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Review Of The Year

31 December 2011 5:56 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

It's been an incredible year in the world of showbiz, with the usual headline-grabbing antics, scandal, sleaze, celebrity births, star weddings, and bitter break-ups. Here, WENN takes a look back at the first six months of 2011...

January

The new year began with wedding bells for many couples including singer Shania Twain, who married her fiance Frederic Thiebaud in Puerto Rico on New Year's Day, while country star Kellie Pickler and actress Valerie Bertinelli also walked down the aisle on 1 January.

The new year brought baby news for a number of celebrity couples - Orlando Bloom and his wife Miranda Kerr became first-time parents with the birth of their son Flynn. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem also welcomed a son, and Owen Wilson became a father just days after he announced his girlfriend's pregnancy. Nicole Kidman also hit headlines when she and her husband Keith Urban revealed they welcomed a daughter called Faith via a surrogate mother over the holidays.

There was also pregnancy news for actress Kate Hudson, who announced she was expecting a baby with Muse rocker Matt Bellamy, as well as Marion Cotillard, Jewel, Selma Blair and Victoria Beckham, who confirmed she was pregnant with her fourth child.

However, the first few weeks of 2011 also brought a slew of celebrity splits - Keira Knightley ended her longtime romance with actor Rupert Friend, Shakira parted ways with Antonio de la Rua, her boyfriend of more than 10 years, and Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin separated after eight years together.

Many stars saw in the new year by addressing their personal problems, and a number of famous faces went in and out of rehab in the first few weeks of 2011. Lindsay Lohan and Demi Lovato both ended long treatment stints in January, while David Arquette, Backstreet Boys star A.J. McLean and his bandmate Nick Carter's younger brother Aaron all enrolled in programs. Troubled actor Charlie Sheen also admitted himself to a clinic just weeks after he was hospitalised to treat a hernia, and he later admitted he turned to booze to blot out the pain of the medical condition. Sheen’s rehab stint forced TV bosses to shut down production on his show Two and a Half Men.

Another colourful character to hit the headlines in January was British funnyman Ricky Gervais, who managed to cause controversy during his stint as Golden Globes host. The comedian was condemned by organisers for poking fun at celebrity guests including Robert Downey, Jr., Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks during the glitzy prizegiving.

The month held good news for veteran actor Michael Douglas as he was given the all-clear after a gruelling battle with throat cancer. His wife Catherine Zeta-Jones subsequently admitted she cried tears of joy when doctors told the couple the actor had beaten the disease. Poison rocker Bret Michaels also overcame a health crisis after undergoing successful surgery to close a hole in his heart.

January also saw the loss of a number of great stars including Oscar-winning James Bond theme composer John Barry, and Scottish musician Gerry Rafferty, who passed away after suffering liver failure. The world of Hollywood was again plunged into mourning following the death of British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who died at the age of 64.

February

As awards season got into full swing, The King's Speech was the toast of Hollywood after scooping four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor for the movie's star, Colin Firth, and Best Director for Tom Hooper, while Natalie Portman fought back tears as she walked away with the Best Actress honour for her role as a tormented ballet dancer in Black Swan. It was a different story at the Independent Spirit Awards, where Black Swan trounced its rivals, picking up four honours including Best Director for Darren Aronofsky.

In the world of music, Lady Gaga's incredible rise continued as she picked up three Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album, but her achievements were overshadowed by country trio Lady Antebellum, who scored five accolades, and the shock win for Canadian rockers Arcade Fire in the prestigious Album of the Year category for their disc The Suburbs. Across the pond at the Brit Awards in London, Arcade Fire were again bathed in glory when they were handed the International Group and International Album honours, while newcomer Tinie Tempah crowned a triumphant 12 months by taking home the British Breakthrough Act and British Single titles. Rihanna was named Best International Female solo star, and Justin Bieber was named the International Breakthrough Act of the year.

Away from the red carpet, it was a bleak month for My Name Is Earl actress Jaime Pressly, who was charged with driving under the influence after failing a field sobriety test, Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey, who was underwent an operation to remove a growth from her foot, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who was hospitalised with a flesh-eating bug, and Dame Judi Dench, who broke two of her toes on the set of her new movie J. Edgar.

There were also woes for Rihanna, whose raunchy promo film for single S&M provoked outrage around the world and was banned in 11 countries, actress Eliza Dushku, who broke a finger on holiday, and fashion king John Galliano, who was suspended and later sacked by Christian Dior after he was filmed launching an anti-Semitic rant at stunned drinkers in a bar in Paris, France.

Rock duo the White Stripes stunned the music world when they announced they were splitting up after 14 years, and Lady Gaga's much-hyped new single Born This Way was unveiled to a barrage of accusations she had ripped off Madonna's classic Express Yourself. But there was good news for older music fans, as '60s icons The Monkees announced they were reuniting for a U.K. tour.

Loved up celebrity couples Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, and Anna Friel and Rhys Ifans, both confirmed their engagements, and there were wedding bells for Kelsey Grammer - who married for the fourth time - and Mark Ronson and Katherine Jenkins, who both announced their respective engagements.

Among the stars hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet this month were Christina Applegate, who gave birth to a daughter, magician David Blaine, who became a first-time father to a baby girl, reggae star Zac Marley, rocker Rod Stewart, Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon, and No Doubt star Tom Dumont.

Jude Law continued his unlucky-in-love streak when he split - yet again - from Sienna Miller, Iron Man star Terrence Howard was hit with divorce papers, Olivia Wilde split from her husband after eight years, and celebrity couple Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz announced their marriage was over.

The world of showbiz bid farewell to guitar legend Gary Moore, who died aged 58, blues legend Eddie Kirkland died in a car crash at the age of 88, Seinfeld star Len Lesser succumbed to pneumonia aged 88, and The Dukes of Hazzard actress Peggy Rea, who passed away at the age of 89.

March

Tinseltown lost one of its brightest lights in March after movie icon Dame Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure at the age of 79. Tributes from the world of showbiz poured in for the Cleopatra legend, with Sir Elton John, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli leading the heartfelt remembrances. The acting great was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, where her dear friend Michael Jackson was also laid to rest in 2009.

March was also marked by controversy as a host of famous faces found themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Pop star Christina Aguilera was arrested for drunkenness in West Hollywood, while Boardwalk Empire beauty Pas de la Huerta was also apprehended after a bar fight in New York City. Jackass daredevil Steve-o was taken into custody in Canada on an outstanding warrant, and rapper Rick Ross got caught smoking marijuana in a Louisiana hotel room.

But it was Charlie Sheen who really gave fans something to talk about after he was fired from Two and a Half Men following months of public feuding with writer/creator Chuck Lorre. Days later, cops raided Sheen's Los Angeles home to investigate a tip that the troubled star was in violation of a court order by keeping a gun in the house.

March also brought one of the year's most devastating tragedies as Japan was hit by a massive earthquake, which then created an enormous tidal wave. More than 15,000 people perished in the disaster and Slash, Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas and the Foo Fighters were among the big-name acts who staged gigs to raise money for victims, while actresses Sandra Bullock and Demi Lovato also donated $1 million (£625,000) each to boost relief efforts.

Back in Hollywood, there was plenty of heartache as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel ended their romance, Renee Zellweger called it quits with Bradley Cooper and Twilight beauty Ashley Greene split from Joe Jonas.

But love was most definitely in the air for Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, who married showbiz agent Jim Toth in a romantic ceremony at her California home. Canadian crooner Michael Buble also wed stunning supermodel Luisana Lopilato in a civil ceremony in her native Argentina.

Celebrations were in order for former Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who announced she and husband Stephen Belafonte were expecting their first child together. Actors Robert De Niro and Mel Gibson became proud grandfathers in March, while Elizabeth Banks also became a first-time mother to a baby boy, born via surrogate.

Emily Deschanel confirmed she was expecting her first child with actor husband David Hornsby, while Cruel Intentions star Ryan Phillippe also had baby news after the tabloids reported that his ex-girlfriend, actress Alexis Knapp, was pregnant.

There was a health scare on the cards for tennis ace Serena Williams after she was hospitalised with a blood clot in her lungs, while fears for Zsa Zsa Gabor's wellbeing mounted when she began coughing up blood and suffered circulation problems in her left leg.

There was a close call for actor David Arquette after he was in a head-on car crash in Los Angeles, and Glee star Lea Michele was also involved in a smash when her car was struck by a drunk driver.

Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean had a lucky escape after he was shot in the hand during a visit to his native Haiti, while James Taylor suffered a broken leg in a skiing accident in Utah.

Courtroom battles loomed for Britney Spears, who was hit with a $10 million (£6.25 million) lawsuit over a perfume deal, and Jay-z was accused of trademark infringement over the logo for Roc Nation.

Even clean-cut teen pop sensation Justin Bieber found himself named in court papers after a songwriting duo sued over claims they hadn't received royalties for his hit song One Less Lonely Girl.

April

There were births, marriages and bust-ups galore as Spring sprung in April, but only one subject was on everyone's lips - the royal wedding. Celebs and commoners alike got carried away in the buzz of the big day on 29 April, when brunette beauty Kate Middleton walked down the aisle with her very own Prince Charming, William. Who would design the dress? Who would be invited? Would best man Harry fall for bridesmaid Pippa? But all questions fell by the wayside on the morning of the magical day, as Britain and two billion viewers across the world came to a standstill to watch the future Queen of England step out of her Rolls-Royce wearing a stunning Alexander McQueen lace gown to huge cheers from the crowd. The pair wed in front of 1,900 quests, including Queen Elizabeth II, the entire royal family, and even showbiz royalty Victoria and David Beckham, and left London's Westminster Abbey to great fanfare as the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But Kate didn't hog all the limelight - who can forget the backing support of her sister Pippa, hailed Her Royal Hotness thanks to that figure-hugging dress and her much-discussed derriere?

The wedding was of fairytale proportions, one even our favourite celebs couldn't compete with - but that didn’t stop them from trying! Canadian crooner Michael Buble was one of the biggest stars to walk down the aisle in April - his second set of nuptials to stunning fiancee Luisana Lopilato following their original wedding day in March. Controversial couple LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian also wed in a private ceremony in Malibu, which was a surprise for guests - they thought they were there for the pair's engagement party! Funnyman Rob Schneider also joined the marriage club, exchanging vows with fiancee Patricia Azarcoya Arce over the Easter Weekend. The marriage mood of the month gave many stars ideas; the likes of Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy, and Tom Fletcher and his longtime girlfriend became engaged.

Despite love being in the air, some unions were destined to end - Elizabeth Hurley started divorce proceedings against her millionaire husband Arun Nayar, while Christina Aguilera's five-year marriage to Jordan Bratman was declared officially over. After marriage must come babies, and April was awash with stars welcoming newborns. Superstar Mariah Carey welcomed twins Moroccan and Monroe, and in true diva style, gave birth to them on her fourth wedding anniversary to Nick Cannon. The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers and Black Eyed Peas rapper Taboo both welcomed their third sons, while Jane Krakowski, Kevin James, Toni Collette and Drea De Matteo all also became parents to baby boys. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal was an exception to the rule - he became the proud father of a baby girl.

But with ups, there must be downs - and nobody does scandal like the stars. Teen sensation Demi Lovato stunned her legions of loyal fans by opening up about the emotional issues which landed her in rehab earlier in the year, revealing she was battling an eating disorder and cut herself at her lowest moments. Charlie Sheen continued his madcap ways by embarking on a comedy tour following his sacking from Two and a Half Men - only to get booed offstage on his first night, with critics calling his stand-up debut an "epic failure". Bond fans mourned April as the month Sir Sean Connery announced he was retiring from public appearances after he failed to show up to a charity event in New York. Lindsay Lohan was back in trouble - and in court - when a judge decided she'd had enough of the actress' antics and sentenced her to 120 days behind bars for violating her probation. Nicolas Cage hit the headlines when he was arrested on domestic violence charges following a street bust-up with his wife in New Orleans, and Vince Neil was also in hot water for domestic violence - his ex-girlfriend accused him of jabbing a finger at her during an argument. However, the biggest shock came when Welsh beauty Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental health facility to overcome her bipolar disorder. The stint in the clinic came after a tough year for the Oscar-winner following husband Michael Douglas' cancer battle.

April was a sad month for actor Tim Robbins, who tragically lost his father, Gil, and his mother, Mary, within days of each other. The punk world was left in mourning when X-Ray Spex legend Poly Styrene lost her battle with cancer at the age of 53, while British actress Elisabeth Sladen, Dr Who's longest running sidekick, also passed away after a fight with the disease.

May

May was a shocking month as Hollywood tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger split from his wife of 25 years Maria Shriver, only to reveal later on in the month he had fathered a lovechild with their housekeeper 13 years earlier. Although the scandal rocked Hollywood, he wasn't the only one heading for splitsville - Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller became officially divorced, as did actress Neve Campbell and James Bond star George Lazenby. Lady Gaga also split from boyfriend Luc Carl, while Hayden Panettiere ended her romance with her boxer boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko. Girls Aloud beauty Nadine Coyle also became single after calling off her engagement to American footballer Jason Bell.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom - Beatles legend Sir Paul Mccartney announced he was engaged to marry for the third time, to American Nancy Shevell, while director Sophia Coppolla and reality star Kim Kardashian also announced plans to walk down the aisle.

As for marriages, Marie Osmond remarried her first husband Stephen Craig, 29 years after they first exchanged vows and in the same wedding dress. Wedding bells also rang for Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill and Victoria's Secret supermodel Lily Aldridge, while country king and queen Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert also became man and wife in Texas.

New romances between Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge, as well as Nick Jonas and Australian pop star Delta Goodrem also came to light.

It was a baby boom month, with many stars becoming parents for the first time. Rockers Bryan Adams and Matthew Followill, actors David Schwimmer and Mike Myers, and actresses Alicia Silverstone, Marion Cotillard and Lost's Evangeline Lilly all became first-time parents. Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton welcomed her second son. French first lady Carla Bruni and actress Bryce Dallas Howard were also celebrating pregnancies. But it was a sad month for British actress Kelly Brook, who suffered a miscarriage.

Other sad news in May came when Grease actor Jeff Conaway passed away at the age of 60, sending Hollywood into mourning. Boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper died two days before his 77th birthday and Superman star Jackie Cooper also died, aged 88. The month started with the shock news that al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been shot dead in Pakistan. Other stars facing struggles included Sean Kingston, who was involved in a horrific jet-ski crash, while veteran actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was also hospitalised with pneumonia-type symptoms and fell into a coma.

It was also a controversial month for Lindsay Lohan, who started a 120-day jail term in the comfort of her own home for parole violation. British rocker Pete Doherty was also jailed for six months for cocaine possession. Other stars facing woes included Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Friends star Matthew Perry and boxer/singer Oscar De La Hoya, who were all submitted in to rehab programs. It was an embarrassing month for British singer Cheryl Cole, who was hired, then fired to sit on the judging panel of America's The X Factor. In music news for the month, Silverchair announced they were to split, Rod Stewart announced a Las Vegas residency, while it was a big movie month as the Cannes Film Festival in France also kicked off. While Brad Pitt was hailed at the glitzy event, with his film Tree Of Life winning the coveted Palme d'Or prize for Best Film, it was a bad experience for director Lars Von Trier, who was banned from the festival for controversial statements he made about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during the festivities.

June

As summer blossomed, June marked a baby boom in Hollywood. Pop star Pink became a first-time mum at the beginning of the month when she welcomed little Willow, while drummer Adrian Young added to the No Doubt family with daughter Magnolia. Natalie Portman became a yummy mummy to son Aleph, actress Tia Mowry also welcomed a little boy, and model/actress Devon Aoki was another addition to the first-time mum club with the arrival of Hunter. Denise Richards made headlines when she announced she'd adopted a baby, Eloise, into her brood, while Meat Loaf became a grandfather when his daughter Pearl Aday gave birth to a baby boy. Lindsay Price and Nia Long also announced their pregnancies in June, as did Lily Allen - whose baby news went public on the same day she married partner Sam Cooper.

Lily's wedding wasn't the only one at the start of summer - Rachel Weisz married actor Daniel Craig following a whirlwind romance and Noel Gallagher put his wild ways behind him after exchanging vows with longterm partner Sara MacDonald.

However, the month was marred by a string of high-profile splits - David Duchovny and Tea Leoni separated just two years after reconciling following the actor's sex addiction admission, Jack White parted ways with model/singer wife Karen Elson after six years of marriage, and Hugh Hefner was dumped by fiancee Crystal Harris - just days before their planned wedding. Elizabeth Hurley's divorce from Arun Nayar was granted, and George Clooney split from Elisabetta Canalis.

There were health dramas aplenty - pop princesses Selena Gomez and Jennifer Hudson were hospitalised within days of each other. Both stars were forced to pull performances, and getwellselena even became a top trending topic on Twitter.com as fans rallied to support the Disney idol. Gomez later revealed she was malnourished and feeling exhausted, while Hudson was diagnosed with a severe bout of food poisoning.

The music world was left reeling when legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who had worked with Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga, died from complications stemming from a major stroke. The rocker led the tributes to his pal, declaring, "His loss is immeasurable and we are honoured and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years." TV fans were also left in mourning following the passing of Columbo star Peter Falk at the age of 83, while legendary TV cowboy James Arness also died.

In other June news, the vampires from Twilight overpowered the magical Harry Potter kids at the MTV Movie Awards, taking home five golden popcorn prizes to their film franchise rival cast's one. The Cmt Awards took place in Nashville, Tennessee just days later and newlyweds Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert dominated the ceremony - picking up three of the nine top honours between them. But it was a bad month for their country music rival Trace Adkins when his Tennessee home was destroyed by fire.

The month was special for U2 when they headlined Britain's iconic Glastonbury festival after a year-long wait - they were forced to pull out of the event in 2010 after frontman Bono underwent surgery on his back. In a spooky echo of U2's concert drama, pop star Jessie J was forced to axe several summer shows after undergoing emergency surgery on her broken foot – but still fulfilled her duties at Glastonbury, performing while perched on a red and gold throne. »

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Columbo - Complete Series

14 December 2011 | eyeforfilm.co.uk | See recent eyeforfilm.co.uk news »

The iconic adventures of a humble detective with a shabby raincoat and a brilliant mind.

The perfect antidote to slick contemporary cop dramas, Columbo is perhaps the world's most successful detective franchise, spanning a total of 68 episodes and translated into 31 languages. Centred on Peter Falk's iconic detective, with his shabby raincoat, his ailing French car, his persistent nicotine habit and brilliant mind, it featured, in assorted episodes, many of the greatest stars of the era. From Jamie Lee Curtis to Faye Dunaway, Leslie Nielsen to Vincent Price, they play carefully »

- Jennie Kermode

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Elizabeth Taylor, Farley Granger, Jane Russell, Peter Falk, Sidney Lumet: TCM Remembers 2011

13 December 2011 4:16 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

"TCM Remembers 2011" is out. Remembered by Turner Classic Movies are many of those in the film world who left us this past year. As always, this latest "TCM Remembers" entry is a classy, immensely moving compilation. The haunting background song is "Before You Go," by Ok Sweetheart.

Among those featured in "TCM Remembers 2011" are Farley Granger, the star of Luchino Visconti's Senso and Alfred Hitchcock's Rope and Strangers on a Train; Oscar-nominated Australian actress Diane Cilento (Tom Jones, Hombre), formerly married to Sean Connery; and two-time Oscar nominee Peter Falk (Murder, Inc., Pocketful of Miracles, The Great Race), best remembered as television's Columbo. Or, for those into arthouse fare, for playing an angel in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire.

Also, Jane Russell, whose cleavage and sensuous lips in Howard Hughes' The Outlaw left the puritans of the Production Code Association apoplectic; another Australian performer, Googie Withers, among »

- Andre Soares

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Peter Falk remembered by Gena Rowlands

10 December 2011 4:08 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

He was America's most famous TV detective Columbo… but he was also so much more, recalls Gena Rowlands

I first met Peter Falk in 1969 on the set of a film called Gli Intoccabili, which, for some reason, was released in America as Machine Gun McCain. It was what I call a "kind of good movie" and it was a lot of fun to make. We hit it off and became good friends, Peter, John [Cassavetes, Rowland's husband] and I. That was the beginning of a long, close and very creative friendship. A very special friendship.

Then John wrote for Peter, Ben Gazzara and himself. That led to A Woman Under the Influence, which came out in 1974. Peter was my husband and I was the woman having a breakdown. His character was under a lot of pressure, too, and he played that out so well. He was a mixed-up guy but a loving husband. »

- Gena Rowlands

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Peter Falk remembered by Gena Rowlands

10 December 2011 4:08 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

He was America's most famous TV detective Columbo… but he was also so much more, recalls Gena Rowlands

I first met Peter Falk in 1969 on the set of a film called Gli Intoccabili, which, for some reason, was released in America as Machine Gun McCain. It was what I call a "kind of good movie" and it was a lot of fun to make. We hit it off and became good friends, Peter, John [Cassavetes, Rowland's husband] and I. That was the beginning of a long, close and very creative friendship. A very special friendship.

Then John wrote for Peter, Ben Gazzara and himself. That led to A Woman Under the Influence, which came out in 1974. Peter was my husband and I was the woman having a breakdown. His character was under a lot of pressure, too, and he played that out so well. He was a mixed-up guy but a loving husband. »

- Gena Rowlands

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My favourite film: The Princess Bride

9 November 2011 1:27 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

In our writers' favourite films series, Jonathan Haynes is enchanted by a swashbuckling tale of silly names, sillier dialogue and true love

Magic up your own review of The Princess Bride here – or take on the giants and monsters in the comments

Fittingly enough, the first time I saw The Princess Bride I was languishing in bed with flu. Bizarrely, that's an ideal state for a tale which begins with a grandfather determined to read a proper story to a similarly sickly boy.

At first glance an opening scene of a child playing a computer game and the entrance of Peter Falk, looking inescapably like Columbo, even without the cigar and overcoat, does not bode well. One's own scepticism at what is to come is mirrored by the boy's uncertainty over the prospect of his grandfather reading from a book. "Has it got any sports in it?" he asks warily. »

- Jonathan Haynes

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Celebrity Biography: Eddie Cahill

7 November 2011 9:30 PM, PST | PopStar | See recent PopStar news »

Edmund Patrick Cahill was born January 15 1978 in New York to parents of Irish and Italian descent. He is 6' 2". His Irish father is a stockbroker and his mother is an elementary school teacher. He has one older and one younger sister. Eddie graduated from Byram Hills High School, Armonk, New York, in 1986. Other famous attendees of this school are Eyal Podell and Sean Maher. He also attended Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York and the Atlantic Theater Acting School, which is part of the Tisch School of the Arts at Nyu. When he was in kindergarten, Eddie aspired to be a farmer. His big break came in the Summer Theater Festival at Vassar College. Eddie finally dropped out of Nyu and moved to Brooklyn in pursuit of a full time acting career. He dreamt of becoming an actor after he saw Les Miserables at the tender age of 17. Says Eddie: »

- mhasan@corp.popstar.com (Mila Hasan)

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My TV hero: Alex Zane on Columbo

19 October 2011 2:20 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Peter Falk's Columbo was no athlete or jock, he was all about intellect and that's why I fell for him

Columbo is the only television character that I've ever fallen in love with. When I was nine years old, I was transfixed by the show. My friends were all wearing Superman or Spiderman costumes, but I spent a great deal of my childhood dressed as Columbo. My mum noticed how transfixed I was by him, and bought me a trenchcoat that I used to wear around the neighbourhood. Recently, I saw some photographs of me in it; I look more like a junior flasher than Columbo.

I was quite studious as a child and Columbo was all about intellect. He wasn't an athlete or a jock – I think in one episode he admitted he couldn't even swim. That was one of the reasons I liked him. A guy 40 years »

- Vicky Frost

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Just the Facts: 7 TV Detectives You’d Want Working Your Case

14 September 2011 3:09 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Cop shows have been around almost as long as television itself and have run the gamut, from procedurals to sitcoms to serialized dramas. They’ve given us some of TV’s most memorable and enduring characters, not to mention some of the medium’s best performances. Yet, upon examination, disproportionately few of the detectives who grace our screens are particularly great at their jobs and often those that are have any number of person issues that get in the way. Between alcoholism, anger issues, corruption, family drama, and neuroses, a reliable TV cop can be hard to find, let alone one who’s great at their job. This isn’t a list of the most interesting cops or the best performances or even the most realistic. This list looks at the detectives we would want working our case if the need arose.

Note: Due to the specific parameters of this list, »

- Kate Kulzick

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Top Ten Crime Dramas

8 August 2011 6:00 AM, PDT | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

A growing number of crime dramas have been gracing our screens of late, each with its own individual style. From the search for forensic evidence, to investigative policing and finally to the flawed legal justice system itself, crime dramas have never been so popular. In honour of the soon to be released Monk: The Complete Series (DVD out on 29th August), we’ve compiled our Top Ten list of crime drama masterpieces. Our selection covers an entire spectrum of entertainment, from the comic to the surreal, so whether you are looking for a neurotic ex-police detective or a gritty legal drama, here’s your one stop shop for the best of the bunch.

Monk

Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) is an obsessive former police detective rendered unfit for duty due to an uncontrollable fear of germs, heights, and crowds. Solving crimes in his spare time with his brilliant and deductive mind, »

- Kat

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Falk's Cause Of Death Revealed

10 July 2011 7:11 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Columbo star Peter Falk died after suffering a cardiac arrest following a bout of pneumonia, according to his death certificate.

The beloved actor passed away at the age of 83 at his Los Angeles home last month.

Newly-released papers, filed with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and obtained by TMZ.com, list Falk's main cause of death as cardiorespiratory arrest.

Pneumonia is listed as an underlying cause of death, as is advanced Alzheimer's disease, which Falk had been battling towards the end of his life. »

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David Thomson: "Why I Loved Peter Falk As Columbo"

6 July 2011 10:35 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

 

Noted film critic David Thomson of The New Republic sets his sites on the small screen with an insightful essay about why Peter Falk as Columbo represents the kind of high quality mystery show that wouldn't stand a prayer of being put on the air today in TV's dumbed-down, politically correct environment. In fact it's impossible to imagine a leading character being allowed to chomp on a cigar without protests that the show was actively endorsing cancer.   Click here to read »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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Falling Skies: will you be watching?

5 July 2011 7:48 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Steven Spielberg's latest series is a post-alien invasion story starring Noah Wyle – but is that enough to draw sci-fi fans?

It's an exciting time for fans and followers of genre television; tonight it's Falling Skies' chance to make its mark. Will it be a candidate for early cancellation or will it have the legs to run for years to come? Will it be like Lost or Buffy, a series that explores the premise from every angle and builds on it with characters we'll look forward to welcoming into our homes every week? Or will it be a FlashForward or a V (remake)? Or, dare I even mention the name, an Outcasts? Even good shows can be binned, such as Joss Whedon's utterly terrific Firefly. You get the idea: with the sword of Damocles dangling so low it's almost in shot, how will Falling Skies fare?

It has a better pedigree than most, »

- Phelim O'Neill

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Falling Skies: will you be watching?

5 July 2011 7:48 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Steven Spielberg's latest series is a post-alien invasion story starring Noah Wyle – but is that enough to draw sci-fi fans?

It's an exciting time for fans and followers of genre television; tonight it's Falling Skies' chance to make its mark. Will it be a candidate for early cancellation or will it have the legs to run for years to come? Will it be like Lost or Buffy, a series that explores the premise from every angle and builds on it with characters we'll look forward to welcoming into our homes every week? Or will it be a FlashForward or a V (remake)? Or, dare I even mention the name, an Outcasts? Even good shows can be binned, such as Joss Whedon's utterly terrific Firefly. You get the idea: with the sword of Damocles dangling so low it's almost in shot, how will Falling Skies fare?

It has a better pedigree than most, »

- Phelim O'Neill

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Wenders Writes Touching Tribute To Falk

4 July 2011 3:01 PM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

German filmmaker Wim Wenders has paid a touching tribute to late Columbo star Peter Falk in a heartwarming essay, recalling the early days of their friendship.

The beloved actor passed away at the age of 83 last month and Wenders has posted an essay online, in which he recalls working with Falk on the set of his 1987 film Wings of Desire.

Describing the shoot in Berlin, Wenders writes, "Rarely a shoot was so much fun as those days with Peter Falk. Everybody recognised him, of course. As soon as you stood in the street with him, people showed up from everywhere...

"I never saw anybody deal with his fame so generously and kindly. Peter Falk shook everybody's hands, smiled at everybody, gave everybody an autograph, had everybody spell their funny German names, had his picture taken with everybody! With no exception! And everybody walked away happily: 'I met Columbo!'"

But Falk caused a headache for Wenders every time he decided to explore the city - because he always got lost.

Wenders continues, "Peter loved Berlin... The only drawback was his lack of any sense of direction.

"In any break he just wanted to go for a walk. 'Go spazieren', an expression he knew from his Grandmother. And he never found his way back to the set! Once we even had to call the police to search for him. (When they finally found him and brought him back, he knew all the officers by their first names)."

Signing off the essay, published by People.com, he writes, "Wim Wenders, on a sad day in Berlin". »

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Peter Falk was kind with fame, says Wim Wenders

4 July 2011 2:49 PM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Wim Wenders has paid tribute to his close friend Peter Falk, who passed away at the age of 83 last month. The German filmmaker worked with the Columbo actor on his 1987 film Wings of Desire, and wrote of his late friend's "generous" and "kind" nature. Wenders wrote in an online essay published by People: "Rarely a shoot was so much fun as those days with Peter Falk. Everybody recognised him, of course. As soon as you stood in the street with him, people showed up from everywhere. "I never saw anybody deal with his fame so generously and kindly. Peter Falk shook everybody's hands, smiled at everybody, gave everybody an autograph, had everybody spell their funny German names, had his picture taken with everybody! With no exception! And everybody walked (more) »

- By Tom Eames

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Wim Wenders pays tribute to the late Peter Falk

4 July 2011 11:30 AM, PDT | EW.com - PopWatch | See recent EW.com - PopWatch news »

Peter Falk died on June 23 at the age of 83, and while most fans know him best from his starring turn as Columbo or the kindly grandfather from The Princess Bride, Wim Wenders had the distinction of directing him twice, in Wings of Desire (1987) and Faraway, So Close (1993). The German director put his thoughts about the beloved actor on paper in a tribute for People, titled “About Peter Falk.” Wenders had found himself in a jam during the shooting of Wings of Desire, and at the last moment, he decided he needed an actor to play an ex-angel. Falk was the only person he considered, »

- Jeff Labrecque

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Peter Falk Tribute by Director Wim Wenders

4 July 2011 9:55 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

As rumpled TV detective Columbo and the grandfather in The Princess Bride, Peter Falk delighted audiences with his quirky charm. But Falk, who died June 23 at the age of 83, was accomplished in drama, nominated twice for an Oscar in 1960's Murder, Inc., and 1961's Pocketful of Miracles. In 1987, Falk began an association with acclaimed German film director Wim Wenders, appearing in Wings of Desire and its 1993 followup Faraway, So Close. Here, the director pays tribute to Falk in an exclusive essay: About Peter Falk "An Ex-Angel does not have a Grandma!" I remember that night, probably into the third week of shooting Wings of Desire, »

- Cynthia Wang

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Buzz Lines: What's Your Favorite Quote From The Princess Bride?

4 July 2011 5:30 AM, PDT | BuzzSugar | See recent BuzzSugar news »

I was sad to hear that Peter Falk passed away last week, and even though he was widely known for playing Columbo, I knew him best as the grandfather in The Princess Bride. The epic love story has it all: romance, adventure, ROUSs. It also has super quotable dialogue that still make me happy to repeat to this day, so it's getting the Buzz Lines treatment. Check out my favorite lines below, and then add your most beloved quotes to the comments! "As you wish." - Westley "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." - Inigo "Inconceivable!" - Vizzini »

- BuzzSugar

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Signing Off The Air For The Last Time

27 June 2011 10:11 PM, PDT | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

I was just mulling over the unfortunate fact that a lot of big-time TV folks have bitten the dust over the last few weeks and months — “Honey West” star Anne Francis (January 3 at 80), “Ozzie and Harriet” star David Nelson (January 11 at 74), “Batman” star Michael Gough (March 17 at 94), early live TV director Sidney Lumet (April 9 at 86), “M*A*S*H” director Jackie Cooper (May 4 at 88), “The Cosby Show” star Clarice Taylor (May 30 at 93), “Gunsmoke” star James Arness (June 3 at 88), and “Columbo” star Peter Falk (June 23 at 83), among others.

How can one explain this apparent surge? Well, it could just be a coincidence, but it could also be something else. TV only really came into its own in the fifties and sixties… most of the big names on the small screen at the time were then in their thirties and forties, which would place them in their eighties or nineties now… which »

- Scott Feinberg

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