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Posts Tagged ‘Kirk Douglas’

Kirk Douglas Pens Spartacus E-book

New York publishing firm Open Road Integrated Media is calling it Kirk Douglas’ “first E-riginal.” Even though the 242-page work will also be available in paperback.

At age 95, the three-time Oscar nominee and prolific author has conquered just about every other media realm. Come June, with forward help from George Clooney, he will have added material written primarily for the Kindle, Nook and so on, under the title I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist. From today’s announcement:

Open Road co-founder and CEO Jane Friedman says, “I have admired Kirk Douglas as an author ever since the publication of his first bestselling book, The Ragman’s Son, in which he touched on the complicated and career-threatening decisions he took in producing Spartacus, which resulted in the breaking of the decade-long Hollywood blacklist. I am thrilled that he finally decided— with the wisdom and clarity of his 95 years—to tell the definitive story of the making of this iconic film amid the shameful political climate of the time.”

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Santa Barbara Film Fest Rewrites Douglas Family History

According to the press release announcing Michael Douglas as the recipient of the 2011 Santa Barbara International Film Festival‘s Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence, dad was duly impressed when he first checked out Douglas’ acting work in the 1960s. At the time, the actor’s firstborn son was a drama student at UC Santa Barbara:

“To tell the truth, I wanted Michael to be a lawyer,” Douglas said. “I secretly hoped he would be bad so I could tell him to forget it. He wasn’t.”

However, previously published Michael bios suggest Kirk was actually less than enamored by the junior year performance of As You Like It. There is even, apparently, an August 1998 US Weekly interview in which Kirk deemed his son’s Shakespearean efforts as “terrible.” (Due to a malfunctioning USmagazine.com website, we were unable to confirm this quote first-hand.)

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‘Barbarella’ Producer Dead at 91

Legendary Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis died on Wednesday night at his Beverly Hills home. He was 91.

The man who brought us an alien-loving Jane Fonda in a plastic bustier was also a the producer of Academy Award-winning foreign films “La Strada” and “Nights of Cabiria,” both directed by Federico Fellini. His prolific career spanned over six decades and was wildly varied in nature, from early Italian New Wave to big-budget blockbusters. Some of his better known titles include David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” starring Isabella Rossellini and Dennis Hopper, “Three Days of the Condor” with Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway, “Ulysses,” starring Kirk Douglas, and “Hannibal” with Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore.

We also have him to thank for “Conan the Barbarian,” starring our very own Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thank you, Mr. De Laurentiis.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bo Dietl and The Post-Election Posse

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The votes are in and this week’s big winner is Michael McCarty whose dining room has been packed every day with A-list celebs  and politicos of every stripe in town this week to dissect every nuance of election night. The star of Monday’s lunch was none other than Jessica Lange, and on Tuesday James Carville, Cokie Roberts and Tina Brown made the scene. Kirk Douglas was also spotted accepting well wishes for son Michael Douglas, who is keeping a low profile having just finished his treatment for throat cancer.

Today, politics were the topic and I overheard plenty as I made my rounds in the dining room. “Who the hell knows what this all means?” said one shell shocked Obama supporter of the midterm election results. His friend wearily replied, “It’s over. The president is in for it now.” An interested party across the room offered this assessment: “The Republican Party may think this is their time, but they’ll shoot themselves in the foot. You’ll see. ” Another friend told me, “Until we stop thinking of ourselves as a red nation or blue nation and figure out this is a red, white and blue country, we’re screwed.”

At my table, we avoided politics and stuck to dissecting the latest moves in media. My good friend Andy Amill, who this summer got a much deserved promotion and is now Vice President of Weight Watchers Media Group overseeing all print and digital media, is feeling pretty optimistic these days. And he’s got reason to be. It seems celebrity pitch woman Jennifer Hudson, who sensibly shrunk down from a size 16 to a svelte size six on the tried and true program, has been a home run for the brand. “The impact of Jennifer Hudson has been phenomenal,” Andy told me. “We’ve seen an increase in membership at meetings and on-line and an increase in magazine sales.” And, unlike the usual blink-and-you miss-’em celeb endorsement deals, Andy reports that the divine Ms. Hudson will be sticking around to spearhead some top secret programs the company will unveil in 2011.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The Early Show: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jeff Greenfield, Andy Bergman and Michael Kramer. Second seating: My pal, attorney Suzanne Bracker, and Dan Wassong.

2. Peter Brown and Michael Holtzman

3. Fortune‘s Patricia Sellers — whose cover story last month on Oprah‘s next act still has people buzzing – and, we’re told, John Needham.

4. Felicia Taylor with another chic blonde gal we didn’t recognize.

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LAT In 90 Seconds

37444500-0ss2174509.jpgWeekend Box Office Predictions: Josh Friedman is betting on pro football.

37482089.jpgApple Beats Wal-Mart: Michelle Quinn and Dawn Chmielewski report that Apple’s iTunes store surpassed Wal-Mart as the largest music retailer in the country – a distinction it will get to enjoy until MySpace swallows it whole.

kdougii.jpgNewest Celebrity Blogger? Kirk Douglas. And, no joke, the kids love him.

AFI Teams With Target for Film Fete

george.jpegThe American Film Institute is taking its 40th anniversary public thanks to a Target sponsored bash on Oct. 3 at the Arclight Hollywood. The film fete has already snagged RSVPs from George Lucas, Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, Kirk Douglas, Julie Andrews and Sylvester Stallone. AFI‘s big event will feature 11 classic films screening on the same night, each with a live intro by either the pic’s star or director. Tickets go on sale to the gen pub Sept. 19. Cost is $25 and more info can be found at www.AFI.com.

- CHRIS GARDNER

Media Events 4.26.07

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FRIDAY 04.27.07
WHAT: Hollywood Collectors and Celebrity Show
WHO: Erik Estrada, Marcia Wallace,Tom Bosley, Juliet Mills, Pat Priest and Butch Patrick (The Munsters), Lorenzo Lamas, Henry Winkler, Mickey Rooney, Nastassja Kinski, Traci Lords and many others.
WHEN: 11 a.m.
WHERE: Burbank Airport Marriott
WHY: Because you never know when a fallen celebrity will wind up dead in a Florida hotel room filled to the gills with chloral hydrate.

FRIDAY 04.27.07
WHAT: Coachella
WHO: Bjork, Of Montreal, Bus Driver and many more.
WHEN: Flosstradamus kicks it off at 2 p.m.
WHERE: The Middle of Nowhere
WHY: Because we want to live vicariously through you. Asshole.

FRIDAY 04.27.07
WHAT: Screening of A World of Conflict
WHO: Kevin Sites
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: James Bridge Theater, Melnitz Hall, UCLA
WHY: As Yahoo!’s first news correspondent, Sites helped pioneer solo journalism across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. As an NBC News correspondent in November 2004, he videotaped a U.S. Marine shooting a wounded Iraqi insurgent in a Fallujah mosque. RSVP to erwin.c.ong@gmail.com.

FRIDAY 04.27.07
WHAT: Sarah Hethcoat performance
WHO: Sarah Hethcoat
WHEN: 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Joint
WHY: It’s cheaper and closer than Coachella, and you’re gonna like her sound.

SATURDAY 04.28.07
WHAT: Festival of Books
WHO: LAT and UCLA are hosting the event again, expected to draw everyone from Dr. Phil to Kirk Douglas to, you know, some actual authors.
WHEN: 10 a.m.
WHERE: UCLA
WHY: Because GalleyCat’s going to be there!

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