read it before we added the appropriate spoiler warning)
Released in 1997, La Confidential may have been outshone by James Cameron’s Titanic at the Academy Awards, winning just two of the nine awards it had been nominated for, but it has since been recognised as something of a masterpiece. »
If the mid-career of Jerry Lewis — the post–Dean Martin era, the years of films like The Nutty Professor, The Disorderly Orderly, and The Errand Boy — is often treated as a joke, the actor-director's late career may as well be a bitter punch line. To get a really derisive snort, just mention The Day the Clown Cried, Lewis's 1972 film about a clown in a Nazi concentration camp, which has never seen the light of day. Lewis himself has said, "You will never see it. No one will ever see it, because I am embarrassed at the poor work."
You won't see The Day the Clown Cried when Anthology Film Archives presents "Jerry Lewis: The Completed Retrospective," a gathering of three films directed by Lewis in 1970 and 1980, pictures that »
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