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RIP

RIP: Look Magazine Photographer Charlotte Brooks

CharlotteBrooksPer an obituary in the New York Times, Charlotte Brooks was born in 1918 as Charlotte Finkelstein, but because of pervasive anti-Semitism, later changed her last name to bolster her chances of professional success.

From 1951 until 1971, as Look magazine competed weekly with Life, Brooks was one of just a few female members of Look‘s full-time photographer ranks. From humble assignment beginnings, she would go on to cover Duke Ellington, Ed Sullivan, Fats Domino and Richard Nixon. From a Library of Congress essay about Brooks’ career:

She accepted a job in the promotions unit of the Advertising Department, making pictures that regular staff photographers balked at doing. Her tasks included the “sociable cheese” series – photographing supermarket displays when a cheese manufacturing company was a major Look advertiser. Another lowly assignment had her in smoke-filled rooms at professional meetings, photographing visitors’ heads in cardboard cutouts of celebrities.

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Honoring the Memory of a Slain Dominican Journalist

AFlowerforOrlandoFar from the din of today’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebrations, there is also “A Flower for Orlando.”

The annual gatherings – held here in NYC and elsewhere – celebrate the courageous journalism of Luis Orlando Martinez Howley, a Dominican reporter murdered in his native country March 17, 1975. From a brief report by Dominican Today:

Martinez had published numerous articles questioning widespread corruption in the administration of the late Joaquin Balaguer, in his column for newspaper El Nacional. As is the case every year, the ceremony will be held at Juan Pablo Duarte Square, located at the corner of 170th Street and Broadway in upper Manhattan.

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Daughter Celebrates Voiceover Titan Hal Douglas at iLasting.com

HalDouglasPicOn March 7, the world lost Hal Douglas, the voice of so many memorable Hollywood movie trailers and other sterling works of voiceover art. After a career spent recording at studios in New York City, he had shifted this century to a home studio in northern Virginia.

On March 13, Douglas’ daughter Sarah created a memorial page at iLasting.com. The page allows users to light a digital candle, and much more.

“I was honored that his family entrusted us with his memorial,” site founder Anthony Doctolero tells FishbowlNY. The site, launched in 2008 in San Francisco, grew out of similar feelings Doctolero was seeking to express about his late grandfather.

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RIP: AP Entertainment Reporter Bob Thomas

ShutterstockBobThomasStarIn 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.”

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Brooklyn Journo Revisits 2005 Heath Ledger Interview

Wonderful stuff.

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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Reporter Cracks Up as Harold Ramis Explains Movie’s Psychology Today Connection

HaroldRamisSheridanRoadMag_FeaturedIn 2009, not long after historic preservation foundation Landmarks Illinois celebrated former Chicago Tribune messenger boy Harold Ramis along with Cubs great Ernie Banks and Chicago marathon founder Lee Flaherty, the filmmaker spoke with Jake Jarvi for a subsequent article in Sheridan Road magazine. Perusing the interviews conducted over the years by Ramis, who passed away today at age 69, this one stands out not so much for what’s on the page but rather because of the Web version’s inclusion of audio of additional, unpublished conversation snippets.

In the five-minute segment, Ramis repeatedly has Jarvi in stitches, starting with a recollection of how he got his first Hollywood agent and how a Psychology Today article inspired one of his films:

“Travel is not necessarily about relaxing. It can be a real hassle. I did a whole movie about that once, Club Paradise.”

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In Memoriam: Old School Newspaper Man Bob Greer

The passing over the weekend at age 88 of veteran journalist Bob Greer has given Beccy Tanner, a reporter with the Wichita Eagle, cause to remember a bygone era of print journalism.

BillBrownBobGreer

In the 1960s, Greer (pictured above, right) covered the case that Truman Capote would later famously chronicle in the groundbreaking tome In Cold Blood. His family survived during The Great Depression by selling peaches door-to-door(!) and he was very proud of never having had anything to do with the era of page views, unique visitors and alternate Web headlines:

Greer possessively hung on to three manual typewriters, in case one or two would be in a state of repair, and avidly embraced his hunt-and-peck method of typing stories and scratching story ideas on napkins until the last few months of his life. He would brag to friends he didn’t know how to turn on a computer…

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RIP: Fashion Designer Michele Savoia

We pay tribute this morning to Michele Savoia, a fashion designer who was reported missing in New York City last Thursday and whose body – very sadly – was found over the weekend, floating in the Hudson River.

From a New York Times report by Michael Schwirtz:

A close friend, Kevin James Dalton, said it appeared that Mr. Savoia slipped on the aluminum ramp leading to his boat at Pier 59 and fell into the near-freezing water after a night of partying.

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Public Memorial Set for News 12 Long Island Anchor Judy Martin

There has been an outpouring of shock, grief and speculation about the sudden death of 49-year-old News 12 Long Island anchor Judy Martin.

Here are a couple of noteworthy, respectful comments left below Newsday TV critic Vern Gay‘s February 2 item:

Greg Marcus: I am stunned beyond belief that Judy is gone. She was incredibly kind and supportive to me as a new writer and as a person. She spent an hour with me on the phone giving me suggestions in December. I am very new to the field of life balance, and to get the support and encouragement from someone established and in the media meant the world to me. While I was just getting to know her, I feel like I lost someone close to me. I can only imagine how hard this must be for those who were close to her. Please accept my deepest sympathies.

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EW Writer Shares Three-Act Philip Seymour Hoffman Memory

ShutterstockPhilipSeymourHoffman2009AcademyAwardsDavid Carr‘s circa 2008 thoughts about Philip Seymour Hoffman generated, deservedly, a lot of attention. Today comes another equally wonderful journalist-POV remembrance from Entertainment Weekly senior film writer Anthony Breznican.

The stakes here – beginning circa 2007 – are equally high, as reflected by the headline “The Night Philip Seymour Hoffman Changed My Life…“. We’re not going to spoil the details; you’ll have to read Breznican’s item to get the full brunt of this vivid trajectory.

To set the scene, the writer recalls that he and his wife Jill sat across from Hoffman for a restaurant dinner at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival promoting The Savages:

While the actor wasn’t into talking about himself or movies, he loved talking about novels and stories: We discussed John Updike, Philip Roth and Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter, and soon we were getting comfortable with each other. The conversation shifted to family. Hoffman and his longtime partner, Mimi O’Donnell, had a toddler son at the time — they would go on to have two more children — and my wife and I were then thinking about having children ourselves…

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