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With his cigar, wrinkled coat and battered car, Peter Falk’s detective brings La’s murderers to book with relentless questioning and brilliant comic timing
Sherlock is smug. Poirot is pompous. Miss Marple has a thing about taking her tea correctly. Morse won’t leave Oxford. The only TV detective without an ego – without any supposedly charming eccentricity, in fact – is Lieutenant Frank Columbo of the Lapd, a man whose car is so shoddy a driving instructor once refused to get in it. His complete adventures are a worthy reminder of his brilliance: the shambling policeman played by Peter Falk had one of the most ferocious minds on TV, taking down cunning killer after cunning killer, pulling their lies apart one by one.
- George Bass
Martin Milner, who starred in the huge hit '60s and '70s show "Adam 12" -- which spawned generations of kids who wanted to become cops -- has died. L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck tells TMZ, "Milner's depiction of a professional and tough yet compassionate cop led to thousands of men and women applying to become Lapd officers, including me." Milner also starred in another enormous show -- "Route 66" -- which was a »
- TMZ Staff
Assemble! *Bleep* We've already stated how much we want to hang out with the cast of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and after watching their gag reel, we want to hang out with them even more. The bloopers are featured on the film's Blu-ray, which is set for release on Oct. 2, and in a Yahoo! Movies video posted on Wednesday. Chris Evans, aka Captain America, and Scarlett Johansson, aka The Black Widow, are adorable while goofing around together, while she and Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, play off each other well after she misses her mark, emitting some Nsfw language. The Hulk Mark Ruffalo launched into an impressive Peter Falk-as-Columbo impression »
Sometimes the Avengers just fail to assemble correctly. But that's half the fun! Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" has its digital release this Tuesday, September 8, and it's out on DVD/Blu-ray on October 2. One of the many extras coming with the release is a gag reel, and you can watch it now in the video below.
Several stars are showcased in the bloopers, including Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Skarsgård, and Mark Ruffalo. Sam Jackson closes the video with a strong mock smackdown to Scarlett for going "all stealth mode, motherf--ker" out of the frame. Stellan has a weird line about a swimsuit. But Mark basically owns the gag reel with his struggle to get through Dr. Banner's unpronounceable dialogue and his random but perfect "Can I ask you something?" Columbo impression. Peter Falk would be proud, man.
Check it out:
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- Gina Carbone
The 'overnight success' is a familiar enough narrative in the movie business. Actors are plucked from obscurity and set on the road to stardom. Directors offered major movie deals after one of their shorts goes viral on YouTube.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, on the other hand, has worked his way up through the ranks of the film industry, culminating in his latest movie, Me And Earl And The Dying Girl, a moving and very funny drama which won a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Before that, Gomez-Rejon began as an assistant to the likes of Martin Scorsese and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu before moving up to the role of second unit director on movies including Babel and Argo. His work on TV »
Television has delivered viewers an array of police characters over the years, from Peter Falk’s rumpled but underestimated Lt. Columbo to always fashion-forward Sonny Crockett to the morally questionable Vic Mackey. Ahead of next week’s season premiere of 1960s police drama “Public Morals” on TNT, we look back at 10 of TV’s most memorable cop characters. (Note: We're sticking only with cops, rather than private detectives, federal agents, etc. So no Magnum or Raylan Givens or Dana Scully.) »
- Alan Sepinwall
Joining Spider-Man in the annals of dizzyingly rapid reboots, Fox’s second stab at “Fantastic Four” comes just eight years after the first try and its sequel, which didn’t set the bar inordinately high. Yet if this latest version, with a significantly younger cast (one’s tempted to call it “Fantastic Four High”), clears that threshold, it’s just barely, drawing from a different source to reimagine the quartet’s origins without conspicuously improving them. All told, the movie feels like a protracted teaser for a more exciting follow-up that, depending on whether audiences warm to this relatively low-key approach, might never happen. (Brian Lowry)
Read the full review
Like David Bowie joining Bing Crosby for a medley of Christmas carols, “Ricki and the Flash” combines a number of promising elements that don’t seem to have any business being anywhere near each other, »
- Variety Staff
Veteran TV crime show producer Dean Hargrove (“Columbo,” “Diagnosis: Murder”) finds a new groove and generously shares his enthusiasm in “Tap World,” an infectiously spirited and pleasingly celebratory documentary about the globe-spanning appeal of American-style tap dance. If the movie has any flaw worth noting, it’s a sin of omission: Although he presents several engaging mini-portraits of tap masters in locales ranging from Taipei to Tokyo, Hell’s Kitchen to Harrisburg, Penn., Hargrove offers only teasing snippets of rehearsals and performances. Even so, this slickly produced and briskly paced doc could find receptive audiences in a variety of platforms, and might even inspire some novices to put on their own dancing shoes.
Early on, historian Constance Valis Hill provides a Cliffs Notes guide to the African and Irish roots of tap, and influential hoofers such as Gregory Hines receive brief yet respectful acknowledgment. But once the zippy prologue is complete, »
- Joe Leydon
Oscar- and Tony-nominated character actor and folk singer Theodore Bikel, who originated the role of Captain von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” on Broadway and starred in “Fiddler on the Roof” onstage in thousands of performances, died Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. He was 91.
To some, he is best known for his 1990 appearance on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as the Russian adopted father of the Klingon Worf.
Bikel did his first bigscreen work in John Huston’s 1951 classic “The African Queen” and Huston’s “Moulin Rouge.” After acting in a series of English films, he did supporting work in two high-profile pics in 1957: historical epic “The Pride and the Passion,” starring Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra and Sophia Loren, and “The Enemy Below,” a WWII submarine thriller starring Robert Mitchum.
He often played Germans or Russians — in his autobiography, Bikel said that his facility with accents resulted in »
- Carmel Dagan
George Coe, an actor with extensive credits and a longtime activist in the Screen Actors Guild, died Saturday in Santa Monica, Calif., after battling a long illness. He was 86.
Coe acted for more than 50 years of film, television, commercial and stage work. He had a lengthy career as a commercial performer both on camera and voiceover, including six years as the voice of Toyota.
He served more than a dozen years on the SAG national board of directors, having the vice president title for two years and creating the template for what became SAG’s first low-budget production contract.
Coe was born in Jamaica, Queens. His Broadway theater career began in 1957 and included performing as M. Lindsey Woolsey opposite Angela Lansbury in the original cast of Jerry Herman’s “Mame” and as Owen O’Malley in “On The Twentieth Century.”
Coe was also an original member of “Not Ready For Prime Time Players, »
- Dave McNary
Patrick Macnee has passed away at the age of 93. The British born actor and star of iconic 60s TV series The Avengers died of natural causes at his home in California with his family around him. His television credits also include The Twilight Zone, Columbo, the original Battlestar Galactica and appearances as Dr. Watson in two Sherlock Holmes TV movies, as well as...
- Billy Garratt-John
Patrick Macnee as John Steed
Born into a wealthy English family, Macnee studied at Eton until he was expelled for selling pornography, went on to serve in the Royal Navy and then travelled to Canada to try his hand at acting, launching a career that would last until his retirement 12 years ago.
Following an early appearance in The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp, he went on to deliver notable performances in films including The Howling, Waxwork, A View To A Kill and This Is Spinal Tap. He lent his vocal talents to Battlestar Galactica and challenged Columbo. Alongside the Avengers, he appeared in other classic TV series like Rawhide and Magnum Pi. He played both Sherlock Holmes and Doctor. »
- Jennie Kermode
Macnee starred on hit spy show "The Avengers," which ran on British television -- and was eventually rebroadcast around the globe -- from 1961 to 1969. The series also staged a short revival in the '70s.
Macnee was cast as assistant John Steed, second billing to Ian Hendry's Dr. David Keel character, but as the show continued, Macnee's quirky, bowler-wearing Steed became more popular, and he took over as the series lead after Hendry departed in 1961. Macnee played across from actresses such as Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Linda Thorson, and Joanna Lumley on the progressively feminist series, which was also notable for Macnee's insistence that his character never use a gun.
In addition to his work on that seminal show, Macnee was also a World War II veteran, »
- Katie Roberts
Schlubby working class hero, Crime And Punishment’s Porfiry Petrovich for primetime, fatherly fighter of crime... I was introduced to the rumple-coated and rumple-faced one back in 1987, following an off-hand attempt from my mother to get five-year-old me to sit down and shut up for a few minutes. Desperately looking for something to grab my attention, and zeroing in on what ITV happened to be repeating that Sunday, her “Oh, look! Columbo! You like him, don’t you?” – “Huh?” – “He’s the one with the cigar and coat, you know him!” got me to sit down, be quiet, and puzzle over whether or not I did like him. She turned out to be right – I liked him a lot.
By then in the late 80s, Lieutenant Columbo had been »
Betsy Palmer, who is best known for playing Jason Voorhees’ mother in “Friday the 13th” and appeared in dozens of other films, plays and TV shows, died Friday in Connecticut of natural causes. She was 88.
The character actress had a six decade career, but her most indelible role was as Mrs. Voorhees, the murderous camp cook whose deformed son Jason drowned in the waters of Crystal Lake. Palmer carved her way into horror film history in the 1980 classic, and appeared in flashbacks throughout the next few entries in the slasher series.
Born Pamela Betsy Hrunek in East Chicago, Ind., she started out in classic TV shows of the 1950s such as “Playhouse 90″ and “Studio One.” She went on to appear in numerous TV shows including “As the World Turns,” “The Love Boat,” “Knot’s Landing,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Newhart,” “Columbo” and “CHiPs.”
On the bigscreen, she had character roles »
- Variety Staff
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