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Willy Wonka Star And All-Round Comedy Great Gene Wilder Dead At 83

Willy Wonka star and all-round comedy great Jerome Silberman – better known to you and I as the inimitable Gene Wilder – has passed away following complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.

Wilder’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, confirmed that the stage and screen icon had died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut on Monday, August 29. Wilder had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma back in 1989. Further details are not currently available at this time.

Before landing his defining role as the title character in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder enjoyed his screen debut through the Armstrong Circle Theatre TV series. That was in ’62, before holding a bit-part in Bonnie and Clyde five years later; it wasn’t until 1968, however, that Wilder made his first major breakthrough with the Leopold Bloom film.

What followed was a string of landmark collaborations with two writer-directors: Richard Pryor and Mel Brooks. The
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James Sheldon, Prolific TV Director, Dies at 95

James Sheldon, Prolific TV Director, Dies at 95
TV director James Sheldon, who worked on hundreds of shows including “The Millionaire,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Fugitive,” “Batman” and many more, died March 12. He was 95.

His son, Tony, told the New York Times that Sheldon died of complications from cancer at his Manhattan home.

Sheldon once estimated that he directed about 1,200 episodes of television over his long career. Among them are 44 episodes of “The Millionaire,” an entire season of “The Bing Crosby Show” and several episodes of “Room 222,” “Love, American Style,” “That Girl,” “The Fugitive” and “My Three Sons.” He also directed the pilot of “Family Affair.”

His career also included six episodes in the second and third seasons of “The Twilight Zone,” featuring such classics as “I Sing the Body Electric” and “A Penny for Your Thoughts.” He helmed an episode of “Batman” in 1966, featuring Julie Newmar as Catwoman.

The helmer had a unique role in the career of James Dean,
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Betsy von Furstenberg, Actress and Aristocrat, Dies at 83

Betsy von Furstenberg, an elegant star of Broadway during the 1950s who also made appearances in early television and on daytime soaps, died April 21 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease in Manhattan. She was 83.

The stylish actress played a series of debutantes and society girls onstage. She made a big impression playing Myra Hagerman in Edward Chodorov’s original comedy “Oh, Men! Oh, Women!” on Broadway in 1953. (Barbara Rush played the role in the 1957 feature adaptation). During the decade she enjoyed success on the Rialto in plays including “The Chalk Garden,” “Child of Fortune,” “Nature’s Way” and a revival of “Much Ado About Nothing,”

She made her screen debut in director Géza von Radványi’s 1950 Italian war drama “Women Without Names.” During the 1950s she appeared in a number of episodic anthology shows beginning with “Starlight Theatre” in 1951 and also including “Playhouse 90,” “Pulitzer Prize Theatre,” “Armstrong Circle Theatre” and “Kraft Theatre.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Leslie Nielsen of Airplane! and Naked Gun Fame Dies at 84

Leslie Nielsen, whose career went from officious and villainous types to the hilariously buffoony roles in Airplane! and the Naked Gun movies, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia, his agent told TVGuide.com. He was 84.

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He was surrounded by family when he died in a hospital near his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home.

The actor had a whole career before becoming one of the funniest guys in movies. He typically played people who were quite humorless.

Before his starring roles in The Poseidon Adventure and Forbidden Planet, he appeared in several live television series such as Lights Out, Tales of Tomorrow and Armstrong Circle Theatre.

A student of the Actors Studio, the Canadian-born Nielsen went on to appear in innumerable episodes of various TV series, spanning the Golden Age of Television and its anthologies including...

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Actor Paul Newman dies at 83

Actor Paul Newman dies at 83
Paul Newman, who combined Method training with matinee idol looks to become the personification of the cool '60s rebel in such iconic roles as the reckless Hud, the defiant Cool Hand Luke and the hotshot Butch Cassidy, died Friday. Surrounded by friends and family, including his wife, Joanne Woodward, the actor and philanthropist passed away at his farmhouse home near Wesport, Conn., after a long battle with cancer. He was 83.

In a film career that spanned nearly six decades, Newman received seven Oscar nominations before he was finally presented with an Honorary Oscar in 1986 "in recognition of his many and memorable and compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft."

But then he pulled out a trump card of his own, winning the best actor Academy Award the following year for "The Color of Money," in which he reprised the role of pool shark Fast Eddie Felsen,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

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