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Tag: In Memoriam (41-50 of 314)

James Gandolfini's best 'Sopranos' lines: The Tao of Tony

While James Gandolfini died Wednesday at the far-too-young age of 51, the actor left behind a body of work that belies his only half-century of life. And nothing stands out in that career quite like Gandolfini’s near-decade embodying Tony Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos.

David Chase’s groundbreaking series about the complicated mob boss was powerful for many reasons, none more so than Gandolfini’s delivery of Chase’s dynamic dialogue. During six seasons and 86 episodes, Gandolfini’s Soprano unspooled a life philosophy through impatient (but ultimately loving) interactions with his family, gruff instructions to his underlings and reluctant therapy sessions with Dr. Melfi.

Here is Life According to Tony Soprano, in his 16 best quotes:
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Tilda Swinton leads dance-along tribute to Roger Ebert

While it wasn’t officially a memorial event, the 15th Annual Ebertfest in Champaign, Ill., turned into a five-day-long celebration of the life of late, great film critic Roger Ebert. Perhaps most joyous of the many tributes, Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton stopped by to bring a 1,500-person auditorium to its feet for a dance-along to Barry White’s 1974 hit “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything.”

Introduced by Ebert’s widow, Chaz, and calling the dance a “spiritual service,” Swinton ran down into the audience and led a conga line through the aisles.

Check out the celebration below.

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Jonathan Winters' Mad Mad Mad Mad World: His life in comedy -- VIDEO

Bill Cosby was once asked whom he would choose if he had $50 in his pocket to buy a ticket to see only one stand-up comedian, live, in their prime. The comic legend barely took a breath before answering, “Jonathan Winters will make every last one of us stand there in awe.”

Winters, who died yesterday at the age of 87, was a master of voices, mimicry, and right-field spontaneity. “What I do is verbal paintings,” he told National Public Radio in 2011. “I paint a picture. Hopefully you’ll see the characters and what they’re doing and what they’re saying.”

For decades after he became famous for his comedy albums, he was a coveted late-night guest because no one — not the audience, not hosts like Jack Paar and Johnny Carson, likely not Winters himself — knew what he was going to do. An evening with Winters on the sofa was can’t-miss television, and a generation of comics that followed him — like Robin Williams and Jim Carrey — marveled and were inspired by his daring, try-anything antics.

Winters often joked about the mental hospital, playing slightly disturbed characters who belonged to or claimed to have escaped from the asylum. He was drawing from personal experience. At the height of his early fame, he had committed himself to a mental hospital and went on to live with what he diagnosed as bipolar disorder. “I need that pain — whatever it is — to call upon it from time to time, no matter how bad it was,” he told NPR.

So there was a bit of the tortured genius to him, but his comedy was rarely dark. It was manic and sly. Cosby compared Winters’ talent to jazz master John Coltrane, a improvisational artist who could inflate whole stories and characters off a single verbal cue. He was unstoppable, unpredictable, and inimitable. Take a look at some of his best work. READ FULL STORY

Annette Funicello's most memorable musical moments -- VIDEO

Annette Funicello, the ’50s and ’60s teen dream who passed away Monday after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, rose to fame as a “Mouseketeer” on the original Mickey Mouse Club and starred with fellow idol Frankie Avalon in a series of iconic big-screen “Beach Party” hits, including Beach Blanket Bingo and Bikini Beach. Along the way she made quite an impression on the music scene, singing and dancing her way into the hearts of millions with songs like “Tall Paul,” “Pineapple Princess,” “Because You’re You,” and “Beach Blanket Bingo.”

People put together a loving tribute to Funicello’s career in music, “Her Life in Song,” which showcases her most memorable moments from the Mickey Mouse Club, her films with Avalon and much more. Check it out below. READ FULL STORY

Annette Funicello: A life in film clips, from 'Mickey Mouse' to the beach to 'Pee-wee's Playhouse' -- VIDEO

Today, the Magic Kingdom — and the nostalgic boomers who yearned to make her either their girlfriend or their best friend — are mourning the death of Annette Funicello, the teen idol whose sunny, perky screen presence defined the ’50s and ’60s. The boys in Stand By Me lusted after her; Grease‘s Rizzo mocked her (“would you pull that crap with Annette?”); Paul Anka, whom she dated, wrote “Puppy Love” for her in 1960, thus setting the boyfriend bar impossibly high.

Funicello succumbed to complications of multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease from which she’d suffered since 1987. Her MS effectively removed her from the public eye; after appearing in an episode of Biography in 1996, Funicello stayed offscreen until last year, when a documentary about her aired on Canadian TV.

Given how long it’s been since Funicello was well enough to act, it might be tough to remember why she was beloved enough in her heyday to receive more than 6,000 fan letters a week. But, thanks to YouTube, it’s easy to look back at the highlights of Funicello’s career — starting with the song that introduced the tweenage future star to audiences across America.

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Annette Funicello remembered by Disney family and famous fans

As news spreads of Annette Funicello’s passing at age 70 from Multiple Sclerosis-related complications, colleagues and fans have begun to share their fond remembrances of the former Mouseketeer and “Beach Party” goer.

Lori Loughlin, costar in 1987’s Back to the Beach: “Annette Funicello was really a wonderful person. I enjoyed working with her immensely and found her to be kind and down-to-earth. She faced her illness with courage and never wanted anyone to have pity on her. I have a fond memory of having lunch at her home many years ago and when she opened the cabinet to get something, there were rows of Skippy peanut butter. She was truly the embodiment of the friendly, all-American girl that we all loved to watch in the beach movies.” READ FULL STORY

'Enlightened': In Memoriam

Plenty of great shows have low ratings. Enlightened barely even had ratings. In its just-completed second season, the show was averaging in the neighborhood of 200 thousand viewers, which is a number that barely even looks impressive on YouTube now. It almost certainly had more people watching — and as a post-network network, HBO keeps an eye on all the myriad ways we consume TV shows, DVR and OnDemand and HBO GO. Fans of the show could hope that HBO would keep it around for the critical acclaim. (Yeesh, look how many seasons they gave Tremé.) But sometimes, no ratings really is no ratings; yesterday, HBO announced that it would not be bringing the series back for a third season. READ FULL STORY

R.I.P., 'The L.A. Complex': Why this finely crafted, little-watched soap deserved better

When somebody mentions The L.A. Complex, chances are you think one of two things: “What’s The L.A. Complex?” or “Didn’t that show get, like, the worst ratings ever?”

It’s true: When this Canadian import first debuted on The CW in April, its premiere had the dubious honor of being crowned broadcast TV’s lowest-rated drama debut of all time. The numbers didn’t improve much in subsequent weeks, or when the series returned for a second season in August — season 2’s finale in September drew just 390,000 pairs of eyeballs. So it’s no surprise that yesterday, Canada’s Bell Media confirmed that it will not order a third season of Complex for its MuchMusic channel. Though The CW has not yet responded to EW’s request for comment, it’s very likely that the American network, too, will pass on a return trip to L.A.

And that’s a real shame, because The L.A. Complex is — was — one of the best dramas on television.

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Fan-made 'Parks and Recreation' movie trailer seeks Li'l Sebastian killer -- VIDEO

“A small Indiana town is flipped upside down when their beloved hero goes missing.”

That’s the logline for a fan-made Parks and Recreation movie trailer, which uses clips from various episodes to turn the death of everyone’s favorite miniature horse, Li’l Sebastian, into a thriller. It’s funnier than the Alex Cross trailer (intentionally!). Watch it below. READ FULL STORY

The voice of Smurfette, Lucille Bliss, has died

Lucille Bliss, who provided the voices for the cartoon characters Smurfette, Crusader Rabbit, and Rags died of natural causes on Nov. 8 in Costa Mesa, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reports. She was 96.

The animation voice actress’ career spanned over 60 years; she was working as recently as last month. In addition to her groundbreaking double role in Crusader Rabbit (as the title character and Rags) and her most recognizable role in The Smurfs (as Smurfette), Bliss also gave voice to the stepsister Anastasia in Disney’s 1950 film Cinderella and the original Elroy in the 1960s TV series The Jetsons. Her smaller projects included The Flintstones and Star Wars spinoffs and video games. READ FULL STORY

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