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15 items from 2011


Interviews: 1980s Icons Anthony Michael Hall, Louis Gossett Jr.

28 December 2011 9:30 PM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – Two actors who made a mark in film during the 1980s did it at different points in their lives. Anthony Michael Hall was a teen idol, channeling director John Hughes in “The Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles.” Lou Gossett Jr. won a mid-career Oscar for his role in 1982’s “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

Both men made an appearance at the 2011 Chicago Wizard World Comic Con, interacting with admirers and signing autographs. HollywoodChicago.com got the opportunity to interview each of them about their lives and careers then and now.

Anthony Michael Hall of “The Breakfast Club,” “Sixteen Candles

Anthony Michael Hall at Chicago Wizard World Comic Con, August 2011

Photo Credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Photo for HollywoodChicago.com

HollywoodChicago: In last year’s Vanity Fair Article, it was said that once John Hughes moved on, you pretty much never heard from him again. What is your perspective on him now, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Slideshow: 34 Exclusive Celebrity Portraits at 2011 Wizard World Chicago Comic Con

26 December 2011 11:50 AM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – The holidays are a perfect time to remember some of 2011’s great entertainment events, and one of them was the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, which took place August 11th-14th. Celebrities such as Anthony Michael Hall, Lou Gossett Jr., LeVar Burton, Peter Tork and Bruce Campbell were there.

HollywoodChicago.com photographer Joe Arce turned his lens to the event, and captured the following slide show. Click “Next” and “Previous” to scan through the slideshow or jump directly to individual photos with the captioned links below. All images © Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com.

Comicon1: Anthony Michael Hall, star of ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles’ Comicon2: Mimi Rogers of ‘The Rapture’ and ‘World Poker Tour’ Comicon3: Oscar Winner Lou Gossett Jr. of ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ Comicon4: Vivica A. Fox of ‘Kill Bill’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Comicon5: Hey, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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‘The Help’ Cast to be Honored at the Hollywood Film Awards

5 October 2011 6:25 PM, PDT | Hollywoodnews.com | See recent Hollywoodnews.com news »

HollywoodNews.com: Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell, Ahna O’Reilly, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Cicely Tyson and Mike Vogel to be honored at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony.

The 15th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards, presented by Starz Entertainment, are pleased to announce that the cast of DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media’s “The Help” – Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell, Ahna O’Reilly, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Cicely Tyson and Mike Vogel – will be recognized at the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony with the “Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award.”

The announcement was made today by Carlos de Abreu, Founder of the 15th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony, which will take place on the evening of Monday, October 24, 2011, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The Hollywood Film Awards Gala launches the awards season. »

- Josh Abraham

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Is 'The Help' a condescending movie for white liberals? Actually, the real condescension is calling it that

14 August 2011 8:58 PM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Lots of movies divide audiences (you liked it, I hated it, and the world goes round). But a liberal message movie about race has the power to divide audiences — and critics — in a special way. The people who respond to it are likely to feel moved, uplifted, morally transported, emotionally activated. Others may feel not so much that they don’t respond but that they’re reacting against what they’re seeing — a “hard-hitting” mass-audience truth that is actually a feel-good lie.

Over the years, I have often found myself on the latter side of that divide, excoriating movies that »

- Owen Gleiberman

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Let’s Help LeVar Burton Stage A ‘Reading Rainbow’ Flash Mob

30 June 2011 6:30 AM, PDT | BestWeekEver | See recent BestWeekEver news »

Remember LeVar Burton? He was the host of Reading Rainbow (and was also in Roots and Star Trek and is generally just awesome and probably very nice). Dude is also a major online N3RD, meaning he has over A Million Followers On Twitter because he is very intelligent and has important things to say (apparently including “good night” to his followers every night, which is adorable). And now — Now! — he is returning, so to speak, to the platform that made him an icon to kids in the first place. LeVar Burton is urging to you use your internets and help create a Reading Rainbow flash mob in an effort to raise literary awareness.” All good things. What does that mean exactly? We’re not sure? But it all starts with the hashtag #ReadingRainbowFlashMob, so go from there and Help Kids Read!!! [via Death & Taxes] »

- Eliot Glazer

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Oscar-Winning Sound Mixer Bill Varney Dead at 77

6 April 2011 11:15 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Oscar-winning sound mixer Bill Varney has passed away at the age of 77. According to his press rep, Varney died of congestive heart failure in Fairhope, Alabama. Varney won Oscars in 1981 and 1982 for his work on "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" respectively. He was also Emmy-nominated for his work on the miniseries "Roots." Varney was a past president of the Cinema Audio Society, which gave him its career achievement honor in 1990. He is survived by his wife, Suzy, and daughter, Lisa. Arrangements, which »

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Hallmark Channel Launching Maya Angelou Lifestyle Show

23 March 2011 1:05 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

The Hallmark Channel is launching an unscripted lifestyle series with author and icon Maya Angelou.

The new 13-episode series is called The Spirit Table and will feature the host and well-known guests sharing life stories and cooking. The show is slated for prime-time airing and is expected to be launched in early 2012.

Ms. Angelou is no novice to television having made appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show as well as acted in several films and TV shows including Touched By An Angel, Roots, Poetic Justice and Madea’s Family Reunion.

She also made her debut as a director with Down In The Delta. The 1998 film stars Alfre Woodard, Al Freeman Jr., Esther Rolle, Loretta Devine and Wesley Snipes.

»

- Cynthia

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Ian McShane Gets Regal In Bryan Singer's 'Jack The Giant Killer'

22 March 2011 5:59 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

The new lease on life that Ian McShane's career seems to have found in the last decade or so never stops being amusing to those of us who best remember him as the roguish, massively-coiffed East Anglian antiques dealer in the 1980s/1990s BBC TV series "Lovejoy." Of course, most audiences are entirely unaware of his past, despite his career stretching back half a century that has seen the actor appear in "Magnum P.I" "Roots" and "Dallas" in addition to his extensive stage work. But a decade ago, McShane started to crop up more and more: firstly in Jonathan Glazer's excellent… »

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Cult Actors #4: Yaphet Kotto – Coolness Personified

14 March 2011 2:22 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

When Yaphet Kotto walks onscreen you take notice. His broad 6’6” figure looms. He delivers lines with vocal cords that sound like they’ve been massaged with sandpaper. In films like Alien (1979) he dominates the frame – immovable, mountainous, impossible to scale. He has an air of regality about him, but then this to be expected. Kotto is after all, the descendant of kings.

His father Njoki Manga Bell was a Cameroonian Crown Prince who immigrated to New York in the 1920s. It was in this city that Kotto was born and that mix of street kid and son of a prince would inform his personality onscreen. He can be both a regular Joe (the disgruntled worker in Blue Collar) or a powerful leader (he has played Othello more than once).

But growing up in New York City was tough. Kotto, a black Jew, found discrimination around every corner and learnt early on the need for character. »

- Tom Fallows

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Yes, that's Cicely Tyson in Willow Smith's '21st Century Girl' video

7 March 2011 11:25 AM, PST | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

If you're anything like us, you were probably far too excited for the premiere of Willow Smith's second music video. "21st Century Girl" proves that the 10-year-old member of the Pinkett/Smith clan has enough spark and momentum to whip her hair in the public eye for years to come.

But it also proves that it seriously pays to have Will Smith as a dad.

Case in point: the only non-tween to appear in her delightfully post-apocalyptic clip for the single is Oscar-nominated actress and icon Cicely Tyson. Yes, the same Cicely Tyson who's been a successful stage actress since the 1960s, starred in "Sounder" and "Roots" and hit our hearts with the proverbial cast iron skillet in "Fried Green Tomatoes."

To say that she's an unexpected sight in a bubblegum pop video would be quite an understatement. But there she is, dressed as a desert gypsy and summoning »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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'Community': What do Levar Burton and Troy have in common?

17 February 2011 9:24 PM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

How thrilled were you to find that NBC's "Community" pulled another act of metariority (that's "meta superiority," Britta) by bringing on Levar Burton to guest star as himself. 

He was Pierce's (Chevy Chase) evil bequeathal to Troy (Donald Glover) and part of the old man's master plan to make the study group pay for under-appreciating him.

Of course, Levar Burton deserves Troy's frightened stare. After all, he's the man. Who's Levar Burton? Well, in the "Community" world he was known for three things: "Reading Rainbow," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and for playing the role of Kunta Kinte in the ABC miniseries, "Roots." Most viewers probably know him from "Roots." "Roots" basically made him a household name. 

But, the sci-fi geek in us most loves him as Geordi La Forge, the Enterprise's Chief Engineer. And you know what, there's one thing about that character that reminds us of Troy »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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40 Actors and Actresses We Love

26 January 2011 9:00 AM, PST | Essence | See recent Essence news »

40 Actors And Actresses We Love40 Actors and Actresses We LoveWith the Academy Awards announced this morning, all eyes are fixed on Hollywood. Even though no Black actors and actresses were nominated this year, we take a moment to honor 40 actresses and actors we love. Their work has made us laugh, made us cry, allowed us to step away from the pressures of our day-to-day lives, and taught us more about ourselves and our culture. Check out who made our list. Who would you add?Jennifer HudsonFavorite role: Effie White in "Dreamgirls." Won Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2007.Halle BerryFavorite role: Leticia Musgrove in "Monster's Ball." Won Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2002.Jamie FoxxFavorite role: Ray Charles in "Ray." Won Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in 2005.Nia LongFavorite role: Nina Mosley in "Love Jones. »

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Vereen Will Chronicle Search For 'Blood Family' In New Book

23 January 2011 5:32 PM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Song-and-dance man Ben Vereen is revealing all about his search for his "blood family" in a riveting new autobiography.

The dancer and actor admits he had no idea he was adopted until he had to apply for a passport in order to tour Europe with Sammy Davis, Jr. - when he was 25.

He tells BlogTalkRadio.com, "I didn't have a passport so he told me to send for my birth certificate. I didn't think about the fact that I didn't have one or there were no baby pictures of me. Turns out they didn't have my birth certificate under the name Ben Vereen but they had Essie Middleton as the mother of Benjamin Vereen.

"I told my mother about it and she told me she was hoping I'd never know. That's how I found out, so the story is about my journey of finding them (birth parents) and blessing the woman who raised me.

"It was an amazing experience for me and you'll read about it in the book and hopefully there will be a TV show where you'll see it."

Vereen, now 64, admits he's still coming to terms with his forgotten family after finally tracking them down just four years ago.

He adds, "The whole idea of hearing my older sister's voice for the first time was just amazing. We were both nervous seeing each other for the first time. Now she's always on my case.

"I also discovered I have a brother, Jimmy, and (another, called) Eugene. Can you imagine you're sitting at home and one day my sister gets a phone call: 'Do you know who your brother is?' She said, 'Yeah, my brothers are Eugene and Jimmy, why?'

"When they told her you have another brother and his name is Ben Vereen, she said, 'Get outta here, the guy who plays Chicken George in Roots?'

"Both mothers have since gone on (died), so finding aunts and cousins and a whole slew of people who are now in my life and my children's lives is wonderful and very rich. We had 110 people come to the family reunion and they embraced us into their family." »

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DVD Playhouse--January 2011

21 January 2011 12:40 AM, PST | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

DVD Playhouse: January 2011

By

Allen Gardner

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (20th Century Fox) Sequel to the seminal 1980s film catches up with a weathered, but still determined Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas, who seems to savor every syllable of Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff’s screenplay) just out of jail and back on the comeback trail. In attempting to repair his relationship with his estranged daughter (Carey Mulligan), Gekko forges a reluctant alliance with her fiancé (Shia Labeouf), himself an ambitious young turk who finds himself seduced by Gekko’s silver tongue and promise of riches. Lifeless film is further evidence of director Oliver Stone’s decline. Once America’s most exciting filmmaker, Stone hasn’t delivered a film with any teeth since 1995’s Nixon. Labeouf and Mulligan generate no sparks on-screen, and the story feels forced from the protracted opening to the final, Disney-esque denouement. Only a brief cameo by Charlie Sheen, »

- The Hollywood Interview.com

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Betty White and Ed Asner at TV Critics Association Press Tour

6 January 2011 3:23 PM, PST | Hollywoodnews.com | See recent Hollywoodnews.com news »

By Greg Hernandez

HollywoodNews.com: Between them, they have at least a dozen Emmys and in a few weeks time, will be a combined 190 years old.

But Betty White and Ed Asner, former co-stars on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ are still in rare form and appearing the TV sitcoms ‘Hot in Cleveland’ and ‘Working Class,’ respectively.

Both were the comedy highlights of a pair of morning panels Wednesday at the TV Critics Association Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.

Asner, who plays star Melissa Peterman’s neighbor in the new Cmt sitcom ‘Working Class,’ sat down and joked: “Did you hear Betty White is in the building? I hope I get to touch her!”

White and her ‘Cleveland’ co-stars had just left the stage moments earlier.

He was also asked was if Miss White was still hot. He said he just had cataracts “but what »

- Greg Hernandez

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15 items from 2011


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