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News & Cast Updates(News section last updated November 1, 2018)
Jon Lindstrom Lands a Prime Role on Amazon's BOSCH!(11/1/18) (abc.soapsindepth.com) In his career, Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan, GENERAL HOSPITAL) has been on plenty of television, but now he’s playing a role he’s very excited about. He’ll be playing the recurring role of Lance Cronyn in multiple ep0isodes of the fifth season of BOSCH! “I get to play a great character on one of my favorite shows!” the actor announced on Instagram.
Lindstrom had been teasing fans on social media for a couple weeks that he’d landed a new role but had kept details close to the vest until he could finally share the news. Amazon renewed BOSCH for a fifth season even before the fourth premiered, but there is still no premiere date for the series’ fifth season beyond just 2019.
BOSCH stars Titus Welliver as Los Angeles Police detective Harry Bosch, and is based on characters and storylines taken from novels by author Michael Connelly. In the books, Lindstrom’s character of Lance Cronyn is a former district attorney who has moved into private practice. He’s also not entirely on the right side of the law, and willing to do whatever it takes to get the verdict he’s after. Whether or not the TV series will follow the same storyline as the books, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out!
We’ll let you know when the fifth season of BOSCH is going to premiere so you can check out Lindstrom in his newest role.
Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio Officially Attach To ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’(10/24/18) In a development Deadline told you 18 months ago was going to happen, Martin Scorsese has officially attached to direct and Leonardo DiCaprio to star in the feature adaptation of the New York Times bestselling David Grann book Killers of the Flower Moon. Eric Roth wrote the script.
In addition to directing as his next project, Scorsese will produce alongside Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Sikelia Productions’ Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Appian Way Productions.
Imperative, which went on to make All the Money in the World, and backed Ridley Scott’s decision to scrub Kevin Spacey and reshoot his scenes with Oscar-nominated Christopher Plummer weeks before the film’s release, really got on the map with its stunning acquisition of this book. It made a $5 million bid that was millions more than what other suitors were willing to pay back in 2016. Adding the seven-figure sum for Forrest Gump writer Roth to adapt it, and this has been a pricey development process. But when it results in landing Scorsese and DiCaprio, it sounds like money well spent. It put Imperative — which recently wrapped the Clint Eastwood-directed The Mule — on the map.
“When I read David Grann’s book, I immediately started seeing it—the people, the settings, the action—and I knew that I had to make it into a movie,” said Scorsese. “I’m so excited to be working with Eric Roth and reuniting with Leo DiCaprio to bring this truly unsettling American story to the screen.”
In 1920s Oklahoma, the Osage Nation were the richest people per capita in the world, after oil was discovered under their land. And then they were murdered, one by one. As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case and unraveled a chilling conspiracy and one of the most monstrous crimes in American history.
Imperative executives have met with the Osage Nation and the team is scouting locations in the coming months with production set to commence during the summer of 2019.
30WEST will arrange the financing and distribution for the project.
Scorsese and DiCaprio are both represented by LBI Entertainment and attorney Steve Warren of Hansen, Jacobson. Scorsese is also represented by WME.
Morning Show Appearance(10/12/18) Today – NBC
Wednesday, October 17
(7-9 a.m.) Robin Wright on House of Cards
Talk Show Appearance(10/11/18) THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT – CBS
Friday, Oct. 19
General Hospital Vet Susan Brown Dead at 86, Remembered by Co-Stars(9/1/18) General Hospital alum Susan Brown, who played Scotty Baldwin’s stepmother, Dr. Gail Adamson Baldwin, died on Friday at the age of 86.
GH vet Kin Shriner, who plays Scotty, shared the news on Twitter, hailing Brown as “one of my best friends and costars…. R.I.P., Susan. I will miss all our laughs.”
Brown first joined GH in 1977, earning a Daytime Emmy nomination two years later. She exited GH in the mid-80s, but recurred now and again, especially when Scotty’s family helped launch the ABC Daytime spinoff Port Charles. Brown last appeared on GH in a 2004 episode honoring the late Anna Lee, who had Lila Quartermaine.
Brown’s previous TV credits included As the World Turns (as Adelaide Fitzgibbon), ABC’s mid-1960s sudser The Young Marrieds, Death Valley Days and Santa Barbara (as Dorothy Lane). Her most recent primetime role was a 1994 episode of Frasier.
“She was so very special, on set and in friendship,” GH vet Jackie Zeman shared on Twitter, offering Shriner her condolences. “I remember all the good times we shared on our lunch breaks and at at her amazing dinner parties at her beautiful home. RIP Susan + God Bless.”
Current GH boss Frank Valentini tweeted, “It’s a very sad day in Port Charles as the wonderful Susan Brown (“Gail Baldwin”) passed away today. My sincerest condolences to her family and to all who knew this amazing woman.”
Brown’s GH husband, Peter Hansen (who played Scotty’s father, Lee Baldwin), passed away in April 2017, at the age of 95.
Robin Wright fought to save thousands of jobs on 'House of Cards'(8/31/18) Robin Wright fought to save the jobs of 2,500 people on TV show House Of Cards following the sexual misconduct scandal which engulfed co-star Kevin Spacey.
Spacey was fired from his role as Frank Underwood in the political Netflix drama last year after multiple allegations of misconduct and harassment were levelled against the actor, beginning with claims made by actor Anthony Rapp, who alleged the actor pounced on him in the bedroom of his hotel suite when Rapp was an underage teenager.
In an interview with Porter Edit, Wright, who plays First Lady turned President Claire Underwood on the drama, revealed how she fought to save the show, and the jobs of up to 2,500 staffers.
“It came very, very close (to being axed),” she told the publication. “The air was thick, you know. Harvey Weinstein… People were (saying), ‘We have to shut everything down or otherwise it will looking like we are glorifying and honouring this thing that’’s dirty’.”
The mother of two, who is an executive producer on the show, which will premiere its final sixth season in November, said she strongly believed the producers should honour their commitment to the fans, and the thousands of employees who would have been affected by its cancellation.
“They printed that it was ‘only’ 600 people out of work, but if you include security, cops, shooting on location in Baltimore, everything, 2,500 people would have been out of a job,” she claimed. “And that’s not fair – to take that security away from those people… they didn’t do anything (wrong).”
The 52-year-old actress revealed she hasn’t reached out to her former co-star, explaining she expects Spacey will get in touch “when he’s ready”.
But when asked if he deserves a “career reprieve”, she carefully answered: “I believe every human being has the ability to reform.
“In that sense, second chances, or whatever you are going to call it – absolutely, I believe in that.“
Robin Wright marries French boyfriend Clement Giraudet: Report(8/13/18) Actress Robin Wright has reportedly married French fashion executive Clement Giraudet in a weekend ceremony.
According to Vogue Paris, the Wonder Woman star became Mrs. Giraudet at an undisclosed location on Saturday.
Robin’s representative has yet to comment on the news, but her daughter, Dylan Penn, from her former marriage to Sean Penn, appeared to share footage from the nuptials on her Instagram page.
“Weddin vibes (sic),” she captioned a clip of guests dancing outdoors at the bohemian-style party, which she tagged with the location of La Roche-sur-le-Buis in southeastern France.
Other images which have surfaced online show Robin beaming in a floor-length white gown, with her hair worn down and accessorized with a brown headband, as she hugs her new husband.
Robin, 52, first went public with her romance with Saint Laurent businessman Clement last September, when they were pictured attending a soccer game in Paris, before subsequently stepping out together for Paris Fashion Week.
They hit headlines again in March amid rumours suggesting the couple had secretly wed, after both Robin and Clement were spotted sporting gold bands on their left ring fingers as they sat in the crowd at the UEFA Champions League soccer game in the French capital, but they did not acknowledge the claims at the time.
The marriage is Robin’s third – she was previously wed to actor Dane Witherspoon from 1986 to 1988, while she tied the knot with Sean Penn, with whom she also shares 25-year-old son Hopper, in 1996. They divorced in 2010, and she went on to become engaged to Alpha Dog star Ben Foster, before they parted ways in August, 2015.
Foster is also a newlywed – he and actress Laura Prepon tied the knot in June.
3rd Rock's Elmarie Wendel Dead at 89(7/23/18) Elmarie Wendel, best known to TV audiences for her role as 3rd Rock From the Sun landlady Mrs. Dubcek, has died at the age of 89, TMZ reports.
Wendel worked consistently as a character actress before landing 3rd Rock in 1996. Earlier credits include guest spots on Knight Rider, The Jeffersons, The Facts of Life, Murphy Brown, Seinfeld, Major Dad, Santa Barbara, Empty Nest, Weird Science and Murder, She Wrote.
After 3rd Rock ended in 2001, Wendel guest-starred on four episodes of NYPD Blue, then landed a recurring role as the flirtatious Gina on George Lopez. She later appeared in select episodes of General Hospital and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, and reunited with 3rd Rock co-stars Kristen Johnston and Wayne Knight on an episode of the TV Land sitcom The Exes.
Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio turned down 'Brokeback Mountain' roles: Gus Van Sant(7/20/18) Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio both declined starring roles in Oscar-winning drama Brokeback Mountain, according to original director Gus Van Sant.
The moviemaker was initially attached to adapt author Annie Proulx’s short story of the same name into a feature film, but he struggled to convince a number of top actors to take on the cowboy love story.
“Nobody wanted to do it,” Van Sant recalled to IndieWire. “I was working on it, and I felt like we needed a really strong cast, like a famous cast. That wasn’t working out.
“I asked the usual suspects: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ryan Phillippe. They all said no.”
Reports at the time suggested Van Sant had wanted his Good Will Hunting star Damon to feature opposite Joaquin Phoenix as Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, the roles which eventually went to Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, respectively, in director Ang Lee’s acclaimed 2005 release.
Producer Diana Ossana, who helped to adapt the script, confirmed the revelations in an email statement to the outlet, writing, “Yes, all those young gentlemen (at the time) turned down the project, for various reasons.”
Reflecting on his approach to casting the film over a decade ago, Van Sant admits he shouldn’t have focused so heavily on landing big names.
“What I could have done, and what I probably should have done, was cast more unknowns, not worried about who were the lead actors,” he said.
“I was not ready. I’m not sure why. There was just sort of a hiccup on my part. There was something off with myself, I guess, whatever was going on.”
Brokeback Mountain went on to lead all nominees at the 2006 Academy Awards with eight nods, including acting mentions for Ledger, Gyllenhaal, and Michelle Williams. It ended up picking up three honours, including Best Director for Lee, but missed out on Best Picture to Crash.
Meanwhile, Van Sant also told IndieWire he came close to taking charge of another acclaimed gay romance, 2017’s Call Me By Your Name, which was directed by Luca Guadagnino and starred Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer.
He explains a producer pal initially offered the project to him, and although the 65-year-old was interested, he doubts it would have been as well-received as Guadagnino’s version, because he found a “sentimentality” in the ending of the story that Van Sant didn’t.
“I think in that case in particular… I don’t think it would have panned out the way it did if I had directed it,” he shared. “I think it was great. I like the film… I’m not sure I would have ended up in the same place, so it probably wouldn’t have done as well.”
Call Me By Your Name, based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Andre Aciman, landed four Oscar nominations earlier this year, and earned James Ivory the Best Adapted Screenplay prize.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt Strike a Pose in First Photo of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood(6/28/18) (Photo) Leonardo DiCaprioand Brad Pitt are ready for Hollywood.
While much has been said about the star-studded upcoming film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, DiCaprio took intrigued fans inside the movie when he shared a first look at the film on Instagram on Wednesday.
In the stylish shot, the Oscar winner is posed alongside his co-star Pitt, both sporting themed ensembles and oozing with swagger.
Naturally, the photo has attracted millions of likes and endless comments since the actor shared it in the morning. As has been previously reported. DiCaprio will be portraying Rick Dalton, a washed-up Western actor who lives next door to Sharon Tate, while Pitt will fill the role of stunt double Cliff Booth.
The plot of the film takes place at the time of the Manson Family murders in the summer of 1969, with Margot Robbie as Tate and Emile Hirschas Jay Sebring, one of the Manson family's victims.
In addition to reuniting DiCaprio with his Wolf of Wall Street co-star Robbie, the movie will also bring together Pitt with his Ocean's Thirteen co-star Al Pacino, who has been cast as Marvin Shwarz, Dalton's agent.
The movie will also star Burt Reynolds, James Marsden and Dakota Fanning among several other notable actors.
The film, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, is due out in summer 2019.
Soap's Robert Mandan Dead at 86(6/4/18) Robert Mandan, best known to TV audiences for his role as Chester Tate on the classic ABC sitcom Soap, has died at the age of 86.
Mandan passed away in Los Angeles on April 29 after suffering a long, undisclosed illness, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He is survived by his wife, Sherry Dixon.
The veteran TV actor got his start in soap operas, with stints on From These Roots (1959-1961), The Edge of Night (1963), The Doctors (1963) and Search for Tomorrow (1966-1970). He continued to work regularly throughout the 1970s, appearing on episodes of All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son, Mission: Impossible and The Streets of San Francisco, among other high-profile series.
Mandan’s star-making role came soon after, when he was cast on the aforementioned Soap as the philandering husband to Katherine Helmond’s Jessica from 1977 to 1981. The series ran for a total of four seasons and spawned the successful spinoff Benson, starring the late Robert Guillaume.
After Soap, Mandan starred as Col. Lawrence Fielding in the TV adaptation of Private Benjamin, which ran on CBS from 1981-1983. In 1984, he starred opposite John Ritter on the short-lived Three’s a Crowd, in a role he originated in the final episodes of Three’s Company. In 1986, he appeared on The Facts of Life as Dr. Bruce Gaines, a member of the Peace Corps who married Mrs. Garrett in Charlotte Rae’s farewell episodes. Then in 1991, he reunited with Soap spouse Helmond in two episodes of Who’s the Boss.
Mandan’s film credits include Hickey & Boggs, MacArthur and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Other notable TV gigs included episodes of The Love Boat, CHiPS, Highway to Heaven, Santa Barbara, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Married… with Children.
Jon Lindstrom Books Horror Thriller ‘The Great Illusion’(5/23/18) Selma Blair and Graham Greene are attached to star in the horror thriller, The Great Illusion, along with Glenn Morshower (Transformers, Bloodline), Tokala Black Elk (Wind River), Jon Lindstrom (True Detective), Kenzie Dalton (FX’s Feud), and newcomer Oscar Cardenas. Cardenas co-wrote the film with daughter Maria Gabriela Cardenas, who will direct the pic as her feature debut.
The plot follows a tortured FBI agent suffering from an irrational fear of darkness, as he investigates a mysterious former prostitute in order to catch a vicious serial killer.
Amy Williams (Mothers and Daughters) is producing the project, which also co-stars Trisha Rae Stahl (Fox’s Glee), Rebekah Kennedy (Netflix’s To the Bone), Jaime Gallagher (Know Your Enemy), Bella Shaw, Rob Evors (Project X), as well as Monte Markham (We Are Still Here) and Beverly Todd (The Bucket List). Filming is slated to begin next month in Los Angeles.
Blair can currently be seen in Netflix’s Lost in Space and will recur in Paramount Network’s Heathers series, based on the 1988 cult classic film, which will debut this summer. Greene, an Oscar nominee for his role in Dances with Wolves, was recently seen in Wind River and Molly’s Game.
Blair is repped by Gersh and Wishlab while Greene is repped by Greene & Associates Talent Agency.
Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Appian Way In Early Talks To Team On Ulysses S. Grant Epic At Lionsgate(5/18/18) Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio are in early discussions to re-team on an epic biopic of Ulysses S. Grant that DiCaprio and Appian Way partner Jeniffer Davisson are producing at Lionsgate. I’m told that Spielberg wants to direct DiCaprio in that role in their first collaboration since the 2002 drama Catch Me If You Can.
Lionstate and Appian Way last November acquired movie rights to Grant, the bestselling Ron Chernow biography that is being adapted by David James Kelly. The writer just worked for Appian Way and Lionsgate on Robin Hood, the Otto Bathurst-directed that stars Taron Egerton in the starring role.
Pinning down a time when these two titans will work together is always a challenge. As Deadline revealed last January, Spielberg set Indiana Jones and West Side Story to be his next two films as his followup to The Post and Ready Player One. DiCaprio, who took time off after the arduous shoot that won him the Best Actor Oscar in The Revenant, next stars in the Quentin Tarantino-directed Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. DiCaprio and Davisson are developing several big star vehicles including the Leonardo Da Vinci project based on the Walter Isaacson book which Paramount set in a seven figure deal as Appian Way moved its deal to the studio. Appian Way and Paramount also have a Teddy Roosevelt film that Scott Bloom is scripting for Martin Scorsese to direct. Separately, there is also a possible collaboration with Scorsese on the David Grann book Killers of the Flower Moon which has a script by Eric Roth for Imperative Entertainment.
Despite this, sources labeled the Grant project a priority. The Penguin Press book has a high pedigree. Chernow is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Washington: A Life, whose Alexander Hamilton was the inspiration for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony winning musical Hamilton. Chernow is exec producer of Grant.
It provides Spielberg with another interesting way to explore the Civil War, ground he covered in Lincoln. Grant was one of the most complicated military leaders-turned politicians in American history. Down on his luck with failing businesses and a resignation from the army amid accusations of drunkenness, Grant enjoyed a rousing second act as Abraham Lincoln’s most trusted general. He won the battle of Shiloh and the Vicksburg campaign, and defeated the legendary Southern Confederate general Robert E. Lee. His military genius propelled him to two terms in the White House. He was a champion for black Americans and worked to crush the Ku Klux Klan, even as there were scandals involving administration’s leaders. Grant had EKG-like highs and lows even after his presidency, seeing his fortune swindled on Wall Street but resuscitating himself working with Mark Twain on his critically acclaimed memoirs.
Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio File Objections In Weinstein Co. Bankruptcy(5/1/18) A Who’s Who list of Hollywood celebrities have filed objections to the Weinstein Co. sale, saying they’re owed money by the bankrupt studio — though the murky accounting makes it difficult to know exactly how much without conducting an audit.
Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Murray and Quentin Tarantino were among those filing documents raising concerns about outstanding payments ahead of the court-supervised auction of the studio.
Tarantino has had a long collaboration with The Weinstein Co. and its disgraced co-founder, Harvey Weinstein. He made four films for the studio — Grindhouse/Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.
The writer-director estimates he’s still owed nearly $4.6 million for these films: $300,000 for Grindhouse, $575,000 for Inglourious Basterds, some $1.3 million for Django and $2.5 million for The Hateful Eight.
Tarantino is asking the court to forestall the sale until The Weinstein Co. lives up to its contractual obligations and provides assurances of future payments.
The Weinstein Co. says it owes Lawrence $102,623 for her work on Silver Linings Playbook, though the actress says she can’t be sure if the amount is accurate because the studio only provided financial details through the end of December.
Streep found her name among the more than 2,000 pages of lists containing some 10,250 contracts — sometimes, misspelled as “Street.” She said she has been unable to get an accurate accounting of outstanding payments in connection with her work on the motion pictures August: Osage County and The Giver — though the Weinstein Co. claims it owes $168,611.
“Unless and until Ms. Streep is given such an opportunity and/or conducts a proper audit, the Debtors should not be permitted to unilaterally select cure amounts while withholding the information necessary for Ms. Streep to verify or contest those amounts,” Streep wrote in her filing.
The Weinstein Co. said it may owe Clooney $250,000 for August: Osage County, though the producer on the film said this amount does not take into account back-end participation.
Both Lawrence and Streep criticized co-founder Harvey Weinstein for taking their statements out of context as he sought to defend himself against sexual misconduct lawsuits.
Streep described as “pathetic” Weinstein’s use of her statement that he was not sexually transgressive or abusive as evidence that he had not abused other women. Lawrence echoed that sentiment, adding that she supports the women who have come forward seeking justice.
A group of film production companies — Studiocanal (Paddington I), Gaumont (Ballerina aka Leap!), Wild Bunch (The Artist), Delta Last Legion (Hannibal Rising),and Orange Studio (The Artist, Paradise Lost) — raised concerns about The Weinstein Co.’s lax bookkeeping. The studios claims that on some films, there has been no accounting for a year. On others, the records are up to seven years delinquent.
The Wild Bunch said an audit conducted for the reporting period ending in December of 2014 revealed a $293,00 payment shortfall for the Academy Award winning film, The Artist. Studiocanal believes it’s owed a share of profits on Paddington I, ditto for Gaumont on The Intouchables and Ballerina. They’re looking for the court’s assurance that a proper audit will occur and they’ll get paid.
Deadline previously reported that the list of the thousands of people owed money by the studio reads like a red carpet gala in Hollywood, including Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Dame Judi Dench, David Bowie, Michael Bay, Malia Obama, Boris Becker, Ryan Coogler, Daniel Radcliffe, Robert De Niro and Darlene Love.
Chuck McCann Dies: Comedian And Legendary Children’s TV Show Host Was 83(4/9/18) Beloved children’s TV show host, comedian, puppeteer, actor, and voiceover artist Chuck McCann (Kris Kringle, Santa Barbara) died on April 8 from congenital heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Deadline has confirmed. He was 83.
McCann was born on September 2, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York. It was in his hometown where he made a name for himself as a versatile entertainer in the ’60s. He, along with Soupy Sales, Sandy Becker, and Claude Kirschner were comedic influencers of the time. He worked on various children’s shows including Captain Kangaroo and Rootie Kazootie.
In 1963, he headed The Chuck McCann Show which ran on New York’s WPIX-TV, seven days a week. He went on to host Chuck McCann’s Laurel & Hardy TV Show in 1966 which featured Laurel & Hardy animated cartoons created by Hanna-Barbera. The show gave McCann the opportunity to do his Oliver Hardy imitation.
His television career also included recurring roles on Santa Barbara, Knots Landing, and Boston Legal. He also had guest-starring roles on iconic shows such as Bonanza, The Bob Newhart Show, Columbo, Kojak, Little House on the Prairie, Starsky & Hutch, The Rockford Files, One Day at a Time, St. Elsewhere, Diff’rent Strokes, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Mad About You.
On the film side, he starred in the critically-acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated 1968 film The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter with Alan Arkin as well as the 1970 comedy The Projectionist opposite Rodney Dangerfield and Ina Balin. Other film credits include They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way (1978), C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979), The Comeback Trail (1982), and Herbie Rides Again (1974). He also appeared in Mel Brooks’ 1993 cult comedy classic Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
He was also remembered for many award-winning commercials particularly Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, the mascot for General Mills’ cereal Coco Puffs. He voiced the memorable character who was “cuckoo for Coco Puffs” from 1962 until 1978. He may also be remembered for being the famous “Hi Guy” from the Right Guard series of Right Guard antiperspirant commercials.
As a voiceover actor, McCann is essentially a legend, having voiced numerous characters on animated series for decades. His credits include DuckTales, TaleSpin, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Garfield and Friends, Animaniacs, Fantastic Four, The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time and many more.
McCann married former William Morris executive Betty Fanning in 1977. He has three children from a previous marriage.
GH’s Nancy Lee Grahn Hosts East Coast Fan Events(3/9/18) GH’s Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) has announced three dates for her upcoming meet-and-greets on the East Coast. Meet Grahn over dinner in New York City on Saturday, May 19; lunch in Red Bank, NJ on Sunday, May 20; and for lunch in Boston, MA on Saturday, May 26. Email NancyLeeGrahnEvents@gmail.com for tickets and more information.
Soap producer Jill Farren Phelps lists her scenic spot on Mulholland Drive(3/3/18) (sun-sentinel.com) Decorated television producer Jill Farren Phelps, whose work on the daytime soaps “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless” has won her scores of Emmys, has put her home on Mulholland Drive on the market for $2.5 million.
The ranch-style house, built in 1962 and full of colorful details, is secluded on more than half an acre above the Hollywood Hills and adjacent to protected land.
The 2,606-square-foot house features vibrant hues and wallpaper, crown molding and hardwood floors. A brick-surround fireplace anchors the living and dining rooms, which center on panoramic views through a row of French doors.
The brickwork continues in the family room, which has a wall filled with built-ins and doors opening to the patio. A skylight-topped breakfast nook sits off the updated kitchen. Four bedrooms and three bathrooms complete the floor plan.
Outside, a blue-tiled swimming pool and spa take in the city lights and mountains. Lush landscaping and lawn complete the grounds.
Emmanuel Xuereb and Salvator Xuereb of 360 Realty are the listing agents.
Farren Phelps, 67, got her start in television in 1974 as a production assistant on the show “Guiding Light” and won the first of 11 Daytime Emmys in the early ’80s as the music director for “General Hospital." Her other credits include such soap operas as “Santa Barbara,” “Another World” and “One Life to Live.”
New Project For GUIDING LIGHT Fave(2/19/18) Robert Newman (ex-Josh, GUIDING LIGHT) is joining the cast of Off-Broadway’s longest running play, Perfect Crime, replacing Richard Shoberg (ex-Tom, ALL MY CHILDREN) as Inspector James Ascher. The actor will make his debut on Tuesday, February 20 at the Anne L. Bernstein Theater. Newman has recently guest starred on several shows including HOUSE OF CARDS, CHICAGO FIRE, HOMELAND, CRIMINAL MINDS, NCIS and LAW & ORDER SVU. Tickets for Perfect Crime are available by calling the box office at (212) 921-7862 or online at www.Ticketmaster.com. Student rush tickets ($26) are also available by calling or visiting the box office. The Theater Center is located at 210 West 50th Street at Broadway.
Soap Vets Star In New Film(2/16/18) Kassie DePaiva (Eve, DAYS; ex-Blair, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) and Nathan Purdee (ex-Hank, OLTL et al) are starring in a new film, Killian and the Comeback Kids. DePaiva and Purdee play husband and wife and parents of the title character, a struggling musician and college grad who returns to his hometown to find a job while putting his band together. Killian is played by Purdee’s son, Taylor. Killian and the Comeback Kids recently finished principal photography and the Karmic Release Ltd. is running an Indiegogo campaign to help finish and support the film. Donor perks include autographed CDs by DePaiva, a call from DePaiva, a walk-on role in the movie, instruments and other items. For more information and to donate, click here.
Lin Bolen Dies: First Female VP Of Programming At A Network Was 76(1/28/18) Lin Bolen, the first female VP of programming at a TV network and an influential force in daytime television fare, has died. She passed away on January 19 at the age of 76 in a hospital in the San Fernando Valley, according to friend and former game-show host Jim MacKrell.
Bolen worked for NBC in the 1970s and was responsible for commissioning the long-running game show Wheel of Fortune. She also is credited with bringing long-form narrative to soap operas, expanding them to hour-long formats.
It was long rumored that the ruthless Faye Dunaway character of Diana Christiansen in the 1976 satrical film Network was based on Bolen, something Bolen denied.
She was appointed VP of daytime programming at NBC in 1972, rising to become the VP of programming in Sept. 1975. NBC thrived under her leadership, becoming the No. 1 network in ratings.
Some of her moves were controversial. Bolen ended the 11-year run for Jeopardy!, citing its older demographics and stodgy host Art Fleming, and also killed the 15-year-old game show Concentration. Instead, she pivoted to a new concept from creator/producer Merv Griffin, a casino-like game called Wheel of Fortune that debuted in 1976. It became a huge hit.
Merv Griffin remembered Bolen in his Simon & Schuster memoir, Merv: Making The Good Life Last. He described her as a “hard-driving” and “difficult” woman, with whom he had many “bitter fights.” Still, he noted, “I developed a gruding respect for her talent and determination. She wanted to put her own stamp on NBC’s daytime lineup, and if that meant throwing out a few babies along with the bathwater, then so be it.”
Bolen left NBC in 1976 to form her own, self-named producion company focused on creating and developing game shows, movies of the week, and theatrical films for networks and studios. Among its show was Stumpers!, hosted by Allen Ludden (which lasted 13 weeks before cancellation), and W.E.B., a show that looked seriously at the men who ran network television. It, too, was canceled after 13 weeks, done in by its slot against the ABC hit Charlie’s Angels.
She fared better in television movies. The Christmas Coal Mine Miracle, starring Kurt Russell and Melissa Gilbert, was the highest-rated movie of the year for NBC.
Survivors include a son, Jason Wendkos. No details on memorial services have been made public.
John Conboy, Producer of ‘The Young and the Restless,’ ‘Guiding Light,’ Dies at 83(1/23/18) John Conboy, an executive producer known for his work on soap operas “The Young and the Restless,” “Santa Barbara,” “Guiding Light” and “Capitol,” died Friday in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 83.
Conboy won four Daytime Emmy Awards for his work on the soap operas: his first for “The ABC Afternoon Playbreak,” two for ABC’s “The Young and the Restless” and one for “Santa Barbara.”
After beginning his television career as an actor, he made the switch to producing in 1973 on “The Young and the Restless,” then one of TV’s top-rated daytime programs, for which he won Emmys in 1975 and 1983 for outstanding daytime drama. In 1982, he left the show to create and executive produce soap opera “Capitol” for CBS, which ran for five years.
Conboy went on to executive produce NBC’s “Santa Barbara,” winning his fourth Emmy in 1990 for daytime drama. He returned to CBS to produce “Guiding Light,” then the longest-running daytime drama in TV history. He also worked on a number of TV movies, including “Kiss of a Killer,” “The Solitary Man,” “After Hours: Singin’, Swingin’ and All That Jazz” and “After Hours: From Janice, John, Mary and Michael, with Love.”
Growing up in Binghamton, New York, Conboy graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts.
“The Young and the Restless” star Judith Chapman tweeted on Friday, “It is with heavy hart and a grateful smile that I called him my friend.”
A private memorial service is being planned.
Former Executive Producer John Conboy Dead(1/21/18) Daytime icon John Conboy, who served as executive producer for several soaps during the genre’s most popular years, has died. “It is with a heavy heart and a grateful smile that I called him my friend,” tweeted Judith Chapman (Gloria, Y&R et al). Conboy started as a producer on LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING (1970-73), then became EP for the then-newly launched Y&R in 1973 and served in that capacity until 1982. That same year, he moved to another debuting sudser, CAPITOL, where he stayed until its cancellation in 1987. Cowboy was then top exec for SANTA BARBARA (1991) and GUIDING LIGHT (2002-04), but also produced several TV movies along the way. Conboy had even created his own soap called CASINO, which was set in Las Vegas, but it was never picked up. During his career, Conboy picked up four Daytime Emmys, three for for Outstanding Drama Series (Y&R, 1975 and 1983; SB, 1990) as well as a statuette for Outstanding Drama Special for THE ABC AFTERNOON PLAYBREAK’S THE OTHER WOMAN (1974).
Peter Parros on Scorpion 2/5/18(1/20/18) “Nerd, Wind and Fire” – On Valentine’s Day, Team Scorpion must set aside their romantic plans to help a doctor and pilot trapped inside a helicopter that crashed atop a skyscraper. Also, Toby and Happy wait for news on their fertility results, and Sylvester realizes that he may have feelings for Florence, on SCORPION, Monday, Feb. 5 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
GUEST CAST includes: Peter Parros (Chief Benavidez), Jennifer Say Gan (Dr. Alicia Miller).
Leonardo DiCaprio joins Tarantino's Manson Family film(1/13/18) Leonardo DiCaprio is reteaming with Quentin Tarantino for the director’s new film about the Manson Family murders.
DiCaprio, who played the villain of Tarantino’s 2012 slave drama Django Unchained, will lead the cast in the untitled new film – the moviemaker’s first with a major studio.
The project will be Leonardo’s first since he won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Hugh Glass in The Revenant.
He’ll play an ageing actor in the new movie, according to Deadline.
His Wolf of Wall Street castmate Margot Robbie has reportedly been asked to portray Manson Family victim Sharon Tate in the film.
Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt have also been offered roles, according to reports.
Robin Wright is seeing a sexy younger man(12/27/17) Robin Wright has moved on again with a younger man.
The “Wonder Woman” star is spending the holidays skiing with a handsome new beau, Clement Giraudet, worldwide VIP relations manager at upscale French fashion house Saint Laurent, in Tahoe City, Calif., a source exclusively tells Page Six.
“House of Cards” icon Wright, 51, and debonair Frenchman Giraudet were first pictured looking cozy together in September during Paris fashion week at a soccer match at Parc des Princes Stadium. Her son, Hopper, from her previous marriage to actor Sean Penn, also was with them. But Clement was labeled at the time as a “mystery man.” Wright had been in Paris that month attending the chic brand’s spring 2018 fashion show.
In May, she gave a talk sponsored by Kering, the luxury group which oversees YSL, during the Cannes Film Festival, while she was there promoting her short film “The Dark of Night.” Tousled-haired surfing fan Giraudet also posted images of himself at the film festival, but they were not spotted together.
Now it looks like things are serious between the pair. According to a source, Giraudet has been staying at Wright’s home when he visits Los Angeles.
This week, he has been posting Instagram Stories while skiing the slopes at Squaw Valley, with a source telling us they are staying together at an upscale resort.
Wright was previously married to Penn for 14 years. They have two children and remain on amicable terms. She was formerly engaged to “X-Men” actor Ben Foster, who was 14 years her junior. They called things off in 2015 after breaking up and reuniting.
And Wright will take the lead in sixth and final season of “House of Cards,” which starts filming early next year, now that Kevin Spacey has been removed over allegations of sexual misconduct.
A rep for Wright did not respond for comment. Giraudet, who has more than 35,000 followers, made his Instagram private after we reached out.
Jon Lindstrom on S.W.A.T. 1/11/18(12/21/17) “Seizure” – As the SWAT team goes inside a prison riot to rescue civilian hostages, Hondo suspects the inmates have an ulterior motive behind the uprising. Also, when Deacon’s wife, Annie (Bre Blair), stops by headquarters to celebrate Deacon’s 10th anniversary with the SWAT division, her visit takes an unexpected turn, on S.W.A.T., Thursday, Jan. 11 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
GUEST CAST includes: Bre Blair (Annie Kay), Aaron Braxton (Katrell), Jon Lindstrom (Ashe).
SAG Awards Nominations(12/14/17) Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET / Elio – “CALL ME BY YOUR NAME” (Sony Pictures Classics)
JAMES FRANCO / Tommy Wiseau – “THE DISASTER ARTIST” (A24)
DANIEL KALUUYA / Chris Washington – “GET OUT” (Universal Pictures)
GARY OLDMAN / Winston Churchill – “DARKEST HOUR” (Focus Features)
DENZEL WASHINGTON / Roman J. Israel, Esq. – “ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ.” (Columbia Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
THE CROWN (Netflix)
GAME OF THRONES (HBO)
THE HANDMAID’S TALE (Hulu)
STRANGER THINGS (Netflix)
THIS IS US (NBC)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO)
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (Netflix)
LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Critics' Choice Awards 2018 Nominations(12/7/17) The live ceremony airs Thursday, Jan. 11 at 8/7c on The CW
Best Supporting Actress in a Movie Made for TV or Limited Series
Best Supporting Actress - Film
Best Young Actor/Actress - Film
Best Actor In A Comedy - Film
Leo haggles over $850K Basquiat drawing at Art Basel(12/7/17) Leonardo DiCaprio spent more than 45 minutes in a private room haggling over the price of an $850,000 Basquiat drawing at Art Basel Miami.
The Oscar winner — who tried but completely failed to hide his identity under a baseball cap and a black hoodie while walking around with a huge entourage — spent more than an hour at New York’s Van de Weghe booth at Art Basel in Miami during Wednesday’s VIP preview.
The 1983 Jean-Michel Basquiat work, titled “Wire,” measures 76 x 56 cm and is signed and titled on the reverse and features a figure looking at a fly with the words on corresponding parts “teeth,” “liver” “knee,” and a quite “keep your hands off that wire.”
Leo had earlier walked around the convention center with his posse looking at art in numerous booths for galleries including Luhring Augustine, Metro Pictures — which had a big Cindy Sherman artwork on display — White Cube, Max Hetzler, Hauser & Wirth and Acquavella.
Photographers who tried to take a picture of Leo were told they would be thrown out and have their press passes revoked.
Plus, his art advisor, Lisa Schiff, led Leo towards the Basquiat drawing.
A witness said, “It seemed like they had a plan beforehand. They brought the work into a private room with Leo, the advisor, and slowly the hat-clad entourage also poured in.
“Two blonde models who looked very much Leo’s type came and talked to his posse for a bit,” says the spy.
After about 45 minutes Leo emerged and looked at art at the booth across the way, while his advisor stayed to negotiate. “We are good, we’re getting there!” she said when she emerged while Leo huddled with his posse.
Also making the rounds at Art Basel Miami were Brad Pitt, former Knick turned collector Amar’e Stoudemire and model Frederique van der Wal.
There were also many high profile art world figures including collector Beth Rudin de Woody, Jeffrey Deitch, Tico Mugrabi and artist Chuck Close who told Page Six of the work on display, “There is a lot more interesting work here this year compared to previous years, mainly because the higher priced artworks aren’t exactly flying off the shelves right now. So the galleries are bringing their bigger pieces rather than digging into storage for something to show.”
He added his favorite artwork he’d seen so far was a painting by Brooklyn-based artist Dana Schutz.
Meanwhile, over at the Helly Nahmad Gallery stand, we are told a number of offers had gone in for the $25 million Pablo Picasso painting “Homme à l’épée” (1969).
Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation has an exhibition at the Perez Art Museum during Basel. The Perez will also be screening his climate documentary Before he Flood on Sunday.
Sony Pictures Confirms Quentin Tarantino Deal; Margot Robbie, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio Circling(11/17/17) UPDATED with Sony confirmation: Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman just validated Deadline’s morning scoop that the studio won worldwide rights on Quentin Tarantino’s new film, the first of his long career to not be directed for either Miramax or The Weinstein Company. This email was just dispersed internally on the Culver City lot.
I am pleased to report that late last night, Sony did indeed succeed in securing the worldwide rights in all media to Quentin Tarantino’s next epic film. I was looking forward to sharing the news with you all myself this morning, but unfortunately the story leaked.
Bottom line: Quentin chose Sony over many other competitors. And he did this because of all of YOU! He remembers well the outstanding job the company did on Django, and was particularly impressed last week by the presentation of our marketing and distribution capabilities, both domestically and internationally. I’m grateful to all who worked to make this happen and confident that we will do a great job for him on this film and others to come.
It’s a real credit to the studio and to each of you.
Chairman Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 4:58 AM: Sony Pictures has won the derby to finance and distribute #9, the working title of Quentin Tarantino’s next film, sources said. The film is set in Los Angeles in the late ’60s and early ’70s, with Tarantino hoping hard that Margot Robbie will play the role of Sharon Tate. Just about every studio in town except Disney chased it, along with several financiers looking to fund the entire film, and mini-majors seeking domestic rights. The deal came after a long night of bargaining between Sony and Tarantino’s reps at WME.
The film is an ensemble, and Tarantino has had conversations with Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio for the two main lead male roles. It is unclear if all three will be in the movie, or two of them, when Tarantino begins production next year, but it certainly looks like Tarantino will have a star cast here. The picture is being produced by Harry Potter’s David Heyman, Tarantino, and Shannon McIntosh, with Georgia Kacandes will be exec producer and line producer.
This has been the biggest skirmish over a project this side of the derby for international and ancillary rights to the James Bond film that is still going on right now (domestic rights will go to the joint venture between MGM and Annapurna).
It is a big get for Sony’s Tom Rothman and his production chief Sanford Panitch, and I’m told Tarantino sparked to Rothman’s deep knowledge of film history. Few can hang with Tarantino in that regard, but Rothman held his own and the studio chased this one hard. Rothman has overhauled Sony’s position as an international distributor, and Sony Pictures will have world rights on Tarantino’s film. Also important was a marketing campaign presented by Josh Greenstein and his team. Since Tarantino spent his whole career making movies in one place, there is every reason to imagine that if he enjoys this experience, he might well make his final film at Sony. This film’s working title comes from this being the ninth film for the director, who has pledged that he will stop at 10. That means one final film after this one.
The bidding came down to all the majors but Disney. Fox backed away during the week, and aside from Sony, Warner Bros and Universal, others circling included Annapurna and Lionsgate for a domestic deal that would require the international sales effort that went into The Hateful Eight. Also knocking were several pure equity financiers.
After making every movie in his directing career for Miramax and The Weinstein Company, Tarantino made the hard decision to look for a new home for his upcoming film. Tarantino planned to make this film with TWC, but those plans imploded with the scandalous removal of Harvey Weinstein after the revelation of a litany of nightmarish stories about forced sexual encounters with dozens of actresses and women who worked for the company. So The House That Quentin Built — as Weinstein often called his company because of the out-sized success of Tarantino-directed pictures that included Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained — is in the process of being sold off, and despite Tarantino’s loyalty to the 170 or so staff there that helped make his movies successful, he had little choice but to exit.
There has been a lot of press that the script focuses on Charles Manson and the murder spree he orchestrated, but I’m told that is akin to calling Inglourious Basterds a movie about Adolf Hitler, when the Nazi leader was only in a scene or two. Deadline broke months ago that Robbie had been asked to play Manson murder victim Tate.
The film will be set in Los Angeles and begin production in mid-2018 for a 2019 release, and it will be an R-rated film, like all Tarantino’s directing efforts. Those who’ve read it said the script has heart and a strong commercial appeal, and if there is a film of Tarantino’s it can be best compared to, it would be Pulp Fiction, which also was set in Los Angeles. The film will carry a budget in the range of Django Unchained.
GH Alum Steve Bond On Hallmark Debut(11/11/17) Steve Bond (ex-Jimmy Lee, GH; ex-Mack, SANTA BARBARA), who is mostly retired from show biz, is featured in the Hallmark Channel’s ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS, which debuts on November 12. He plays Oliver, the owner of a real estate company, which Bond’s wife, a producer on the project, encouraged him to audition for, since his own professional focus involves construction. “Cindy said, ‘Honey, you need to play this part!’ ” recalls Bond. “She talked me into doing it.” He had a blast shooting the film, saying, “The adrenaline, the flow — when you’re an actor and they say, ‘Action!’ it is an amazing feeling.” For more on the flick, click here.
Eva LaRue Alleges Steven Seagal Sexually Harassed Her(11/10/17) Another actress has come forward with allegations that actor Steven Seagal sexually harassed her. Eva LaRue, who starred on CSI: Miami for eight seasons and on All My Children for nine, told Deadline that Seagal locked her in a room during an audition at his home in 1990 and then opened his kimono, standing before her with nothing else on but his underpants.
Her allegation comes in the wake of similar claims of sexual harassment by Seagal by Jenny McCarthy, Portia de Rossi and Juliana Margulies.
LaRue was 22 when she got a call from her agent, saying that he’d set up an audition for her at Seagal’s house. “Even at 22, I knew better than to go to an audition at somebody’s house,” she said. “But my agent assured me that the reason it was at his house was because they hadn’t secured their studio offices yet.” “Don’t worry,” her agent told her, “there will be two producers there and the casting director. It’s totally on the up and up.”
“So I went, against my better judgment,” she recalled, “and sure enough, there were two other guys and some woman who was supposed to be the casting director. And there we were, sitting in his living room, talking about the character I was going to play and the story plot and what they’re looking for – the usual audition chitchat. But I didn’t have the sides. It was a meeting but not a reading. And then the casting director said, ‘I think she’s perfect for the role.’”
Now, all these years later, LaRue said that she doesn’t think there was a role, or even a movie – that it was all just a setup.
Seagal, dressed in a kimono, got up and told her to follow him to get the script. “I don’t know why we don’t have the script in the living room where we were meeting,” she said, “but I said, ‘OK,’ and I follow him, thinking we’re going to his office. We go down the hallway to this room, which is like an office and guest room kind of thing. And he says, ‘Have a seat on the couch.’ It was like a literal casting couch. And as I was walking towards the couch, with my back towards the door, he’s busy closing and locking the doors behind my back. I go to sit on the couch, and he comes towards me and he’s opening his weirdo kimono. There’s no script or anything. Just him standing there with his kimono open. He had underwear on, thank God, and he was bare everywhere else. And it was clear he was not just getting cozy.”
Jumping up from the couch, LaRue moved quickly to the door, making excuses to get out of there. “I wish I could stay, but I can’t,” she told him. “I have another meeting right after this.”
“No, no, sit down,” he said.
She kept moving to the door but found that he’d locked it from the inside. “I don’t know what’s happening,” she recalled. “I’m fumbling with the lock and he says, ‘No, no, come back. You’ve got to stay. Come sit on the couch and have a drink with me.’”
“I’d love to, but I have to go,” LaRue told him. “Send the script to my agent. I’ll read it, but I gotta go.” She said he never touched her, but the encounter was unnerving all the same. And as she made a “beeline” through the house and out the front door, she wondered: “Why am I even being nice to this guy? What is it about us women in general that it’s somehow beaten into our brains not to hurt somebody’s feelings even if they are about to horribly hurt ours.”
Once she got home, she called her agent and told him what happened.
“All these agents back then knew what was going on for ages. Thanks for not telling us. Everybody knew but us actors. But nobody followed up or anything,” LaRue told Deadline.
McCarthy said in a radio interview that in 1995, Seagal told her to take off her dress and then unzipped his pants during an audition for a role on Under Seige 2. She said she told him “No, thanks” and fled the room in tears, only to be chased by him out into the parking lot, where he allegedly threatened her not to tell anyone — “or else.”
De Rossi tweeted on Wednesday that she too was auditioning for a role on one of Seagal’s films when he sat down beside her and unzipped his leather pants, allegedly telling her “how important it is to have chemistry off-set.” She says she ran out of his office and called her female agent, who allegedly told her, “Well, I didn’t know if he was your type.”
Margulies said she was 23 when a female casting director asked her to go to the actor’s hotel room at 10 PM to go over a scene. The casting director wasn’t there, but Seagal was. “I don’t know how I got out of that hotel room. … I sorta screamed my way out,” Margulies said.
Seagal could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman denied that the actor ever harassed McCarthy.
“Most of us have had to dodge these bullets our entire careers,” LaRue said. “It was part of being a woman in the industry. It’s like wearing pumps: It’s painful, but we gotta wear pumps.”
And it’s not like these are untold stories, she said. “I told this story a thousand times, and finally it matters, I’m not ‘suddenly’ coming forward. All these women who have accused Harvey Weinstein aren’t ‘suddenly’ coming forward. These are not new stories that girls are ‘suddenly’ coming out with. These are stories we’ve been telling at dinner parties, and to our friends, our family members, our agents and our fellow actors for years. But nobody cared until now, and now people are ‘suddenly’ coming forward.”
Obit: Harry R. Eggart, 79(11/9/17) (westportnow.com) Harry R. Eggart of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, a former longtime resident of Westport, died Oct. 23 after a long illness. He was 79.
He spent his life in the theater, starting out as an actor and advancing to directing and producing. He was director of CBS’s “Guiding Light” for 18 years as well as many other soap operas.
Born in Florida, he attended Auburn University and Tulane University. A veteran, he served in the U.S. Army in Ethiopia.
He was a member of theatrical unions AEA, SAG, AFTRA and DGA. He directed more than 2,000 hours of network television that also included episodes of “Search for Tomorrow,” “Another World,” and “Santa Barbara.” He also directed touring legit shows, dinner theater performances, industrials, and specials.
He was director of the daytime Emmy Awards for 12 years for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In 2003, he appeared as a panelist at the Westport Historical Society discussing soap operas with fellow Westporters (see WestportNow Oct. 19, 2003). In 2004, he and wife Roberta sold their home on Spicer Road.
He loved to paint, never met a book he didn’t like and wrote in his spare time. He loved hot weather, his family, a good joke, his dogs and cornbread. He had a great smile.
Married to Roberta B. Eggart for 50 years, he was father of Jesse, Casey, and Kat Eggart and proud Papi to Kai McCready. Survivors also include nieces Linda Dunn and Suzzie Akins of Florida, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Judy and Steve Penn, and niece, Joanna Shober of California, and son-in-law Michael McCready of Stratford.
There will be a military graveside service on Wednesday Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Connery Avenue, Bourne, Massachusetts.
‘Ghosted’ Actress Ally Walker on Her First Big Break on NBC Soap ‘Santa Barbara’(11/4/17) (variety.com) Ally Walker is marking the end of her third decade as a working actor with a new role on Fox supernatural comedy “Ghosted.” Though her career hasn’t been limited to the small screen (she also appeared in films like 1992’s “Universal Soldier” with Jean-Claude Van Damme and 1995’s “While You Were Sleeping” with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman), television is where she got her big break (on NBC soap “Santa Barbara”). She’s cut her teeth on TV, honing her craft in recurring roles on 1993 crime drama “Moon Over Miami,” a mid-1990s starring turn in “The Profiler” and a stint on “Sons of Anarchy” from 2008 to 2010.
Walker was first mentioned in Variety on March 2, 1988, when she joined “Santa Barbara” as secret agent Andrea Bedford.
When did you first get the acting bug?
My mother likes to say I was always performing, and I would write stories too, so I think the bug was always in me. But that wasn’t my first career ambition. I worked at a genetic engineering firm where I was sequestered in a laboratory prepping cultures and spinning cells.
How did the audition for “Santa Barbara” come about?
I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. I was in Los Angeles, and a producer saw me goofing off with some friends and he asked if I wanted to audition. I thought he was a nut, but my friends said he was the real deal. So I did it, and I got the job, and it was so exciting to do something that I didn’t know I could do.
What was the biggest lesson you learned from the show?
More than anything, it was discipline. You had to learn 10 to 20 pages a night, you had to hit your mark and you had to know what you were doing. It taught me a lot. I didn’t get to go to a school for acting to learn about lighting or cameras or how to move, so “Santa Barbara” was a training ground for me.
How was “Santa Barbara” different from what you thought of soaps at the time?
Everything exceeded my expectations. I really loved working with Marcy Walker, A. Martinez and Robin Wright on that set. They were really giving and kind, and there was a lot of collaboration between artists. The stories weren’t very melodramatic by soap opera standards. I mean, I’ve never been a spy or murdered on a beach, but it was still more real than what some other soaps were doing at the time!
What storyline was the most challenging from your time on the show?
Where Marcy Walker, who played Eden, was raped. I had a girlfriend in high school who had been raped, and I remember it was very hard to watch some of the stuff they did. It really affected me. I was on set, and I found myself just very disturbed and mesmerized by Marcy’s performance. I really have to give a shout-out to her. It was just very powerful.
There wasn’t a lot of crossover for actors between film and television at the time. Was that a concern for you?
I was very open when I started, because I had to get things going and I had to learn and I had to feed myself. Everything was a good opportunity to me. I was only on the soap for seven or eight months, and I was bummed when they killed me off, but at the same time, it did allow me to read for some films too. But for the most part for me, I just got better female parts on TV so I kept going back.
Obit: Warren Burton(10/22/17) (legacy.com) October 23, 1944 - October 2, 2017 Born in Chicago, Illinois, Warren Burton was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Lorraine (nee Stryska) Burton and his sister Gayle Affinito (nee Burton). He is survived by his niece, Victoria Affinito of Chicago, and many loving friends and fans. Warren won a Grammy in 1971 for his work as a writer on Lily Tomlin's "THIS IS A RECORDING" in the category of Best Comedy Recording. He started his TV/Film career in the early 1970's on the made-for-TV movie, "The Girl Most Likely to¿" He went on to star in several daytime soap operas that included the role of Eddie Dorrance on "All My Children" in which he won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor at the 1980 awards broadcast. His other daytime roles have included "Another World," "Guiding Light," and Phillip Hamilton on "Santa Barbara." Burton portrayed Confederate general Henry Heth in the 1993 film Gettysburg. Since the mid 1990s, Burton has been a voice actor for numerous video games including the highly successful "Jak and Daxter" franchise, "Battlezone II: Combat Commander," and "Nox" among several others. Warren was not only a talented actor but one of the kindest souls and will be missed on this earth by all those lucky enough to have known him. A celebration of Warren's life will be held at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on November 15, 2017 at 11a.m.
Leonardo DiCaprio Says There’s “No Excuse For Sexual Harassment” Amidst Harvey Weinstein Scandal(10/11/17) Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest to add his voice to the Hollywood chorus of high-profile actors in regards to sexual assault. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the Academy Award-winning actor took to Twitter to say there’s “no excuse for sexual harassment or sexual assault — no matter what profession” and applauded the “strength and courage of the women who came forward.”
DiCaprio worked with Weinstein on many awards season films such as The Aviator, Gangs of New York, and Django Unchained. Like Ben Affleck and Nicole Kidman, he didn’t mention Harvey Weinstein’s name when it came to his statement.
The Revenant actor is the latest in a growing list of Hollywood figures coming forward to express their opinions and support for women and victims coming forward about sexual assault and harassment. Others include Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Gunn, Michael Isner, and Kate Winslet.
A TV soap opera actress-turned-avocado grower is running for congress in Coachella Valley(10/11/17) (desertsun.com) Kimberlin Brown Pelzer, a soap opera actress-turned-avocado grower, announced on Tuesday her candidacy for Coachella Valley’s congressional seat, becoming one of potentially two Republicans looking to parlay their TV presence into a political career.
Best known for playing the villainous Sheila Carter on “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” Brown Pelzer also owns an interior design company and, with her husband, Gary, a sports fishing and marina rental business in San Diego, among others.
"The reason I'm running for office is because for the first time in our country we’re not leaving behind something better for the next generation," she said.
Brown Pelzer recently moved to Palm Springs, but told The Desert Sun that she's been attending charity events in the desert for more than two decades and that her financial services company has been operating ATMs here for seven years.
She closed out the second day of the Republican National Convention in 2016, scoring early points with local GOP organizers for her backing of Donald Trump and her complaints about taxes and small business regulations. She also criticized "suspect trade deals" that create foreign competition at home and can leave American workers unemployed.
The immediate reaction from Republican activists was positive.
“I know this is the person who’s going to win,” Joy Miedecke, chair of the East Valley Republican Women Federated, said on Tuesday. (Video)
The 36th Congressional district, which extends from Hemet to Blythe and includes all of the Coachella Valley, leans Democrat. For months, Republicans have been searching for a viable candidate — someone with name-recognition who can quickly raise money and sway independents in a region that voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential contest.
Brown Pelzer said she's "the kind of person who will work with both parties" and doesn't see her prime-time support for Trump in the last election as an obstacle. "The fact that President Trump did not spend a lot of time in California was a business decision," she said. "You put your money where it brings you the most return."
Incumbent Raul Ruiz, a former emergency room physician and the son of farmworkers, easily won re-election in November 2016 and so he’s currently sitting on a war chest worth $1.6 million.
Republican Dan Ball, a former television news anchor, has also been in talks with consultants about a possible congressional run, but has yet to say for certain whether he, too, is going to challenge Ruiz. He said he planned to make an announcement next week.
The election is 13 months away.
Leonardo DiCaprio & Martin Scorsese Ride Again On Teddy Roosevelt Pic At Paramount(9/26/17) Roosevelt, a drama about Teddy Roosevelt, has been set at Paramount as a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio with Martin Scorsese directing. Scott Bloom has been set to write the drama, and DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson are producing through their Appian Way banner, along with Martin Scorsese and Emma Koskoff through Sikelia, with Chuck Pacheco also producing. Appian set the film at Paramount through its first look deal with the studio.
Roosevelt had an eventful life filled with military exploits, and a political track where he moved from New York Governor to vice president to become at 42 the youngest president when President William Mckinley was assassinated in 1901. His most enduring achievements though came in the area of conservation, including his work around reserves, preserves, national parks and forests. That is of particular interest for DiCaprio and why he is resurrecting playing the subject after a previous attempt at the film years ago didn’t pan out.
Scorsese and DiCaprio have worked together multiple times before with Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Shutter Island, The Departed and The Wolf Of Wall Street, and they developing The Devil In The White City and Killers of The Flower Moon to do together, both based on critically acclaimed books.
DiCaprio is repped by LBI Entertainment chief Rick Yorn and attorneys Gretchen Rush and Steve Warren. Scorsese is repped by WME and LBI.
'Dynasty' Star Gordon Thomson Comes Out As Gay(9/26/17) (huffingtonpost.ca) “Dynasty” actor Gordon Thomson is opening up about his own sexuality almost 30 years after the show went off the air.
In a new interview with the Daily Beast, the 72-year-old, who played the homophobic villain Adam Carrington in the ’80s soap opera, comes out as gay for the first time.
“It’s not something I’ve ever announced,” he told the Daily Beast of his sexuality. “I’m assuming that people know, and now that I’m my age that’s fine. I don’t go out of my way because it’s my generation, I think. I’m probably as homophobic as any gay man alive because of my background.”
His secrecy was tied to the times.
“When I was growing up it [homosexuality] was a crime, and then classified as a mental illness ... so you’re dealing with that,” he added. “And the shame, the breathtaking lack of self-esteem, has only just begun to seep out of my soul.”
The CW “Dynasty” reboot is set to premiere Oct. 11. While the drama will remain in tact, the homophobia will be erased.
The original version showcased homophobic sentiment when it came to Adam’s gay brother Steven Carrington (played by Al Corley), and patriarch Blake Carrington’s attitude toward him. The reboot will shed that hatred, with billionaire Blake supporting his son’s sexuality.
Thomson acknowledged Hollywood’s “closet problem” in the ’80s, saying he could not come out because of the social climate ? including the cruel scandal around Rock Hudson during the AIDS crisis.
“The ‘vibe’ on that set—sorry I hate that word but that’s what it was—was so heterosexual. I didn’t want to say, ‘Guess what everybody, the guy playing the father is gay.’ If I had there would have been a slight shift away which I wasn’t ready to deal with.”
Leonardo DiCaprio blasts Trump over climate change(9/24/17) (Video) Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t happy with Donald Trump’s environmental policies.
The Oscar winner, 42, met with then-president-elect Trump, 71, in December, only to have the POTUS disregard their conversation once he took office.
“We presented him with a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change, while also simultaneously harnessing the economic potential of green jobs,” DiCaprio recalled at the Yale Climate Conference on Tuesday (via The Hartford Courant). “We talked about how the United States has the potential to lead the world in clean-energy manufacturing and research and development.”
Once in office, Trump pledged to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, which regulates greenhouse emissions, and appointed climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
The moves left staunch environmentalist DiCaprio nonplussed.
“We should not have people in office who do not believe in facts and truths and modern science that are able to manipulate and risk the entire future of this entire generation,” he fumed. “We are at that turning point right now, and we are going to look back at this point in history, and frankly this administration, and certain people are going to be vilified for not taking action. They really are. And it’s up to this generation, it’s up to all of you to get involved and make a difference.”
Leonardo DiCaprio Invests In VR Company MindMaze(9/24/17) Leonardo DiCaprio has become an investor and also advisor in MindMaze, a neuro-computing company that has been building mind-machine interfaces. Yes, it sounds all Arthur C. Clarke, but this company which captures brain activity and has already been used successfully in the healthcare industry to speed up rehab from strokes and brain injuries, is now looking to expand into virtual reality. The VR industry is getting ready to explode and in the next year we expect a big shake-up and shakeout with just a handful of big companies as the go-to for VR production.
One of them might be this one. It has already raised $100M in capital and in the health industry is working to decode brain signals in real-time. MindMaze is the developer of MindOs, which mixes neuroscience, mixed reality and artificial intelligence by enabling real-time integration of signals from the brain with the environment the person is in. Their application, when applied to VR, opens a flurry of possibilities in entertainment and gaming. What they strive to do is to bridge the emotional gap between the physical and virtual worlds.
MindMaze likely sold DiCaprio not only on the technology but what it could be used for — advocacy work including tackling the very big problem of climate change. DiCaprio interests have long been care of the oceans and environment and his foundation has given out millions to those causes. Just this week he pledged to donate $20M to groups fighting climate change. He also sites on the board of the National Resources Defense Council, among others.
DiCaprio issued a quote for the announcement: “MindMaze technology has already impacted the lives of many people, and it is poised to define the way we will experience and create content in the future. I am excited about the possibilities of MindMaze’s technology, especially for its potential to be a driving force in media and entertainment in the years to come.”
MindMaze launched its first social VR product – Mask – earlier this year in April. Mask uses machine learning and bio-signal processing to decode real-life facial expressions in tens of milliseconds to instantly replicate that expression on a virtual reality avatar. The product attaches to any existing console and can understand a users’ physical real-time expressions – from smiles to scowls to frowns – and apply them into an avatar on any game or app. Yes, it’s a mask.
“We are already seeing immense potential for the application of our technology outside of healthcare, specifically in entertainment, sports and social VR,” said Dr. Tej Tadi, CEO and founder of MindMaze in making the announcement. “As we continue to gain traction in these industries, the addition of Leo to our advisory board is a vote of confidence in our technology and road map for ushering in a new age of interaction between humans and machines.”
The company just received FDA clearance (in Q2 2017) to begin marketing another program, MindMotion PRO in the U.S. Additionally, MindMaze announced a strategic investment towards the acquisition of GaitUp and its objective motion analysis solutions for sports and wellness.
Jon Lindstrom Shares a Backstage Peek at His New Primetime Role(9/10/17) (Pic1, Pic2, Pic3) It’s been a while since GENERAL HOSPITAL fans have seen Jon Lindstrom on screen as Kevin, but while he’ll be back very soon (and with Genie Francis’ Laura, too!), they can also look forward to seeing the daytime vet in an upcoming episode of NCIS: LOS ANGELES! Lindstrom shared a photo of his place at the table read for the fourth episode of season nine of the CBS series entitled “Mountebank” where he will be playing the character of Phillip Nelson. The new season will be premiering on Sunday, Oct. 1, but there is no air date scheduled yet for episode four.
LIndstrom also shared a pic from inside his trailer on the show’s set taking a selfie in the mirror while eating some eggs and toast. “Your own trailer and they bring you breakfast,” he wrote. “I love this biz.” He also shared some behind the scenes video of him filming the episode from behind the wheel of a car while a camera perches just outside the window as he drives down the road. “You ever feel like somebody’s watching you?” he teased. (You’ll note that he’s not actually driving the car, so don’t worry!)
NCIS: LA stars LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell but so far, Lindstrom has only shared a selfie with fellow guest star Costas Mandylor. “Costas thinking he can be taller than me,” he joked. “Awesome guy, amazing actor.” Back in 2013, Mandylor played the character of Tomas Mendez in a couple episodes of parent series NCIS, but at this time it’s unclear if he’s reprising that role or playing an entirely new one.
You can look forward to Lindstrom returning to Port Charles very soon, and as soon as we have more details on when his episode of NCIS: LA is slated to air, we’ll be sure to let you know so you can tune in!
Leo DiCaprio Opens Wide And Gives $1 Million to Harvey Relief(8/31/17) Leo DiCaprio is the winner in charitable donations for Hurricane Harvey relief ... he's just cut a check for $1 million.
Leo's foundation gave the money to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund ... it will be used for both short and long-term relief.
United Way says the entire amount will go to help victims of the epic storm.
This is the first donation to the newly established United Way fund to help victims of the hurricane.
A number of celebs have donated ... notably the Kardashian family gave $500k. Sandra Bullock also gave $1 million to the cause.
Eva LaRue Opens up About She Finally Healed From the Heartbreak of Her Divorce(8/29/17) Actress Eva LaRue (Maria, ALL MY CHILDREN) opened up about the heartbreak of a career low and the end of her marriage and how it inspired her to change her preconceptions and emerge a better, stronger person. As a member of the Bahá’i Faith, LaRue spoke at a conference about her experiences in the hopes of inspiring others to learn from her mistakes and share what she had learned. “Not everyone is meant to stay in our lives,” she advised. “And the heartbreak from their leaving can end up being the ultimate opportunity for transformational healing.”
After leaving AMC in 2005, LaRue was cast on CSI: MIAMI as Detective Natalia Boa Vista, a recurring role that quickly became a series regular. But unfortunately, in 2012, the series was canceled, and in 2014, she divorced her husband Joe Cappucio after almost four years of marriage. “The long and the short of my story is that three years ago, my eight year run as an actress on CSI: MIAMI ended,” she confided, “and not long after, so did my marriage. I feel like heartbreak has a universality to it because everyone has or will go through it. And for me, it was an aching, crippling grief. And that panic-induced regret for the things I did do or didn’t do or should’ve done. And it left me feeling like a gutted shell of myself. Somebody I didn’t even recognize anymore.”
LaRue admitted that she never saw it coming, and allowed herself to wallow in blame and regret and all the other assorted emotions that come with that kind of heartbreak. Then she confessed that she had originally prayed for the outcome that she wanted before realizing that she had to let go instead. “It took me a while to realize that life is not about having my immediate wish list met,” she mused. “Because how would I change and grow and evolve?”
Although she allowed that it took a lot of work, LaRue revealed that she eventually had the breakthrough that led to positive change in her life. “Through that connection to God and my spirit, I was also able to find authentic joy,” she declared. “And that, in turn, connected me to renewed passion, new purpose, new work, and new love.”
You can watch LaRue’s entire presentation in the video below where she goes into more detail about her epiphany and how forgiveness played an integral role in changing her life for the better. (Video)
Leo Meet Leo: Paramount, Universal Vie For Walter Isaacson Da Vinci Book For Dicaprio(8/11/17) Legend has it that Leonardo DiCaprio was so named because his pregnant mother was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in a museum in Italy when the future star kicked for the first time. So it seems like destiny that DiCaprio might someday play his namesake, the artist who painted The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. Paramount and Universal are in a ferocious seven figure bidding battle tonight to acquire the Walter Isaacson book Leonardo da Vinci, with Appian Way in the center of this to produce the film as a potential star vehicle for DiCaprio. Paramount, where Appian Way’s DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson have their first look deal, was all over this one quickly, but Universal has come on gangbusters and turned it into a real two-studio race.
Isaacson wrote Steve Jobs, which was turned into the Danny Boyle-directed film that starred Michael Fassbender. The former Time Magazine editor has also written bestsellers on Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, the latter of which was the basis for the Emmy nominated NatGeo series Genius that starred Geoffrey Rush. The book will be published in October by Simon & Schuster.
According to info from the publisher, Isaacson used Da Vinci’s notebooks to weave a narrative that connects his art to his science and voracious curiosity and imagination. Aside from his priceless paintings, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy (his iconic drawing of Vitruvian Man), fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions. According to the book, he was also a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical.
Appian Way moved from Warner Bros to Paramount, making a three-year deal in March, 2016 right after DiCaprio won Best Actor for The Revenant. The studio is hoping that DiCaprio will star for them in The Devil In The White City, an adaptation of the Erik Larson book that’s got a script by Billy Ray and will re-team DiCaprio with Martin Scorsese. Appian and Paramount are separately percolating several projects including an adaptation of the Kayla Olson novel Sandcastle Empire, about an apocalyptic future with a society on the brink of collapse from climate change; a yet-untitled film based on a book proposal by New York Times journalist Jack Ewing about the recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal; and a limited television series based on A. Scott Berg’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Charles Lindbergh. Appian Way continues to work on its Warner Bros films that include Akira and a film about Richard Jewell, the security guard whose life unraveled when his heroic efforts to clear a park during a bombing led to a press witch hunt that he had planted the device. Jonah Hill is attached to play Jewell and DiCaprio could play his lawyer. The next Appian Way project to hit the screen will be the Otto Bathurst-directed Robin Hood, with Kingsman‘s Taron Egerton playing the title character. Appian Way is producing with Safehouse and Thunder Road. DiCaprio is also circling Killers of the Flower Moon in a Scorsese re-team, based on the David Grann book that Imperative Entertainment bought for $5 million, with Eric Roth adapting.
The Isaacson book is being brokered by ICM Partners; DiCaprio is repped by LBI and attorneys Gretchen Rush and Steve Warren.
Will let you know where the book landed as soon as we know.
Behind the ‘Titantic’ reunion at Leo’s star-studded charity bash(7/28/17) Leonardo DiCaprio’s star-studded charity event in the South of France cost a staggering $6 million and talk is that it could move to Monaco next year into a palace, courtesy of his friend Prince Albert.
An insider at the flashy St Tropez bash — which featured a “Titanic” reunion between DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Billy Zane — cost a fortune to stage and the Prince is proposing to host it in one of his Monaco palaces next year.
The insider said, “Leo’s team put up a huge tent on the grounds of a plush vineyard Domaine Bertaud Belieu in Gassin, near St Tropez. Much of the talk was about how much money the event cost to put on, which was said to be $6 million, and that it might move to Monaco next year to save on costs.” Another insider added production costs are offset by ticket sales, and the auction was the main driver for funds for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
Auction prizes included three dinners with DiCaprio, 41, and Winslet, 41, which sold for over 10,000 Euros, plus a chance to host a private dinner at Versailles for thirty diners. Billionaire Len Blavatnik bought the most expensive piece of art during the auction, an Urs Fischer painting for 2.5 million Euro ($2,916,375).
After wildfires ravaged the South of France, DiCaprio took to the stage with Winslet during the auction and when the “Titanic” theme “My Heart Will Go On” came on he joked, “We are about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Titanic, but please don’t play that music anymore.” He also spoke about the work needed to save the planet, noting that a chunk of ice the size of Luxembourg was breaking off Antarctica.
DiCaprio also posed with Winslet and Zane, who posted on Instagram, “Gang’s back together. Now we’re saving icebergs. Go figure..”
Madonna and Lenny Kravitz later performed for guests, who included Adrien Brody, Sean Penn, Gerard Butler, Heidi Klum, Paris Hilton, and models Doutzen Kroes, Taylor Hill, and Jessica Hart.
Nat Geo Teams With Leonardo DiCaprio To Adapt ‘The Right Stuff’ As Scripted Series(7/26/17) National Geographic has inked a development deal with Appian Way Productions and Warner Horizon Scripted Television for a scripted series adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s best-selling non-fiction book The Right Stuff. The project is executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson, with Will Staples (Call of Duty) serving as writer and executive producer.
The Right Stuff takes a gritty, anti-nostalgic look at what would become America’s first reality show, as these obsessive astronauts and their families become instant celebrities in a competition that will either kill them or make them immortal. The one-hour drama will follow the protagonists from the Mojave Desert to the edges of space, with future seasons carrying through to humankind’s greatest achievement — the moon landing.
The series will use the book as a starting point, featuring a mission for each season, with season one beginning at the height of the Cold War in 1958. A handful of adrenaline-junkie test pilots are living in the Mojave Desert, risking their lives daily to become the fastest pilots on earth. Meanwhile, America is against the ropes as the Soviets dominate the space race — they’ve not only beat us to put a satellite in orbit, but there is an ever-growing fear they can drop nuclear weapons from above. With the public wondering if we are a nation in decline, the U.S. government conceives ?the Mercury Program????, America’s attempt to beat the Soviets and put the first person in space. Now they need to find the perfect team — seven heroes willing to risk almost certain death to achieve international fame and reclaim the ultimate high ground, outer space.
This project marks the second collaboration between National Geographic and Appian Way following the release last fall of the critically praised and highly rated climate change documentary Before the Flood.
“Having already had a rich relationship with Leonardo, Jennifer and their production company Appian Way on Before the Flood, I’m excited to work with them in a scripted capacity,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks. “With The Right Stuff, we’re looking at moment in time where the everyday life, the trials and tribulations, of these men was scrutinized in the public.”
Staples recently developed Animals with Appian Way Productions, a thriller set in Africa for Ben Affleck, and Dark Web for Chernin Entertainment. In 2015 he completed additional production work on the recent Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation.
“National Geographic gave Before the Flood an international platform, and we couldn’t think of a better partner to bring The Right Stuff to the world,” added Davisson. “The heroism of these astronauts was rivaled only by the country’s fascination with their story; this series uncovers both the adventure of space exploration and the adventure of being unwittingly thrust into the public eye.”
Michael Hampton of Appian Way shepherded this project. Tom Wolfe is repped by Bob Bookman. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Appian Way are repped by LBI Entertainment.
Leo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese team up for new movie(7/16/17) Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are developing a film adaptation of true-crime thriller “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” as the director’s next project after “The Irishman.”
Scorsese’s longtime production designer, Dante Ferretti, told Variety that Scorsese hoped to start shooting “Flower Moon” in the spring of next year. The project is based on the bestselling book by David Grann, a staff writer for the New Yorker and author of “The Lost City of Z.”
Rights to “Flower Moon” were snapped up by Imperative last year for a reported $5 million, and a script has reportedly been drafted by veteran Oscar-winning scribe Eric Roth (“Forrest Gump,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”).
Ferretti, who has worked with Scorsese on nine movies from “The Age of Innocence” through “Silence,” said he was going to “go to Oklahoma” to do preliminary location scouting for “Flower Moon.” The story, set in the 1920s, focuses on a string of murders of members of the Osage nation in Oklahoma after oil was discovered beneath their land. The chilling series of slayings was one of the fledgling FBI’s first major homicide investigations.
Scorsese and DiCaprio have been eyeing the project for months, and are developing it together with Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas, co-founders of Imperative Entertainment.
John Atwood, Imperative’s chief financial officer, said in an e-mail that “we are currently conducting preliminary research on the film, but there are no formal attachments nor confirmed start date at this time.”
Ferretti said that “the whole 1920s world of the Indians who lived there needs to be reconstructed” for “Flower Moon,” adding that he expects to “start preparing this film in September, because Scorsese will shoot it immediately after finishing ‘The Irishman.’”
Scorsese is currently getting ready for an early September shoot on “The Irishman,” a gangster movie centered on the life of mob hit-man Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, played by Robert De Niro. Several sources have confirmed that “The Irishman” will be financed by Netflix, though the deal has yet to be officially announced.
There is no word whether Netflix would give “The Irishman” a wide theatrical release, but “I don’t think Martin would accept the fact that one of his movies would just be seen on a small screen and not in movie theaters,” said Ferretti, who is not working on the film.
The triple-Oscar-winning production designer recently completed work on his first rock musical, “Divo Nerone,” staged in a unique open-air venue atop the Palatine Hill in the ancient Roman Forum, with a rotating proscenium and 28 scene changes. Although the show was mostly panned by Italian media and has been temporarily shut down after nuns in a nearby monastery complained about its high decibel levels, Ferretti noted that “critics praised the set design and costumes,” which were created by his wife and working partner, Francesca Lo Schiavo. The pair was recently honored by the American Academy in Rome with its McKim Medal.
Ferretti and Lo Schiavo also recently designed the set for Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” which opened the Spoleto Festival in June – “my third opera there in three consecutive years,” he said.
2017 Emmy Awards Nominations(7/14/17) LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Viola Davis - How To Get Away With Murder, ABC
Claire Foy - The Crown, Netflix
Elisabeth Moss - The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu
Keri Russell -The Americans, FX Networks
Evan Rachel Wood - Westworld, HBO
Robin Wright - House Of Cards, Netflix
LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
HOST FOR A REALITY/REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM
Leonardo DiCaprio surrenders Oscar to government(6/16/17) Leonardo DiCaprio surrendered an Oscar statue originally won by Marlon Brando to the government — because it was given to him by an allegedly dirty movie production company now in the feds’ crosshairs, according to reports.
And the Department of Justice has bigger targets than the statuette for “On the Waterfront” — it is now looking to seize the rights to films “Dumb and Dumber To” and “Daddy’s Home” and a trove of valuable art and movie memorabilia belonging to Red Granite Pictures, Deadline reports.
The feds filed paperwork today outlining how money allegedly stolen by corrupt Malaysian officials was funneled through the firm and used to finance films — along with a laundry list of big-ticket items they’re looking to recover — including an original poster for the Fritz Lang film “Metropolis” worth at $1.3M, the site reports.
The department already filed a civil suit last year demanding all profits from the 2013 DiCaprio-starring “The Wolf of Wall Street,” claiming it was financed with the ill-gotten money.
Red Granite gave Leo the Oscar as a thank-you for his work on the film. He voluntarily handed the statue over prior to the latest filing — which doesn’t mention the prize — but the government is still after other gifts including a Picasso painting worth $3.28 million, a Diane Arbus photograph worth $750,000 and a $9,191,040 Jean-Michel Basquiat collage, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Mexico and DiCaprio team up to help endangered porpoise(6/9/17) Mexico’s president, its richest man and actor Leonardo DiCaprio signed an agreement Wednesday to try to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise.
The vaquita is native to the northern Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez, where only about two dozen remain. They are threatened largely due to unauthorized gillnets set to catch totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder is a prized delicacy in China. The illegal nets can ensnare and kill the vaquitas.
The agreement struck by President Enrique Pena Nieto, multibillionaire telecoms magnate Carlos Slim and DiCaprio sets the goal of ending gillnet use in the upper Gulf and makes permanent an earlier temporary ban.
“Mexico understands its responsibility as one of the countries with greatest biodiversity,” Pena Nieto said. “That is why we have implemented an historic effort to avoid the extinction of a unique species in the world and also to protect important ecosystems.”
Because illegal traders pay thousands of dollars per kilogram of the swim bladders, efforts to curb totoaba fishing have been ineffective and the number of surviving vaquitas has fallen rapidly.
Authorities say that later this year they will begin capturing and enclosing the few vaquitas that remain in a protected marine sanctuary as a last-ditch effort to save them from extinction.
Enforcement against go-fast boats used by illegal fishermen is difficult, so the memorandum also includes a prohibition on night fishing and improved entry and exit control in the vaquita reserve.
The agreement will be backed by both the Carlos Slim Foundation and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which have committed to helping fund local development and non-gillnet fishing options to try to offset the economic impact of the bans.
“This action is a critical step towards ensuring that the Gulf of California continues to be both vibrant and productive, especially for species like the critically endangered vaquita,” DiCaprio said.
The foundations believe the fishing rules and tighter enforcement should help protect threatened ecosystems across the entire gulf.
The effort has garnered the support of the Mexican environmental group Pronatura Noroeste. Executive director Gustavo Danemann said his organization is “encouraged by this recent announcement which signals a renewed sense of hope that we can turn things around for the vaquita.”
Other organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, Sea Shepherd and the Marisla Foundation also backed the initiative.
Robin Wright Had No Fear Demanding Equal Pay for House of Cards(5/19/17) Robin Wright says she was not nervous "for a second" about telling her bosses that she should get paid the same as co-star Kevin Spacey for her role on House of Cards.
Exactly one year ago in 2016, the actress, who also appears in the upcoming Wonder Woman film, spoke about her career during a discussion about human rights and equality in New York City. She said she demanded to paid the same amount as Spacey for her work on Netflix's House of Cards and even said that if she were denied her request, she would go public about it.
Wright, who plays Spacey's character's wife Claire Underwood on House of Cards, talked about her move in an interview with Garbage singer Shirley Manson, posted Thursday in Net-A-Porter's digital fashion magazine The EDIT, which features her on its latest cover.
"I was told that I was getting equal pay and I believed them, and I found out recently that it's not true," Wright said.
"Were you nervous about approaching [the studio]?" Manson asked, to which the actress responded, "Not for a second. It was just fair, on principle."
Wright, who has directed several episodes of House of Cards since 2014, also said has gotten "bored by the activity of acting" onscreen.
"I only want to direct," she told Manson. "I don't want to be in front of the camera anymore. I've done it, I'm bored. I so appreciate [this career], I've been doing it 30 years, but I love watching and helping other actors bring [their talent] to fruition."
She said she would love to continue to make cameos and also act in a play.
However, Wright said she is in a "really great place" in her life and feels "blessed" and "grateful."
"Really grateful for this, because this could not have happened," she said. "I could have hit 40 and nobody wants to hire you anymore because you're an older woman'. A lot of women have that."
Robin Wright on ‘House of Cards’: Trump ‘stole’ our ideas(5/19/17) The fifth season of “House of Cards” is already in the can, but Robin Wright says the writers are going to have trouble outdoing the drama unfolding at the White House this week.
“Trump has stolen all of our ideas for Season 6,” Wright said Thursday during Variety and Kering’s Women in Motion talk at the Cannes Film Festival.
In the hit Netflix series, Wright plays Claire Underwood, the icy wife of President Frank Underwood. The two are the ultimate power couple, as ruthless as they are brilliant, and not above using their public positions for personal gain. It sounds very reminiscent to a certain Oval Office occupant.
Despite the challenge of keeping “House of Cards” relevant in the current political climate, Wright said the producers know how the series is going to end, but she’s not giving any clues.
Wright admitted to feeling disheartened by the wave of scandal surrounding Donald Trump — the president has been dogged by impeachment talk as reports have surfaced that he tried to persuade former FBI director James Comey to drop an investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
“I’ve got to see the hope somewhere,” said Wright, admitting she feels, “’Oh my God, we have four years of this.’”
But Wright has an idea of who she’d like to see calling the shots at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“I want Michelle Obama up there,” she said. “She would be a great female president.”
“House of Cards” has earned Wright rave reviews and Emmy nominations, but the actress, who has starred in such hits as “Forrest Gump” and “The Princess Bride,” admits she almost turned down the part. She didn’t want to go back to television after beginning her career on soap operas, and she knew that the character in the British television show that inspired the Netflix series was only a minor part.
However, producer David Fincher and showrunner Beau Willimon prevailed upon her to reconsider, promising that Claire would be the equal of Kevin Spacey’s Francis Underwood.
“She’s Lady Macbeth to Richard III,” said Wright.
Her approach is very different than her husband’s. He’s more effusive while she prefers to sit back and wait to strike.
“You realize she’s just as fierce and evil, she just doesn’t have to talk so much,” said Wright. “She’s the best of both sexes.”
On “House of Cards,” Wright was inspired to move behind the camera, directing five episodes.
She’s at Cannes with “The Dark of Night,” a short film she directed in the style of a 1930s film noir. Wright has moved into directing at a time when women are vastly outnumbered by male filmmakers. Women comprised just 7 percent of all directors working on the 250 highest-grossing domestic releases in 2016, a decline of two percentage points from the level achieved in 2015.
Wright said that the time has come for Hollywood to encourage more perspectives, not just by endorsing more female directors, but by also supporting filmmakers by different ethnicities. Change will come by joining forces and speaking out.
“You don’t have to yell,” said Wright. “You can just stand your ground, speak your truth, and amplify your voice in that way.” Feminism, she said has problematic connotations.
“Feminism today has become such a derogatory or diva like word,” said Wright. “Feminism means equality period. Equal work, equal pay.”
Despite being on a streaming series, Wright is a traditionalist when it comes to big-screen entertainment.
“The movie theater will forever be the first choice, of course,” said Wright. “I think it’s actually rude for people to watch movies on their phones. It’s not fair to the filmmakers.”
Wright will next be seen this summer in “Wonder Woman,” playing the heroine’s aunt. She thinks the comic book blockbuster is offering up something positive for children.
“The message of this movie is not just female empowerment – it’s about love and justice and what a great message to spread to our little ones,” said Wright.
Wright thinks that the situation in Hollywood is improving, but she’s had her own disturbing experiences with sexism and harassment in the movie business. As a 17-year old in Paris, she went in for an audition and was told to lift up her top. When she did, she was told by the man overseeing her appointment, “No, I like the other [actress’] ones, I don’t like.’”
So what happened?
“I didn’t get the part,” she said.
Leo marches against Trump’s environmental policies(5/1/17) Leonardo DiCaprio, hand in hand with indigenous people from Ecuador, joined thousands marching against the Trump administration’s environmental policies in Washington, DC, on Saturday.
DiCaprio protested alongside the Sápara people, many of them sporting full tribal regalia and feathered headdresses.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators trooped down Pennsylvania Avenue and encircled the White House in unseasonable heat to mark Trump’s 100th day in office.
But they had no effect on the climate-change makeover that the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site began receiving on Friday, when the agency eliminated multiple pages relating to climate science.
Links at EPA.gov to climate-change projections and descriptions of the Obama administration’s signature climate program, the Clean Power Plan, were replaced with “under construction” notices.
“Our Web site needs to reflect the views of the leadership of the agency,” said agency spokesman J.P. Freire.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general, led 14 lawsuits against the agency in his former post.
Pruitt made waves in March when he said he is not convinced that carbon dioxide from human activity is the main driver of climate change.
On Friday, Trump signed an executive order meant to loosen Obama-era restrictions on offshore oil drilling.
Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio & Robert De Niro Eyeing ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’ From Eric Roth Adaptation(4/22/17) The book was snatched last year after a bidding war for $5 million by Imperative Entertainment and now the Eric Roth feature film adaptation of David Grann’s book Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI may end up with another few good men. We hear that Imperative is working right now to put together some A-listers for the big screen; first choices happen to be Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, and we hear the three are seriously considering it. Imperative partners Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas are producing.
Scorsese and De Niro have been huddling on The Irishman at Netflix, but there’s no completed deal yet.
Grann’s Killers Of The Flower Moon, which bows this week from Doubleday, tells the true crime story about multiple murders of members of the Osage Indian tribe in Oklahoma that occurred after they found oil on their lands. It is about conspiracy, greed and murder in the Indian nation — so bad the federal government had to step in. It also chronicles the rise of J. Edgar Hoover, who led the investigation into the murders and ended up making a name for himself.
No one involved would comment.
Scorsese and DiCaprio have worked together multiple times before with Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Shutter Island, The Departed and The Wolf Of Wall Street. In addition, they are both developing The Devil In The White City, also based on a critically acclaimed book. De Niro and Scorsese, of course, have teamed on such films as Goodfellas, Casino, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and The King Of Comedy.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Q-Tip pal around at concert(3/31/17) Longtime friends Leonardo DiCaprio and Q-Tip hung out at an intimate showcase for an Australian band making its New York City debut late Wednesday.
The Oscar-winning actor and Grammy-winning rapper were in the small audience at Ludlow House as trio Chase Atlantic performed songs in a stripped, raw form.
DiCaprio bobbed his head from his plush chair while sitting next to Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Nina Agdal and chatting with the leader of A Tribe Called Quest.
Q-Tip went to the stage to watch when the band asked people to come closer, as DiCaprio, in a fedora, sat back. The audience included music industry insiders, record label players and some press.
Chase Atlantic performed songs from its three-song project released in January, “Part One,” as well as tracks from another three-song album, “Part Two,” to be released Friday.
The group’s genre-bending sounds echo The Weeknd and The 1975. Band members include brothers Clinton Cave and Mitchel Cave, and Christian Anthony.
Leonardo DiCaprio Remembers ‘Gilbert Grape’ Star Darlene Cates: “She Was The Best Acting Mom I Ever Had”(3/28/17) Leonardo DiCaprio has paid tribute to his What’s Eating Gilbert Grape co-star Darlene Cates, who died Sunday at the age of 69.
“Darlene was the best acting mom I ever had the privilege of working alongside. Her endearing personality and incredible talent will live on in the memories of those who knew her, and those who loved her work,” DiCaprio wrote in a post on Facebook. “My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.
The Revenant star DiCaprio played Cates’ son Arnie in the 1993 film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape alongside Johnny Depp, who played title character Gilbert, Arnie’s older brother. Cates went on appear in the TV series Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel and the 2001 film Wolf Girl.
Charles Pratt Steps Down As ‘Star’ Showrunner(3/17/17) Lee Daniels’ Fox music drama series Star will be getting another new showrunner. Chuck Pratt has stepped down as showrunner after one season, Deadline has confirmed. A search is underway for a replacement.
Pratt took the reins from Charley Murray, who previously served as co-showrunner alongside co-creator/executive producer Tom Donaghy. Murray exited the show last September over creative differences for the direction of the show.
Star was not the breakout series like Daniels’ hit hip hop series Empire, but has been stable in ratings and was renewed for a second season last month.
Set in Atlanta, Star revolves around three talented young singers (Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O’Grady) who navigate the cut-throat music business on their road to success. The series, whose pilot was directed by Daniels, features original music, along with musical fantasy sequences, as the girls dream of their future. Its cast includes Queen Latifah, Benjamin Bratt and Nicholas Gonzalez.
Daniels, Donaghy, Pamela Oas Williams and Effie Brown executive produce.
Pratt’s exit was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
Guiding Light Veteran Robert Newman Joins Perfect Crime(3/15/17) (theatermania.com) Emmy nominee Robert Newman (ex-Prescott, GH/ex-Kirk, SB), best known for his 28-year run as Joshua Lewis on television's longest-running soap opera, Guiding Light, returns to the cast of Perfect Crime tonight at The Theater Center. Through April 9 he reprises the role of Inspector Asher, a role he took on in another limited engagement in July of 2014.
Newman's role on Guiding Light garnered him two Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. His other television credits include guest appearances on Chicago Fire, Homeland, Criminal Minds, NCIS, and Law and Order: SVU, along with film roles in Amazing Spider-Man 2, Dracano, and the short film Deadline, which earned him the Best Actor award at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in 2015. His off-Broadway credits also include She's of a Certain Age, Sessions: the Musical, and Quiet on the Set.
Written by the late Warren Manzi and directed by Jeffrey Hyatt, Perfect Crime tells the story of attractive psychiatrist and suspected cold-blooded killer Margaret Brent, her wealthy husband, a deranged patient, and the handsome detective who's falling in love with her. Approaching a record-breaking 30th anniversary, the show features Catherine Russell, who has starred in the show since its first performance and has never taken a sick day or a vacation day in the past 30 years. The cast also includes David Butler, Hugh Hysell, and Patrick Robustelli.
For tickets and more information, click here.
Leonardo DiCaprio invests in frozen seafood company(3/9/17) Leo DiCaprio’s latest eco investment is in ... frozen seafood?
The activist actor has become an investor in LoveTheWild, a brand that makes farm-raised frozen seafood with sauces like roasted pepper almond, mango Sriracha and Cajun creme.
The star, who’s also an advisory board member, said the brand offers an “environmentally conscious solution to feeding our planet’s growing population.”
Or at least the population that shops at Whole Foods and the other high-end markets where the line is sold.
‘Ghosted’: Ally Walker To Star In Fox Comedy Pilot(3/1/17) Sons of Anarchy alumna Ally Walker has booked the female lead in Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot Ghosted.
Written by Tom Gormican (That Awkward Moment) and directed by Jonathan Krisel, Ghosted centers on a cynical skeptic (Craig Robinson) and a genius “true believer” in the paranormal (Adam Scott), who are recruited by the Bureau Underground to look into the rampant “unexplained” activity in Los Angeles – all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race. Walker will play Captain Lafrey, head of the Underground Investigative Service.
Known for her role as Peter Gallagher’s girlfriend Ashley Bartlett Bacon in the hit comedy feature While You Were Sleeping, Walker became a cult favorite for her longtime recurring role as Agent June Stahl in Sons of Anarchy. A series regular on HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me, Walker also starred on NBC’s Profiler, Lifetime’s The Protector and recurred on Colony and most recently Netflix’s Longmire. She’s repped by Abrams Artists Agency, Principato-Young and attorney Jared Levine.
Battlestar Galactica's Richard Hatch Dead at 71, Hailed as 'Gracious Man'(2/7/17) Richard Hatch, who originated the role of Battlestar Galactica‘s Apollo, died on Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71.
Hatch’s early career included the role of Phillip Brent on the daytime soap opera All My Children, while his first major primetime role was in the late 1970s’ The Streets of San Francisco, where he succeeded the exiting Michael Douglas.
On Battlestar Galactica, Glen A. Larson’s big budget sci-fi series for ABC that bowed in 1978, he created the role of Captain Apollo, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination. That ran for a total of 21 episodes (including an extended pilot, which was shown in theaters with Sensurround technology), before meeting cancellation.
Hatch’s TV credits went on to include arcs on Dynasty, Santa Barbara and Ronald D. Moore’s 2004 Battlestar Galactica reboot, where he would recur as political activist Tom Zarek. Moore remembered Hatch in a Twitter posting, as did BSG vet Edward James Olmos:
@RonDMoore : Richard Hatch was a good man, a gracious man, and a consummate professional. His passing is a heavy blow to the entire BSG family.
@edwardjolmos : Richard Hatch you made our universe a better place We love you for it. Rest In Peace my friend @SoSayWeAll the Admiral!
Oscars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, Mark Rylance, Alicia Vikander Set As Presenters(2/1/17) Last year’s lead and supporting actor Oscar winners will return to the stage for the 89th Oscars later this month.
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Brie Larson (Room) who received lead actor and actress honors, respectively, and supporting actor winners Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) will present the gold statuettes to their successors. They are the first group of presenters announced today by the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the trophy show is set for February 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. ABC will carry the ceremony live.
Paramount Acquires ‘The Black Hand’ For Leonardo DiCaprio To Star For The Gotham Group And Appian Way(2/1/17) Paramount Pictures has acquired the Stephan Talty book The Black Hand for Leonardo DiCaprio to star in. The movie will be produced through The Gotham Group and DiCaprio’s Appian Way production banner. They are in the process of hiring a writer to adapt the book.
Talty’s book follows Joe Petrosino, a courageous NYPD cop who unflinchingly went after a ruthless gang that came out of Italy and into America (whose calling card was a black hand) which kidnapped people and then extorted money from their families. They were loathed by law-abiding Italian families who were frightened but nevertheless helped Petrosino behind the scenes when they could as the viciousness of the gang of thugs knew no boundaries.
Petrosino, who was fluent in Italian having immigrated himself, was hawkish in his pursuit of them — and even worked with Italian law enforcement — but unfortunately, he would eventually die at their hands. He came as a child to this country, shining shoes outside a police precinct before becoming enthralled and inspired by those he literally looked up to.
But before he death, he had arrested and deported dozens, as many of these criminals as he could, for the sake of his own heritage. According to historical archives, the lawman didn’t want the Italians coming into this country to be known as mere criminals.
This scum eventually assassinated him, cutting him down in cold blood and leaving his widow, Adelina, and young child fatherless. He was murdered in 1909 in Palermo on a fact-finding mission; he thought he was meeting a confidential informant, but instead walked into his own death.
The Black Hand existed at the turn of the 20th century here in the U.S. — in the late 1890s and early 1900s — and were considered the precursor of the American mafia.
There were other law enforcement officials assassinated by The Black Hand, but Petrosino was, by far, the most famous — probably because of his doggedness. There is also an exhibit about him in the NYPD Museum.
Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jeremy Bell of The Gotham Group will produce. Jennifer Davisson will also produce with Gotham as will Nathaniel Posey on behalf of Appian. Ashley Brucks and Gabby Canton are the executives at Paramount who will oversee.
Talty is the New York Times bestselling author of six books focused on history and individual achievement. As a ghostwriter, Talty’s work includes A Captain’s Duty, which was the basis for the Oscar-nominated film Captain Phillips.
His forthcoming Under The Same Sky traces a North Korean boy’s harrowing experiences during the Great Famine and his escape to America. Other works include the first account of the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet and a sweeping history of Napoleon at war. His two recent e–books, The Secret Agent and Operation Cowboy, were both No. 1 Amazon bestsellers;The Secret Agent was also named “best Kindle Single of the Year” by thinreads.
Talty was repped in the deal by Lucy Stille at APA and Scott Waxman at Waxman Leavell. DiCaprio and Appian Way are repped by LBI Entertainment.
Soap Opera Writer Courtney Simon to Be Honored by Writers Guild East(1/18/17) (variety.com) The Writers Guild of America East has selected soap opera writer Courtney Simon as the recipient for its Richard B. Jablow Award for service to the guild.
Simon will be honored at the 69th annual Writers Guild Awards at New York’s Edison Ballroom on Feb. 19. The Jablow award was established in 1978 to recognize service and created in honor of Jablow, who helped found the WGA East, authored its constitution, and served as its first counsel.
Simon has been a WGA East member since 1980. She has written for 12 different daytime dramas, including “As the World Turns,” “Santa Barbara,” “Guiding Light,” and “All My Children.” She has won seven Daytime Emmy Awards and seven Writers Guild Awards.
Simon has served on the WGA East Council since 2007 and has been active in lobbying efforts to promote a diversity-based tax credit in the state of New York. She co-chairs the WGAE Diversity Coalition, is a member of the Awards Committee, and has been chair of the Daytime Committee.
“Not only is Courtney Simon a gifted writer who has mastered the intricacies of daytime drama, she has been a dedicated member of the Writers Guild of America East council and a hardworking contributor to a number of union committees, most recently as co-chair of our Diversity Coalition,” said WGA East president Michael Winship. “No one is more deserving of our Jablow Award, presented to someone who has so thoroughly devoted herself to the Writers Guild of America East.”
The 2017 Writers Guild Awards ceremony in New York will be hosted by Lewis Black.
Leo DiCaprio does biz with Trump’s Secretary of the Army(1/10/17) Despite his lefty views and previous support of Hillary Clinton, Leo DiCaprio is doing some serious business with Vincent Viola, the billionaire businessman and President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of the Army.
Page Six has learned that Viola recently bought DiCaprio’s apartment in Manhattan’s “healthy living” Delos building (the place with the Vitamin C shower) for $8 million.
The condo at 66 E. 11th St. was purchased by an LLC registered to Michael Viola, Vincent’s son.
Meanwhile, DiCaprio recently bought an undeveloped piece of property on Malibu, Calif.’s Paradise Cove for $23 million, which has also belonged to Vincent.
The 1.76-acre cliff-edge plot with a tiny 610-square-foot cottage was purchased in 2004 by director Ridley Scott, who paid $7.2 million, then sold it two years later to billionaire Viola for $11 million.
Leonardo DiCaprio drops $23M on undeveloped Malibu property(1/3/17) The holidays can be a quiet time for real estate wheelers and dealers. Thus, we were grateful when property gossip Yolanda reported that actor/director/climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio is the A-lister behind an LLC that purchased an undeveloped piece of property on Malibu’s Paradise Cove for a whopping $23 million.
Variety also connected some dots and reported that the Paradise Cove property was acquired through a corporate entity “linked to Mister DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company.”
The property clings to the edge of a cliff, and neighbors include producer Mark Burnett and actress Courteney Cox.
DiCaprio’s new lot has an interesting pedigree. The 1.76-acre slice of paradise with a tiny 610-square-foot cottage was purchased in 2004 by director Ridley Scott, who paid $7.2 million, then sold it two years later to billionaire Vinnie Viola for $11 million.
Viola is owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team and President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Army secretary. Viola briefly tried to sell the property for $15 million in 2012. When he found no takers, he sat on the spread while property values in Paradise Cove went bananas, and DiCaprio reportedly paid him $23 million in an off-market sale.
As he shuffles his property portfolio, DiCaprio is still trying to sell a remodeled beach house on Malibu’s Carbon Beach for $11 million. The actor sold a home in Studio City for $2.24 million a couple of months ago.
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