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Posts Tagged ‘Susan King’

Colleagues React to the Passing of Charles Champlin

ShutterstockCharlesChamplinWOFOn Facebook, Los Angeles Times staff writer Susan King shared the impact made during her formative years by Charles Champlin, the retired editor, film and book critic who passed away Sunday at the age of 88. From her post:

Though I only talked to him twice on the phone, he had changed my life as a teenager. He hosted a series on PBS called Film Odyssey, which showed classic films from the Janus catalog.

One of the first films was Truffaut’s Jules & Jim. That film changed my life. The series changed my life and Champlin changed my life. There’s a big chance I would be doing something else if it wasn’t for that show.

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The Night Walter Winchell Slept Through a Major Celebrity Scoop

TheFatLadySangIn case you hadn’t noticed, we cannot get enough of The Fat Lady Sang, Hollywood legend Robert Evans‘ brand new memoir. Our copy is ready and waiting this holiday weekend, set to take precedence whenever a football or leftovers munch break allows.

We’ve also been gobbling up Evans interview coverage and must congratulate LA Times reporter Susan King for concocting the most appealing lede we’ve read so far. She frames today’s article with a bit from the book about the time aspiring actor Evans, while on a 1950s red eye from New York to LA, had a dalliance in the sleeping-berths area of the plane with an older female movie star. Among the other passengers sleeping in the confined area containing six beds – Walter Winchell:

There was something daring, even dangerous in having a mile-high rendezvous while the influential Winchell, who could make or break celebrities, was just two feet away. “That’s the only reason I did it,” said Evans in a recent interview, flashing his killer smile.

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LA Times Reader Corrects Doris Day

In the latest telephone interview granted by Doris Day from Carmel, the actress told LA Times reporter Susan King that Hollywood stopped calling after she moved up the coast, and that there was never any Cary Grant-like effort to lure her out of a benevolent retirement from showbiz. But perhaps the actress meant only that no major studio mogul paid her a personal visit.

In the reader comments, user pebrogan reminds that Day was approached to discuss starring in Murder She Wrote, Dynasty and other TV series. He also accurately points out that there was at least one notable feature film entreaty:

There were multiple film offers, most notably from Albert Brooks who went to Carmel in the mid-90′s to offer Miss Day the title role in Mother. Miss Day met with Brooks but ultimately decided against doing the film. Distinguished columnist Liz Smith reported in the early years of the new milennium that Elizabeth Taylor was interested in working with Doris Day.

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Fashion Photog Could Be Staring at Second Straight Hollywood Remake

Remember the 2010 Paul Haggis-Russell Crowe collaboration The Next Three Days? Turns out it was a remake of a much better reviewed 2008 French film, Pour Elle.

Now, Gallic director Fred Cavayé (pictured), a fashion photographer who embraced the movie end of the lens when he hit 40, says Hollywood is sniffing around his sophomore effort Point Blank. The $13 million thriller, which features manic Paris-shot chase scenes, opens Friday in LA. He tells LA Times writer Susan King that he took the failure of the English language version of his debut with a grain of “sel”:

“It was very flattering that my first film, which I wrote in my little apartment in Paris and two years later the man who is Clint Eastwood‘s scriptwriter is writing it and Crowe is starring in it,” said Cavayé. “I think the success of films is a very fragile thing. Every week you have very good films that come out that don’t really have much success at the box office. Then you have middling and not-so-good films that are enormously successful. It all depends on what viewers want to see.”

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Transgender Flick Kicks Off 2011 Edition of LA’s Oldest Film Festival

The 2011 edition of Outfest really could not have picked a better film for tonight’s opening gala slot.

Fresh from Sundance and San Francisco’s Frameline event, the drama Gun Hill Road marks the directorial debut of actor Rashaad Ernesto Green. Esai Morales stars as a dad who, after three years in prison, returns home to find that his teenage son has become a transgender woman, played by real-life transgender female Harmony Santana (pictured). The New York based Green tells LA Times reporter Susan King that he is thrilled to be presenting at Outfest, ahead of the film’s scheduled August 5 theatrical release:

“I think it is one of the first times at least in American cinema we are actually getting to see a transgender main character played by a transgender person,” said Green. “She was just at the beginning of her transition. She just started to take hormones. Since the character has to play both male and female in the film, I needed someone who was not physically developed just yet.”

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The Dean Martin Anti-Pitch Meeting

There is no shortage in the annals of Hollywood of stories about stars asking for the moon, in hopes of ideally being turned down so they don’t have to do the work. Thanks to today’s Susan KingClassic Hollywood” column in the LA Times, we now have a reminder of a great Dean Martin variation, via his daughter Deana.

In 1965, dad reluctantly agreed to take a meeting with NBC about the idea of doing a TV variety show. But not before setting the scene for his family:

“He told us, ‘When I go in tomorrow, I am going to ask them for a ridiculous amount of money so they will turn me down. I am going to tell them I don’t want to rehearse, so I’m sure they will turn me down. And then I am going to tell them I only want to tape it on Sunday afternoons after 1. So for sure they won’t go for it.’”

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Rob Lowe, Movie Mogul

For FishbowlLA’s money, the most fascinating part of Susan King‘s LA Times interview with actor Rob Lowe are the details about his new day-to-day job as overseer of Miramax. That’s right; the former Brat Pack member has graduated to the green light brigade.

Thanks to the actor’s business partnership with Colony Capital‘s Tom Barrack, Lowe is in on the ground floor at Miramax’s Santa Monica offices, after the company became the first acquisition of Colony’s media fund. He’s presently helping figure out which movies can find new life:

“It’s really obvious that it’s the one thing I would be able to bring to the table with my area of expertise navigating the relationships with Hollywood,” Lowe said. “The deal just closed 90 days ago and we have been culling from the 250 books and scripts in various stages of development that Harvey and Bob [Weinstein] spent untold millions getting to this point. We have incoming calls from people who know we have the rights to things. It’s really exciting.”

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New Book Exposes Glenn Ford-Rita Hayworth Love Child

Fans of classic cinema have a reliable media friend in LA Times reporter Susan King. Her Calendar section column “Classic Hollywood” regularly regales readers with interviews, news of retrospectives, and more.

Her topic today is actor Glenn Ford. Son Peter has written a biography of dad titled, simply, Glenn Ford: A Life (May 12th, University of Wisconsin Press). But behind that deceptively neutral moniker is actually a very frank tale of a Hollywood icon’s serial womanizing, alcoholism, and sputtering paternal affection. Writes King:

Perhaps one of the most shocking revelations is that Ford and Rita Hayworth became lovers during 1948′s The Loves of Carmen, and in fact, Hayworth became pregnant with Ford’s child and had an abortion at a hospital in France. “Nobody knows that,” he said. “I have his diaries.”

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The Stefanie Powers Picture Gets Smaller

In what has to rank as one of the year’s strangest bits of personal juxtaposition, actress Stefanie Powers is busy this week promoting a new book about her nine-year affair with William Holden just a few months after starring as Norma Desmond in an east coast stage production of Sunset Boulevard.

The actress tells LA Times classic film beat writer Susan King that the inspiration for her November 2nd autobiography From the Hart was sparked last year by the death of her mother and her own, since cured cancer diagnosis. When she touches on another tangential reason for the book, it’s hard – at least for us – not to think of the way Holden’s character famously speaks from beyond a watery grave at the beginning of the 1950 Billy Wilder film.

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3:10 to Yuma DVD Released

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Susan King, in the LA Times, reviews the new DVD of James Mangold’s remake of 3:10 to Yuma and is pretty happy about the film and the extras:

Included on the DVD are deleted scenes; a lengthy, well-produced behind-the-scenes documentary; a discussion with historians about “Outlaws, Gangs and Posses”; and engrossing, passionate commentary from Mangold.

The bonus features were produced by David Naylor and his crew at The DVD Group, with some help from Elmore Leonard’s right hand man, Greg Sutter.

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