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5 items from 2017

Connie Francis on Surviving Rape and Losing the Love of Her Life: ‘After All These Years, I Still Love to Sing’

30 March 2017 11:15 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Her breezy pop hits and beach party movies made Connie Francis one of the biggest stars of the ’50s and early ’60s, but her life has been far from sunny.

After a successful singing career with mega-hits like “Who’s Sorry Now,” “Lipstick on Your Collar,” and “Stupid Cupid,” plus a starring role in the 1960 spring break classic Where the Boys Are, the chanteuse suffered hardship and heartbreak in the decades to come—including rape, murder, and the death of her true love. 

But all that was behind her on Wednesday night as she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from »

- Linda Marx

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Dodd Darin, Son Of Bobby Darin & Sandra Dee, Revamps Estate To Hatch Biographical TV Series

14 March 2017 7:46 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

In a move he hopes will lead to the development of an episodic series about the lives of his parents — iconic “Mack The Knife” singer Bobby Darin and actress Sandra Dee — Dodd Darin has reorganized the management team running the business and creative affairs of the Darin and Dee estates. This comes on the 60th anniversary of the launch of Darin’s career in music, and follows the regional success of the stage show Dream Lover, The Bobby Darin Musical in Sydney… »

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Great Job, Internet!: Doug Jones made his acting debut as a McDonald’s mascot

10 March 2017 1:52 PM, PST | | See recent The AV Club news »

Doug Jones’ acting career spans three decades and multiple species; the one-time contortionist has put his gangly frame to good use in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror films like Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and The Bye Bye Man. But before he appeared on Buffy The Vampire Slayer or played the Silver Surfer, Jones was just trying to make a living like any other working actor. This usually means doing a commercial or two, which Jones did for McDonald’s. In fact, his first major onscreen appearance was as the star—er, moon—of McDonald’s “Mac Tonight” commercials. There was no internet sleuthing involved in tracing Jones’ special sauce origins; the actor simply reminisced about his big break on Facebook.

Yes, as Jones points out, he’s always worn loads of prosthetics well. Here’s one of the commercials for your enjoyment, nostalgia, or Bobby Darin fandom.


- Danette Chavez

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Patrick Swayze’s Widow Wants to Share Her Husband’s ‘Incredible Life’ with Auction of Some of His Most Prized Memorabilia

15 February 2017 2:31 PM, PST | | See recent news »

When Lisa Niemi Swayze was packing up the Los Angeles ranch she shared with Patrick Swayze, her husband of 34 years, she remembers, “There was one bright spot in the whole thing. I kept saying to myself, ‘Someday I am going to share all these wonderful items of Patrick’s.”

“That was the thing that kept me going,” says Lisa, “that I would be able to share Patrick’s incredible life with other people.”

Come April 28 and 29, Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles will offer some of the most treasured belongings of the beloved actor who died in 2009 from pancreatic cancer. »

- Liz McNeil

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Berlin Film Review: ‘On Body and Soul’

10 February 2017 7:30 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The words “I’ll see you in my dreams” get an eerie, affecting new spin in “On Body and Soul,” a determinedly eccentric but intermittently startling misfit romance that marks a singular return to feature filmmaking for Hungarian writer-director Ildikó Enyedi after an 18-year gap. Charting the very slow-burning attraction between two lonely abattoir workers who simply cannot connect in the real world as intimately as they do in the dreams they mysteriously share, Enyedi’s film blends mournfully poetic whimsy with stabs of visceral brute reality: Suffice to say the slaughterhouse setting doesn’t go unexploited. If these dueling registers neatly reflect the body and soul elements of the title, the contrast between them is more formally bracing than it is emotionally illuminating. Over the course of nearly two hours, meanwhile, the film’s strange, flyaway storytelling style does lose some of its mojo.

Enyedi remains best known to »

- Guy Lodge

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