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The Iceman Cometh (1960) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


2011 | 2003

6 items from 2011


Terry Schreiber on Mark Rylance in 'La Bete' and 'Jerusalem'

20 July 2011 1:05 AM, PDT | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

When I was in college back in the '50s, Eugene O'Neill was my favorite playwright. So, late one summer in 1957, I hitchhiked to New York and was fortunate to see "Long Day's Journey Into Night" on a Monday evening, and "The Iceman Cometh" the following Tuesday. Frederick March as James Tyrone and Jason Robards Jr. as Jamie gave the finest two performances I have ever seen in those respective roles. The following winter, I came back to New York and got to see one of the greatest actresses I have ever seen in my life, Kim Stanley, in "A Touch of the Poet." Over the past 51 years, I have seen some very fine work—on and off Broadway. My tally of favorites might very well be endless. Frank Langella certainly stands high on my list, as do Alfred Molina, Mary-Louise Parker, and Cherry Jones. Nevertheless, there is one actor. »

- help@backstage.com ()

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Peter Falk obituary

26 June 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Us actor whose success as the scruffy TV detective Columbo was complemented by a wide range of stage and screen roles

Show-business history records that the American actor Peter Falk, who has died aged 83, made his stage debut the year before he left high school, presciently cast as a detective. Despite the 17-year-old's fleeting success, he had no thoughts of pursuing acting as a career – if only because tough kids from the Bronx considered it an unsuitable job for a man. Just 24 years later, Falk made his first television appearance as the scruffy detective, Columbo, not only becoming the highest paid actor on television – commanding $500,000 an episode during the 1970s – but also the most famous.

Inevitably the lieutenant dedicated to unravelling the villainy of the wealthy and glamorous dominated his career, although – unlike some actors – he escaped the straitjacket, or in his case shabby raincoat, of typecasting. In addition to stage work, »

- Brian Baxter

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Peter Falk obituary

26 June 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Us actor whose success as the scruffy TV detective Columbo was complemented by a wide range of stage and screen roles

Show-business history records that the American actor Peter Falk, who has died aged 83, made his stage debut the year before he left high school, presciently cast as a detective. Despite the 17-year-old's fleeting success, he had no thoughts of pursuing acting as a career – if only because tough kids from the Bronx considered it an unsuitable job for a man. Just 24 years later, Falk made his first television appearance as the scruffy detective, Columbo, not only becoming the highest paid actor on television – commanding $500,000 an episode during the 1970s – but also the most famous.

Inevitably the lieutenant dedicated to unravelling the villainy of the wealthy and glamorous dominated his career, although – unlike some actors – he escaped the straitjacket, or in his case shabby raincoat, of typecasting. In addition to stage work, »

- Brian Baxter

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'Columbo's Peter Falk: Obituary

24 June 2011 12:15 PM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Peter Michael Falk was born in New York on September 16, 1927. Despite making his first stage performance at 12 years old, Falk was solely focused on academia - achieving a degree in political science in 1951 and a Masters in public administration in 1953. However, after being rejected from the CIA, his attention slowly turned back to acting, and in his spare time he performed in plays in Hartford where he now worked as a management analyst. By 1956, at the age of 29, Falk left his job and declared himself an actor. Moving back to New York, his professional debut came off-Broadway in Moliere's Don Juan, after which he starred in the lauded revival of The Iceman Cometh with Jason Robards. His theatrical agent advised him to stay on stage due to his glass eye, which he had since the age of 3 following a tumour. However, in 1960 he shunned his agent's advice and moved »

- By Paul Millar

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Remembering Sidney Lumet

9 April 2011 12:49 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Sidney Lumet died aged 86 on today in his residence in Manhattan, New York, from lymphoma.

Lumet was an Oscar-nominated director, known for films such as for 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network and The Verdict.

He was born on June 25, 1924, in Philadelphia, to parents Baruch Lumet and Eugenia Wermus, both veteran players of the Yiddish stage. He studied theater acting at the Professional Children’s School of New York and Columbia University. By the time he was 4, Lumet was appearing onstage with his father, and by the age of five he made his stage debut at the Yiddish Art Theatre. He made his Broadway debut in 1935, and appeared in several Broadway shows until World War II broke out in 1939.

After serving three years in the U.S army as a radar repairman stationed, Lumet returned to New York and formed his own theater workshop. He then transitioned from theater to »

- Kristen Coates

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Sidney Lumet: 1924-2011

9 April 2011 9:55 AM, PDT | IMDb News

Director Sidney Lumet, whose gritty portraits of New York City earned him four Oscar nominations for Best Director for films such as Dog Day Afternoon and Network, died Saturday of lymphoma at his home in Manhattan; he was 86. Synonymous with the New York filmmaking scene, Lumet prowled the streets of his adopted hometown in a wide variety of films, working in the nascent medium of television in the early 1950s before making his feature film directorial debut in 1957 with the cinematic adaptation of the jury room classic 12 Angry Men, starring Henry Fonda. That film earned Lumet his first Oscar nomination and started a prolific career that would take him through crime dramas, Broadway and literary adaptations, occasional Hollywood films, and lacerating satires.

Born in Philadelphia to parents who were in show business -- his father was an actor and director, his mother a dancer -- he appeared in numerous Broadway plays as a child and young adult before serving three years in the Army during World War II and returning to New York to direct. Lumet's directorial style, described as "lightning quick" in an era when American cinema was still burdened by the limitations of decorative and expensive Hollywood films, earned him a successful career in television, where he adapted numerous plays for such early shows as Playhouse 90 and Studio One, and worked with the young Walter Cronkite on the news series You Are There. He directed a TV version of 12 Angry Men before turning it into a successful 1957 film, starring Henry Fonda as the lone dissenting juror in a murder trial; the film earned three Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Director and Screenplay) and singlehandedly established Lumet's cinematic directing career.

Lumet alternated film and television work in the late 1950s and early 1960s -- including a television version of The Iceman Cometh starring Jason Robards -- before helming a number of acclaimed cinematic films in the early 1960s: the devastating adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962) starring Katharine Hepburn and Ralph Richardson; the New York drama The Pawnbroker (1964), which earned Rod Steiger a Best Actor Oscar nomination; and the nuclear drama Fail-Safe (also 1964), starring Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau. Through the late 1960s and early 1970s some of Lumet's work was uneven -- adaptations of bestsellers The Group (1966) and The Anderson Tapes (1971) as well as Chekhov's The Sea Gull (1968) are admirable but not entirely successful -- but scored again throughout the 1970s. The crime drama Serpico (1973) helped cement Al Pacino's star status after The Godfather -- and earned the actor his first Best Actor Oscar nomination, and the actor and director paired again in 1975's Dog Day Afternoon, the story of a bank heist gone crazily awry; the film, now considered a modern classic, earned Lumet and Pacino Oscar nominations and some of the best reviews of their careers. In between those films, set in New York, Lumet took a literal and figurative jaunt with the successful adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (1974), an upper-class murder mystery set on a luxury European train that seemed as far from the seamy streets of Manhattan as possible.

In 1976, Lumet explored the themes of media exposure and saturation he delved into with Dog Day Afternoon even further with the scathing television satire and drama Network, starring William Holden, Faye Dunaway and Peter Finch. Lumet, along with screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, pioneered the idea (and condemnation) of what is now commonly thought of as reality TV in his story of a network anchorman (Finch) who suffers a breakdown on live television with the rallying cry "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!", and the television executive (Dunaway) who turns him into a folk hero, TV icon, and tragic figure, ultimately goading him into committing suicide live on television. The film, still potent and more lacerating than most explorations of modern media since, won Finch and Dunaway Oscars; Finch's award was posthumous, as the actor died in early 1977. It remains one of only two films to win three Academy Awards for acting (the third for supporting actress Beatrice Straight, who appeared onscreen for less than six minutes), the other being A Streetcar Named Desire.

After that string of commercial and financial hits, Lumet's career included a wide variety of films: adaptations of Broadway hits Equus (1977, fairly successful), The Wiz (1978, a musical flop but a strangely visionary view of New York), Deathtrap (1982, unexpected fun if not a perfect film); crime drama Prince of the City (1981, one of Lumet's most unheralded fims); courtroom drama The Verdict (1982, a big hit that earned star Paul Newman and Lumet Oscar nominations); Hollywood melodrama (1986's The Morning After, starring Jane Fonda); and indie drama (Running On Empty, the 1988 drama with River Phoenix in his only Oscar-nominated performance). Lumet's last film was the 2007 drama Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, which starred indie stalwarts Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Ethan Hawke, and Amy Ryan.

Lumet was married four times, first to actress Rita Gam, second to socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, and third to Gail Jones, daughter of Lena Horne. He married Mary Gimbel, who survives him, in 1980 and had two daughters with Ms. Jones, Amy Lumet and screenwriter Jenny Lumet, who scripted the drama Rachel Getting Married. Nominated for five Oscars (four for directing, one for screenplay), Lumet was awarded an honorary Academy Award at the 2004 Oscars. »

- Mark Englehart

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2011 | 2003

6 items from 2011


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