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Tribute: James Horner

posted by Nell Minow

One of the greatest movie composers of all time, James Horner, died this week in a plane crash. His compositions added enormous depth and emotion to some of the all-time critical and audience triumphs, including the movie that broke the […]

Tribute: Anne Meara

posted by Nell Minow

Today we mourn the loss of actress/comedian Anne Meara, wife of Jerry Stiller and mother of actor/director Ben Stiller. Stiller and Meara were a comedy team who appeared frequently on the Ed Sullivan show. Their humor often focused on their […]

Tribute: Stan Freberg

posted by Nell Minow

The world lost one of the funniest and most creative men in broadcasting, Stan Freberg, who died today at age 88. One of the great thrills of my life was seeing Mr. Freberg at Comic-Con, and seeing the wildly enthusiastic […]

Tribute: Leonard Nimoy

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of Leonard Nimoy, who created one of the most iconic characters of all time, “Star Trek’s” half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, with pointed ears and angled eyebrows perfectly designed to convey a wry sense of irony.  The […]

Tribute: Louis Jourdan

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of French movie star Louis Jourdan, who has died at age 93. Best remembered as the handsome, elegant, bored Gaston who lost his heart to Gigi (Leslie Caron), he appeared in a variety of roles opposite […]

Tribute: Mike Nichols

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of director Mike Nichols, who died yesterday at age 83, survived by his wife, television journalist Diane Sawyer. Nichols began as part of the 1950’s improvisational movement coming out of Chicago, and rose to fame as […]

Tribute: Lauren Bacall

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of Lauren Bacall, who has died at age 89. “Anybody got a match?” With those words, a teenager born Betty Perske from Brooklyn made her first screen appearance, in To Have and Have Not. Her chin […]

Tribute: James Garner

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite actors has left us. James Garner, handsome, wry, effortlessly masculine, all-purpose leading man for decades on television and in movies, has died at age 84. He had consummate skill in comedy, drama, and romance, and even […]

Tribute: Elaine Stritch

posted by Nell Minow

The great Elaine Stritch has died at age 89. It is hard to imagine a world without that vibrant, brash, brassy, and utterly vital force of nature.  She was the kind of woman about whom it was not just apt […]

Tribute: Eli Wallach

posted by Nell Minow

One of the all-time great character actors, Eli Wallach, has died at age 98.  He leaves behind an extraordinary range of work, from iconic bad guys (The Magnificent Seven), to sweet old guys (The Holiday). He appeared with Clark Gable, […]

Tribute: Casey Kasem

posted by Nell Minow

Casey Kasem, whose Top 40 Countdown was the most popular radio program in history, died today at age 82. People turned in for his long distance dedications, his commentary about the artists and songs, and above all his warm, confiding […]

Tribute: Ruby Dee

posted by Nell Minow

We lost one of the greats today, the actor and activist Ruby Dee. Kennedy Center honoree with her husband, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee is as much a legend for her pioneering work as a leader of the Civil Rights movement […]

Tribute: Bob Hoskins

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of actor Bob Hoskins, who died today at age 71.  He was an actor of remarkable versatility, appearing in drama, comedy, crime stories, animation, and even an occasional romantic lead.  His breakthrough was his Oscar-nominated performance […]

Tribute: Mickey Rooney

posted by Nell Minow

One of the last remaining links to the golden age of Hollywood left us this week when Mickey Rooney died at age 93. That means he was in show business for more than 90 years, from his first performance in […]

Tribute: James Rebhorn

posted by Nell Minow

Today we mourn the loss of actor James Rebhorn, who appeared on “Homeland” and in films like “My Cousin Vinny” (the tire expert) and “Independence Day” (the Secretary of Defense).  He was one of those dependable familiar faces who always […]

Tribute: Pete Seeger

posted by Nell Minow

We bid a sad farewell to activist/musician Pete Seeger today.  He has died at age 94.  His songs provided the soundtrack for protest movements over decades, pushing for peace, justice, protection of the environment, equality, and economic opportunity.  His songs […]

Tribute: Nelson Mandela

posted by Nell Minow

Nelson Mandela, one of the most inspiring figures of modern history, died yesterday and the world joins together in mourning his loss and paying tribute to his courage, integrity, and vision.  There are many movie portrayals of this extraordinary man, […]

Tribute: Jean Stapleton

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of television great Jean Stapleton, who died today at age 90.  Best known as Edith, the sweet-natured wife of the bombastic Archie Bunker on “All in the Family,” she was often the target of his insults […]

Tribute: Nora Ephron

posted by Nell Minow

We all mourn the loss of the warm, wise, and witty writer/director Nora Ephron.  As Adam Bernstein noted in his perceptive obituary for the Washington Post, she was always guided by the advice of her screenwriter parents to “take notes […]

Tribute: Donna Summer

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of disco diva and five-time Grammy winner Donna Summer, whose anthems like “Last Dance” and “Hot Stuff” helped define an era.   She died at age 63 from cancer.  Her songs were featured in a number […]

Tribute: Steve Jobs

posted by Nell Minow

I like President Obama’s observation on the passing of Steve Jobs: “The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a […]

Tribute: Lena Horne

posted by Nell Minow

Lena Horne, who graced our planet with her exquisite beauty, smoky sensuality, and stunning musicality, died yesterday at age 92. Ms. Horne was the first African-American to sign a major studio contract, in the 1940’s. It specifically provided that she […]

Tribute: Dixie Carter

posted by Nell Minow

Dixie Carter, the lovely and elegant star of Designing Women, died yesterday at age 70. I am a huge fan of the show and its portrayal of successful, independent, outspoken women who shared a deep and loyal friendship as well […]

Tribute: Corey Haim

posted by Nell Minow

In “Lucas,” Corey Haim played a smart, sensitive boy who has bravado but struggles to find confidence, ultimately finding the hope of love and a place to be himself. I wish his real life had as happy an ending. For […]

Farewell to the Music Greats of 2009

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times has a superb video tribute to the music greats we lost in 2009, from Michael Jackson to Koko Taylor, Mary Travers, and Sky Saxon, all in under five minutes. Well worth a look.

Tribute: Soupy Sales

posted by Nell Minow

Kids’ television pioneer Soupy Sales died this week at age 83. Back before there were whole channels devoted to children’s programming, and back way before children’s television was certified wholesome and educational, Soupy Sales was just plain deliriously silly, pie-in-the-face […]

Tribute: Patrick Swayze

posted by Nell Minow

Patrick Swayze died today as he lived and performed, with class and grace. Swayze’s association with iconic appearances in Dirty Dancing, Road House, Point Break, and Ghost are so towering that we forget sometimes what range and skill he showed […]

Tribute: Teddy Kennedy

posted by Nell Minow

The essence of Sen. Kennedy’s political power was crystallized by Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, one of many Republicans who worked with the late senator to forge compromises on bills. Alexander called Sen. Kennedy “at once the most partisan and […]

Tribute: Dominick Dunne

posted by Nell Minow

Fallen Hollywood luminary, name-dropper, world-class party-goer, best-selling author, and force for justice Dominick Dunne died of cancer yesterday at age 83. He was the brother of screenwriter John Gregory Dunne (the subject of The Year of Magical Thinking by his […]

Tribute: John Hughes

posted by Nell Minow

John Hughes, writer-director of some of the most successful and influential films of the 1980’s and 90’s, died yesterday at age 59. Fellow Chicagoan Roger Ebert has a thoughtful tribute, calling Hughes “the creator of the modern American teenager film.” […]

Tribute: Walter Cronkite

posted by Nell Minow

As well as I remember those misty images of Neil Armstrong coming out of the lunar module to put the first footstep on the moon, I remember the look on Walter Cronkite’s face as he reported it. Cronkite died today […]

Tribute: Karl Malden

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winner Karl Malden died today at age 97. Read the superb obituaries from Adam Bernstein of the Washington Post and Jim Cheng of USA Today. Bernstein described his appeal very well, saying Malden “excelled in plainspoken, working-class roles.” He had […]

Tribute: Michael Jackson

posted by Nell Minow

I saw Michael Jackson’s first appearance on national television. I was sitting on my parents’ bed with my sisters, watching a variety show called “The Hollywood Palace.” The Jackson 5ive came on stage and I was mesmerized. The lead singer […]

Tribute: Farrah Fawcett

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of the beautiful and talented Farrah Fawcett, who died this morning after a long bout with cancer. She came to attention as the athletic Jill on “Charlie’s Angels.” Her dazzling smile and girl-you-wish-was-next door look quickly […]

Tribute: David Carradine

posted by Nell Minow

Fans throughout the world mourn the loss of David Carradine. The son of actor John Carradine (“The Grapes of Wrath”), he first achieved success as the star of the television series “Kung Fu,” where he played a mysterious Western character […]

Tribute: Bea Arthur

posted by Nell Minow

A fond farewell to Bea Arthur, best remembered as the strident, ground-breaking “Maude” and as Dorothy on “The Golden Girls.” I loved her duet in “Mame” and I loved her gutsy bravado and brilliant comic timing.

Tribute: Maurice Jarre

posted by Nell Minow

Maurice Jarre wrote soundtracks for movies that became the soundtracks for our lives. The lush romantic score for Dr Zhivago (known as “Somewhere My Love”) is inseparable from the snowy vistas of the story. The sweep of his score for […]

Tribute: Natasha Richardson

posted by Nell Minow

The loss of the lovely, charming, elegant, and talented Natasha Richardson is terribly sad. Her greatest opportunity to show what she could do as an actress was on stage. She won a Tony award for her performance in “Cabaret” on […]

Tribute: Ricardo Montalban

posted by Nell Minow

Mexican-born leading man Ricardo Montalban died this morning at age 88. He may be best remembered now for his commercials for the Chrysler Cordoba (with the “rich Corinthian leather) and for Maxwell House coffee, but that is because even at […]

Tribute: Eartha Kitt

posted by Nell Minow

Eartha Kitt, who died this week, was an electrifying performer. The warm reminiscences about her incendiary performances on and off-stage are as entertaining as the legendary actress/singer was herself. The Washington Post had Will Haygood’s hilarious recounting of the most […]

Tribute: Van Johnson

posted by Nell Minow

Van Johnson, one of the best light comedian/song and dance men of the 1940s-50s, died this week at age 92. His boyish, All-American good looks made him a popular choice for musicals, romantic comedies, and some dramatic roles as well. […]

Tribute: Michael Crichton

posted by Nell Minow

I was very sorry to hear about the loss of author/director Michael Crichton. He was a man of astonishing range and accomplishment. He wrote best-selling novels, including Jurassic Park and the The Andromeda Strain. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, […]

Tribute: Paul Newman

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Newman died yesterday at age 83 after a long struggle with cancer. This tribute from Slate by Dahlia Lithwick describes Newman’s unassuming generosity in contributing a quarter of a billion dollars, 100% of the profits from his food companies, […]

Tribute: Bernie Mac

posted by Nell Minow

What a sad loss in the passing of actor-comedian Bernie Mac. The first time I saw him was in the comedy concert film, The Original Kings of Comedy. He played variations on that his stand-up character in Ocean’s Eleven (his […]

Tribute: Mel Ferrer

posted by Nell Minow

Mel Ferrer, who died this week, starred in one of my very favorite family movies, the musical Lili, with Leslie Caron. She is a lonely orphan whose only friends are three carnival puppets. Her natural interaction with them leads the […]

Remembering Ollie Johnston

posted by Nell Minow

The people who created the great Disney animation classics were called the Nine Old Men, and the last of them, Ollie Johnston, died last week at age 95. Johnston and his closest colleague, Frank Thomas, was featured in the wonderful […]

Previous Posts

Three Hundred Year-Old Actors Are Still Working
Scott Feinberg talked to three actors with a combined age of 302 for The Hollywood Reporter. Patricia Morison (age 100), Norman Lloyd (age 100) and Connie Sawyer (age 102) shared memories and offered tips. All are in good health. “I ...

posted 3:32:48pm Aug. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Youth with Michael Caine
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7CM4di_0c[/youtube] Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel play friends on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is ...

posted 3:25:22pm Aug. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Worst Accents in Movies
Thanks to Indiewire for including me in this great rundown of the all-time worst movie accents. Critics vented frustration and fury, many picking Quentin Tarantino and Dick van Dyke, but I went with two actors who played Robin ...

posted 2:13:18pm Aug. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Grandma
Lily Tomlin is cranky, feisty, tough, and utterly irresistible in this story of a grandmother who has to visit past decisions about her own life in order ...

posted 5:50:55pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

We Are Your Friends
Director Max Joseph brings some of the "Catfish" sensibility to "We Are Your Friends," with an intimate, documentary feel and a storyline ...

posted 5:35:22pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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