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Denise Nickerson, Violet in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Dies at 62

Denise Nickerson, Violet in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Dies at 62
Actress Denise Nickerson, best known as a former child star who appeared in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has died. Over the past year, Nickerson had been struggling badly with her health following a severe stroke. This week, Nickerson had again been hospitalized and entered into a "coma-like" state after suffering from seizures, and there were no signs of recovery. The actress was then removed from life support on Wednesday, her son Josh Nickerson confirmed in a statement. "They just took off all the equipment. None of it was helping, but making her only more uncomfortable," Josh wrote online. "We're telling her it's okay to let go." Nickerson died later in the day at the age of 62.

You could say Denise Nickerson was born to be an actress when she first entered this world in 1957. She got her first TV gig at the ripe age of 2 by starring in
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5th time’s the charm for Tituss Burgess (‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’) at the Emmys? 5-time nominees tend to win

5th time’s the charm for Tituss Burgess (‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’) at the Emmys? 5-time nominees tend to win
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” ended its run earlier this year (not counting an interactive special being produced for 2020), which means this is the last chance for Tituss Burgess to win Best Comedy Supporting Actor. If he’s nominated again this year it will be his fifth bid in a row, and though he hasn’t won yet, most actors who have been nominated that many times have prevailed at least once.

Out of 22 actors who have been nominated for 5 or more Emmys for Best Comedy Supporting Actor, 16 have won. That includes the all-time nominations leader, David Hyde Pierce (“Frasier”), who contended 11 times and won 4. On paper that sounds like great news for Burgess, who is exactly the kind of larger-than-life scene-stealer that often wins this award. Just look at broad comic performers like Michael Richards (“Seinfeld”), Sean Hayes (“Will and Grace”) and Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”), who won this category six times between them.
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T.R. Baskin

Herbert Ross directed and Peter Hyams wrote and produced this comedy/drama about a small town girl’s sordid adventures in the Windy City circa 1971. Starring Candice Bergen as an office temp-turned-hooker and James Caan and Peter Boyle as the men in her life, the film would have qualified as a pre-code cautionary tale in the 1930s.

The post T.R. Baskin appeared first on Trailers From Hell.
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Prop Master Barry Bedig Really Brought $2 Million to ‘The Brink’s Job’ Set

  • Variety
Prop master Barry Bedig was literally born into the biz. Yet despite being the son of storied special effects man Sass Bedig, Barry’s youth was largely unaffected by Tinseltown’s glare. Infrequent studio visits with Dad produced understated memories. “I got to ride [Roy Rogers’ horse] Trigger once,” he deadpans.

Obtaining union status at 25 in 1964 at 20th Century Fox after a stint in the U.S. Navy, Bedig was one of the youngest prop masters in the history of Iatse Local 44, having gained the prerequisite 2,000 hours for membership, then passed the daunting written exam.

He hit the big time in 1972 when he was called for Woody Allen’s “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask.” Bedig’s contributions to the seven-segment film would become his career trademark: detail. He was tasked with creating the Jester’s wand for the “Do Aphrodisiacs Work?” sequence — a
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‘True West’ Broadway Review: Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano Find Direction In Sam Shepard Classic Of Brotherly Hate

  • Deadline
‘True West’ Broadway Review: Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano Find Direction In Sam Shepard Classic Of Brotherly Hate
As Sam Shepard’s True West brothers grim, Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano dig deep into the loamy earth of that macho post-hippie neo-cowboy near-masterpiece, mucking about the desert-edge-of-suburbia drama and surviving (we assume) to face another tequila sunrise. Shepard’s 1980 near-Pulitzer elegy for an authentically brutal frontier that’s faded into a brutally make-believe dreamland might not carry the same are we not real men urgency of the panicky sensitive-male era in which the playwright first mourned his mythologized West, but its apparent appeal for a certain type of meat-seeking actor persists.

All of which is to say, Hawke and Dano are well-suited in both temperament and talent for the Roundabout’s Broadway revival of Shepard’s once-shocking blast of new wave absurdism, opening tonight at the American Airlines Theatre. Directed by James Macdonald, True West fights its battles on a homey (but ever so trashable) two-room set, no
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Bruce Springsteen Releases ‘The Roxy 1975’ Live Album

Bruce Springsteen Releases ‘The Roxy 1975’ Live Album
The newest chapter of Bruce Springsteen’s ongoing live download series spotlights a show he played at The Roxy in West Hollywood, California on October 18th, 1975. Born To Run had come out a little less than two months before the show and the hype around the album was reaching a crescendo. He’d appear on the cover of Time and Newsweek in the same week later that month and everyone from Carole King to Jack Nicholson, Peter Boyle, Robert de Niro, Jackson Browne, Jim Messina and Neil Diamond along came
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Emmy Experts say Diana Rigg (‘Game of Thrones’) will finally win for playing Olenna Tyrell thanks to memorable death scene

Emmy Experts say Diana Rigg (‘Game of Thrones’) will finally win for playing Olenna Tyrell thanks to memorable death scene
Gold Derby’s Emmy Experts from major media outlets are nearly unanimous in predicting that Diana Rigg will finally win Best Drama Guest Actress for her stand-out role of Olenna Tyrell on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” This is Rigg’s fourth nomination for playing the fan-favorite character and she has yet to win, so why now? No doubt our awards pundits are convinced that Rigg’s memorable death scene in “The Queen’s Justice” will help push her over the edge.

See Emmy episode analysis: Diana Rigg (‘Game of Thrones’) delivers one final zinger in ‘The Queen’s Justice’

Over the years many actors have won Emmys for dying on-screen, including such memorable performances as Zeljko Ivanek (“Damages” in 2008), Drea de Matteo (“The Sopranos” in 2004) and Peter Boyle (“The X-Files” in 1996). That’s likely why our Experts think Rigg has a real shot this year to claim Emmy gold
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Alan Johnson Dies: Mel Brooks ‘Young Frankenstein’ Choreographer Was 81

Alan Johnson Dies: Mel Brooks ‘Young Frankenstein’ Choreographer Was 81
Alan Johnson, a three-time Emmy Award winning choreographer whose work spanned Broadway and Hollywood – and included four scenes from Mel Brooks’ comedies that became instant, irreverent classics – died July 7 of Parkinson’s disease at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81.

His death was confirmed to news outlets by his nephew Todd Johnson.

Johnson began his career as an understudy dancer for Broadway’s original 1957 West Side Story production and went on to include notable work for, among others, Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune, Bernadette Peters and Shirley MacLaine (including Emmy-winning choreography for the 1980 TV special Shirley MacLaine…Every Little Movement).

But the dance routines that are almost certainly his most widely viewed were performed far from any Broadway stage. As Mel Brooks’ go-to choreographer, Johnson collaborated with the director on unforgettable routines that became high points of the movies that contained them: The wildly, intentionally tasteless “Springtime For Hitler” (1967’s
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Everybody Loves Raymond: Could There Be a Revival of the CBS Sitcom?

Could Everybody Loves Raymond be coming back? Recently, creator Phil Rosenthal spoke with CinemaBlend about the possibility of a reboot for the CBS TV show.A family sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond starred Ray Romano, Doris Roberts, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Peter Boyle, Madylin Sweeten, Sawyer Sweeten, Sullivan Sweeten, Monica Horan, Jon Manfrellotti, and Andy Kindler. The series ran on for nine seasons before ending in 2005.Read More…
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Blu ray

Olive Films

1970 /1:85 / Street Date April 24, 2018

Starring Peter Boyle, Susan Sarandon

Cinematography by John Avildsen

Written by Norman Wexler

Directed by John Avildsen

Galvanized by Martin Luther King’s assassination, an army of protestors descended upon 1968’s Democratic convention then playing out on Chicago’s south side. They were greeted by an enraged mayor who made sure there would be no contest between his men in blue and their bell-bottemed adversaries – cops came out swinging and left Michigan Avenue swimming in blood and the smell of tear gas.

Like Vietnam, Richard Daley’s Windy city purge was a living room war – a TV sensation that ensured the whole world would be watching. It took some time for movies to catch up. Films like Medium Cool and Easy Rider met the head-cracking controversy head on but big studio releases related to this particular counter-culture moment tended toward docile
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Emmys 2018: Why we might be underestimating Marc Maron (‘Glow’) for Best Comedy Supporting Actor

Emmys 2018: Why we might be underestimating Marc Maron (‘Glow’) for Best Comedy Supporting Actor
According to our latest Emmy predictions, Marc Maron (“Glow”) is a likely nominee for Best Comedy Supporting Actor, ranked fifth with odds of 8/1 based on the combined forecasts of more than 1,200 Gold Derby users who have entered their picks this far. But could we be underestimating him for the win? He’s coming off a surprise SAG nomination for his performance, and that could be a strong indicator of Emmy. Both the SAG Awards and Emmys are peer group prizes where actors are judged by fellow actors.

The SAG Awards only have one category for male comedy actors, which means supporting actors have to face off against lead actors. Naturally, supporting stars are at a disadvantage given their limited screentime relative to lead performers, so when a supporting performance gets nominated is especially noteworthy. And it leads to Emmy wins more often than you might think. Since the SAG Awards
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Riverdale’s Parents Are The Worst

It’s a Sunday night: you’ve just finished your job delivering leaflets for a local takeaway, you have algebra homework to do, you haven’t cleaned your room and your mum’s on the warpath. You’re sat in bed with ice cream watching serial killer documentaries and listening to The Smiths. Everything’s fine.

We’ve all been teenagers, and it isn’t easy. Puberty’s happening. You’re trying to do homework instead of going out with your friends every night. All your friends are making out with friends of friends. You have to think of clever tweets and take aesthetic selfies for Instagram. Your phone cannot be out of your line of sight for a second. It’s the apocalypse.

And your parents don’t understand, they’re just in your face all the time, trying to make you do chores or last week’s essay.
See full article at The Cultural Post »

‘The X-Files’: Darin Morgan episodes through the years include ‘Clyde Bruckman,’ ‘Jose Chung’ and …

  • Gold Derby
‘The X-Files’: Darin Morgan episodes through the years include ‘Clyde Bruckman,’ ‘Jose Chung’ and …
You bet your blankety-blank bleep that Wednesday’s all-new episode of “The X-Files” was written and directed by fan-favorite Darin Morgan. In honor of the occasion, it’s the perfect time to look back at all of the auteur’s episodes through the years. Morgan’s quirky style is one of a kind on the show, and he was even rewarded with an Emmy in 1996 for writing the Season 3 classic “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose.” Despite his renowned reputation among fans, Morgan has only written six episodes of “The X-Files,” just a drop in the bucket when you consider there’s been more than 200 (and counting). Click through our photo gallery above to see all of Morgan’s “The X-Files” episodes, or read the descriptions below.

Humbug” — Season 2, Episode 20 — March 31, 1995

Set in the world of a traveling carnival, “Humbug” was Morgan’s first solo script after previously receiving a “story
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Flickering Myth Film Class: The Audio/Visual depiction of mental breakdown

In the latest instalment of Flickering Myth’s film class, Tom Jolliffe looks at the audio and visual tools a film-maker can effectively use to portray a characters descent into madness…

In previous film classes (which I should say are merely showcases for films that excel in whatever subject springs to my mind before writing) I’ve covered a range of aspects from the technical to the aesthetic and more. However in this instalment I want to delve deeper into character, and in particular the audio and visual tools a film-maker can use in order to effectively portray a descent into madness.

It’s particularly important that these tools are used creatively when the character in question is generally quiet. When he seems inactive until that inevitable moment when he fully unravels into explosive behaviour. I’ve covered films in previous instalments (and other articles) which I could easily have focused on here.
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Ray Romano Hosts International Myeloma Foundation 11th Comedy Celebration

On November 4th, the International Myeloma Foundation (Imf) presented its 11th Annual Comedy Celebration benefiting the Peter Boyle Research Fund and supporting the Black Swan Research Initiative (Bsri) at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.

Ray Romano performs onstage at the International Myeloma Foundation 11th Annual Comedy Celebration

Credit/Copyright: Brandon Williams/Getty Images for International Myeloma Foundation

Ten-time host Ray Romano was joined by fellow comedians Hannibal Buress, Rachel Feinstein, Nikki Glaser, Robert Klein, Marc Maron, Iliza Shlesinger, and Fred Willard, who each took the stage to perform for an unforgettable evening of comedy. Veteran comedian Rene Hicks opened the show in a big way drawing huge laughs from the crowd while also sharing her personal experience with myeloma noting the healing benefits of laughter.

Additional attendees included Patricia Heaton (The Middle), Howard Hesseman (Fresh Off the Boat), Jake Smollet (Food Network’s Smollett Eats), James Burrows (Director,
See full article at Look to the Stars »

Everybody Loves Raymond: A Revival? Brad Garrett Says...

Could Everybody Loves Raymond be making a comeback? Recently, star Brad Garrett spoke with TVGuide about the possibility of bringing back the hit CBS TV show.Created by Philip Rosenthal, the comedy centered on Raymond Barone (Ray Romano), a sportswriter who lives across the street from his pestering parents and older brother (Garrett). The cast also included Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle, Patricia Heaton, and Madylin Sweeten. The show ran for nine seasons between 1996 and 2005.Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

Frankenstein Double Feature: Bride Of Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein Oct. 20th at Washington University

“We belong…Dead!”

Please join Washington University’s Film and Media Studies and the Center for the Humanities as they celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with a free screening of Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Young Frankenstein (1974). The event takes place at Brown Hall, Room 100, Washington University in St. Louis Friday October 20th, 2017 at 7.00 pm. This is a Free event and there will be free popcorn and soda there as well.

Two hundred years have passed since Mary Shelley, the British novelist and dramatist, published her novel Frankenstein. Since that moment, her creation has not only caused a big impact in the literary world, but also in cinema, an art that was not even alive when the monster was born. In celebration of Frankenstein’s upcoming birthday, Film and Media Studies and the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis is organizing a free
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Ray Romano Returns To Host International Myeloma Foundation 11th Annual Comedy Celebration

The International Myeloma Foundation (Imf), the first and widely respected myeloma-specific foundation in the world, announced today the star-studded lineup for the Imf 11th Annual Comedy Celebration on Saturday, November 4 at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

Actor and comedian Ray Romano returns to host an unforgettable evening of comedy that will feature performers including Hannibal Buress, Rachel Feinstein, Nikki Glaser, Robert Klein, Marc Maron, Kumail Nanjiani, Iliza Shlesinger, and Fred Willard. All performers are subject to availability.

Proceeds from event benefit the Peter Boyle Research Fund, named for the beloved actor who died in 2006 after a four-year battle with myeloma – an incurable cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells and one of the fastest growing blood cancers in the world. Since the first event in 2007, the annual Imf Comedy Celebration has featured over 50 celebrity comedians and musical performers, and raised more than $6 million. Through laughter, the event honors Boyle and raises
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Brad Garrett reflects on deaths of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ parents: ‘We learned a lot from Peter and Doris’

Brad Garrett reflects on deaths of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ parents: ‘We learned a lot from Peter and Doris’
“We learned a lot from Peter and Doris,” reflects Brad Garrett about the deaths of his “Everybody Loves Raymond” parents, Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts. CNN’s Pamela Brown interviewed Garrett on Friday about the network’s upcoming docu-series “The Nineties,” and Garrett was soon rehashing memories about his TV dad and mom, who played the over-protective […]
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Film Feature: Remembers the Films of Director John G. Avildsen

Chicago – His films were more popular than his name, but director John G. Avildsen did put his mark on the last 30 years of 20th Century movies. Avildsen died last week at the age of 81. He is known best for the Oscar Best Picture-winning “Rocky” (1976), but also did the controversial “Joe” (1970), “Save the Tiger” (1973, Best Actor Oscar for Jack Lemmon), John Belushi’s last film “Neighbors” (1981), “The Karate Kid” (1984), “Lean on Me” (1989) and “8 Seconds” (1994). Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of offer three essays on their Avildsen favorites.

Director John G. Avildsen on the Set of ‘Rocky’ with Sylvester Stallone

Photo credit: United Artists

John G. Avildsen was born in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, and graduated from New York University. He started as an assistant director for Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger, before breaking out on his own in the low budget “Joe,” featuring Peter Boyle, in 1970. He scored his biggest success with “Rocky” in 1976 – winning the Oscar for Best Director – and revisited the franchise later with “Rocky V” (1990). He also directed both sequels to “Karate Kid” with “Part II” (1986) and “Part III” (1989). At his peak, he was the original director for “Serpico” (1973) and “Saturday Night Fever” (1977), but was let go from both films. His final film as director was “Inferno” (1999), featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Avildsen passed away in Los Angeles on June 16th, 2017, of complications due to pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old.

Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Lennon Espino of pay tribute to the director who was nicknamed “King of the Underdogs,” with the following film essays.

Rocky (1976) by Patrick McDonald


Photo credit: MGM Home Entertainment

Rocky” is a miracle of a film, considering both its eventual prize (Oscar Best Picture) and the way it made it to the screen the first place. A broke actor named Sylvester Stallones writes a desired boxing movie script that has one caveat… he must portray the title character. As a gambit, he proposes a budget of only one million dollars, and the film gets the green light. For all of the notion of Stallone as Rocky’s prime creator, it is actually director John Avildsen who delivered the on-screen goods – the famous running scene, the freeze frame on the top of Philadelphia’s “Rocky Steps,” boxing sequences that had never been seen before and the third use of the (just invented) Steadicam by a major motion picture.

Avildsen loved to tell the stories of having Stallone write additional dialogue because the budget was so tight they couldn’t afford to match Rocky’s boxing shorts with the on-set posters or send back his too-big ring entrance robe. And remember the classic song “Gonna Fly Now”? It was Avildsen who brought in composer Bill Conti from his previous directorial effort of the Burt Reynolds film, “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings.” The underdog of underdog films was delivered to a Bicentennial audience, and the little-movie-that-could took home Oscars for Best Picture, Director and Editing, in addition to being the highest grossing film of 1976. No wonder Avildsen became the “Ka-Ching of the Underdogs.”

Gonna Fly Now: The portrayal of the character of Rocky by Stallone was never better in this film, with Six sequels now in the culture. Director Ryan Coogler of the latest Rocky adventure, the excellent “Creed,” seemed to use the John Avildsen template in approaching the sequencing of that story.

The Karate Kid (1984) by Spike Walters

The Karate Kid

Photo credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

John G Avildson was a bit of a journeyman… his Oscar notwithstanding. He wasn’t one of those visionaries who develop a signature style, but his subtle gift was making a formula work. And they don’t come much more formulaic than 1984’s underdog/odd couple buddy movie “The Karate Kid.” Yet Avildson knew how to inject heart into this story of the undersized “Kid” and his quiet but powerful teacher. As the listless remake and some of its later sequels show, this is not nearly as easy as Avildson makes it look here – this is the 1980’s classic that scored Pat Morita an Oscar nomination and holds up relatively well today. It’s not exactly groundbreaking but director Avildson knew how to make the most of it.

Gonna Fly Now: You’d expect the man who directed the original “Rocky” to find the right beats in the inevitable training montage, but Kid Daniel’s “crane kick” training – which predictably but winningly leads to a triumph at the end – still delivers the goods.

Lean On Me (1989) by Jon Lennon Espino

Lean on Me

Photo credit: Warner Home Video

High school sometimes get a bad rap as a physical hell on Earth. John G. Avildsen’s “Lean On Me” does nothing to make anyone think otherwise. Avildsen, like many of his films, has fun with this one. He shows us an exaggerated look at a public school system after minorities have taken over the neighborhood. The director has long had a fascination with creating hero stories, and in this one, he gives us a breakout performance by Morgan Freeman… his performance and approach to the character is everything! This movie lives on the over-the-top action of Freeman, breathing a fun air into the entire film as he does things that may be extremely illegal in real life, but are completely entertaining within the scope of the film. Avildsen knows exactly how to set a scene, which you know right away after the opening montage that is essentially a music video. His films often have an after school special feel, but “Lean On Me” shows just how well it works even when school is still in session.

Gonna Fly Now: The opening credits where we are taken on a tour of the school while Guns-n-Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” is playing. He hilariously frames and choreographs the fighting to simulate feral animals in the jungle.

John G. Avildsen, 1935-2017

By Patrick McDONALDWriter, Editorial

© 2017 Patrick McDonald,
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