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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Williams’

Journo Haunted by the Ghost of Andy Gibb

Over the weekend, St. Louis Post-Dispatch film critic Joe Williams shared a whopper of a two-part reminiscence involving the late Andy Gibb and a former People magazine staffer. He doesn’t refer to the latter by name, but we’ve deduced that it must have been Fred Bernstein.

In 1987, while earning his Master’s in journalism at the University of Missouri, Williams listened as a visiting prof crowed about a People magazine piece that exposed Gibb’s drug and porn habits. The prof insisted the article was his proudest career achievement.

Upon graduation, Williams moved to LA and started attending freelance pitch meetings at the magazine. When Gibb died of a heart attack in March of 1988, Williams was tasked with his first People assignment–interviewing employees at the singer’s record label. Here, improbably, is what happened next:

When I reached the man who had signed him to a contract, he said Gibb was the sweetest kid he had ever known. “What drove him to an early grave was that hatchet job in People magazine,” the man said. I reported my findings, but nothing that I contributed appeared in the obituary.

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St. Louis Critic Frames James Dean’s 80th Birthday

There is surprisingly little coverage today of James Dean on what would have been his 80th birthday. Some exceptions are Flavorwire.com’s crazily ambitious “80 Things You Didn’t Know About James Dean,” and our favorite item courtesy of St. Louis Post-Dispatch film critic Joe Williams.

In a nifty little piece entitled “When Ronnie Met Jimmy,” Williams reveals himself to be a hardcore Dean fan, having visited the actor’s Indiana grave site as well as the California crossroads where the star died. He shares the recently discovered video of The Dark, Dark Hours, a 1954 teleplay that paired Dean with Ronald Reagan (who coincidentally would have turned 100 on Sunday).

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