The electric final 15 minutes of the new musical based on Sylvester Stallone’s small-town Philly boxer are likely to inspire a heavy outpouring of adjectives: Game-changing. Jaw-dropping. Astounding. All are fair…
In the later stages of his AP career, Bob Thomas was often tasked with reviewing and filing banked obituaries of major Hollywood stars. Today, sadly, it is the job of John Rogers to inform that Thomas has passed at the age of 92.
Over the course of a record-setting journalism career, Thomas covered 66 Academy Awards ceremonies, phoned in from the scene an AP bulletin about the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy and wrote nearly three dozen books. His entertainment reporting work spanned seven decades, beginning in 1944 and ending in 2010:
Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the AP, worked with Thomas in the Los Angeles bureau in the early 1980s.
“Bob was an old-fashioned Hollywood reporter and he knew absolutely everyone,” she said. “He had a double-helping of impish charm with the stars, but back at the office, he was the quiet guy who slipped into a desk at the back and poked at the keyboard for a while, then handed in a crisp and knowing story soon delivered to movie fans around the world.”
Fun, fun Web exclusive from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. It involves the always-entertaining Artie Lange recalling the “Worst I Ever Bombed.”
We’re not going to ruin it. Watch the video above to hear the details of Lange’s epic Playboy Mansion fail and why, despite being a “straight red-blooded male,” he was at the end of it all “begging to be let out” of Hef’s party HQ.
Tuesday night at the 92nd Street YMCA, gossip columnist Liz Smith sat down with now 84-year-old actor Robert Wagner for a discussion, reading and signing of his latest book You Must Remember This. Today, she writes briefly about what she took away:
I remarked on R.J.’s way with women (he made love to most of his leading ladies) and married the adorable Natalie Wood — twice! I was careful, however, because in the audience was Wagner’s wife of more than 20 years, Jill St. John. How has Wagner survived, personally and professionally? Well, he is a real gentleman that’s how – intelligent, wise, charming, open and with open arms.
The Y event took place a few hours after Wagner’s appearance on Live with Kelly and Michael. That earlier conversation started off with some mutual gushing between Wagner and his former Hope & Faith co-star Ripa.
There are two major strands running through Allison Hope Weiner‘s plea to Hollywood to take Mel Gibson off the industry blacklist. One is the idea of forgiveness, redemption and atonement for one’s sins; the other is how journalists writing about subjects like Gibson rarely get to truly “know” their subjects.
Weiner explains that after writing damning pieces about Gibson for outlets such as the New York Times and EW, she gradually came to know him as someone very different from the 2006 PCH incident that launched TMZ. Even more unlikely is the idea that this journalist-Hollywood star friendship could be cemented after Gibson’s second major public transgression in 2010:
I was on vacation with my family when Gibson called me. During his breakup with [Oksana] Grigorieva, he’d gone through a terrible emotional breakdown and struggled to get healthy, gain joint custody of his infant daughter and deal with the fallout from the publication of those awful tapes. He was in a very bad place and we talked for some time about how difficult it was for him to deal with the pain he’d inflicted on his family — his ex-wife Robyn and his seven children, his infant daughter.
It wasn’t a big deal – at first. As The Jewish Week reporter Steve Lipman notes in his rare interview with Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax at the Dodgers’ spring training facility in Arizona, when the athlete turned down Game One of the 1965 World Series because the contest with the Minnesota Twins fell on Yom Kippur, the decision made a minor NYC media impression:
The New York Times and New York Post reported matter-of-factly that he would miss the start because that day was “the holiest Jewish holiday.” The Daily News was on strike that week. This newspaper’s predecessor, the Jewish Week & American Examiner, made no mention of the game.
But, through word of mouth in Jewish circles, everyone knew. Over time, that game assumed mythic proportions.
New York magazine recently wondered – “Is San Francisco New York?” From that west coast city, San Francisco Chronicle pop culture critic Peter Hartlaub and staff writer Joe Garofoli today offer up the cheekiest of commentary-responses in the form of a ten-step Cut-and-Paste San Francisco Trend Story template.
Each and every suggested feature article touchstone is hilarious, including:
Step 3: Find the outrage. Now that you’re sufficiently fired up about evictions, it’s time to write about the tenant-landlord rift without actually speaking to a greedy landlord or aggrieved tenant. The San Francisco Tenants Union, Tenderloin Housing Clinic or any past/present editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian will gladly confirm that San Francisco is on the verge of doom (just as the naysayers said in 1998 during the first dot-com boom).
A few weeks ago, we shared a plaintive, open letter to the New York Knicks from a lifelong fan currently living in London. When Nick Geltner posted that letter, he could not possibly have imagined a better answer to his prayers.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Phil Jackson-New York Knicks president of operations deal is now all but completed, though an official announcement might have to wait until next week. That announcement will surely send Los Angeles Lakers fans off the other coastal edge; purple-and-gold supporters have been hoping (against hope) that Phil would come to the rescue of his fiancée’s tattered team.
From the top of this afternoon’s ESPN item:
Jackson and the Knicks are expected to finalize a deal that will give the legendary coach control of the club’s front office by the end of this week, according to a league source.
“Everything is pretty much done,” the source said. “There are just some little things here and there that need to be worked out, but the Knicks are very confident that this is essentially done.”
The endless Paramount PR campaign for Anchorman 2 began with promo appearances by Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy on just about every news show imaginable. Then, a few weeks ago, there was the limited theatrical release of a second, alternate version of the movie featuring “763 new gags.”
Now comes word via Home Media magazine senior reporter Chris Tribbey of an Anchorman food truck. “AnchorVan” is being launched today at SXSW to support the upcoming DVD release of the sequel and will wind its way to NYC for a close-out appearance on April Fools Day:
The “AnchorVan” will offer free chicken (Champ Kind’s Whammy! Chicken, of course) and give Ron Burgundy fans a chance to go on-camera to test their teleprompter reading skills.
Thanks to David Gerlach, founder of Brooklyn’s Blank on Blank, we can all listen to the voice of the late Heath Ledger anew. As reported by Lowenna Walters of London’s Daily Telegraph, the restored and animated five-minute conversation comes from a 2005 interview with Entertainment Weekly reporter Christine Spines to promote the release of Brokeback Mountain.
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