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Tag: In Memoriam (81-90 of 327)

Micky Dolenz remembers Davy Jones, says 'Glee' is closest thing to 'The Monkees' phenomenon

Davy Jones’ former Monkees bandmate Micky Dolenz appeared on both Today and Good Morning America to remember his late friend. In a cheerful GMA interview (below), Dolenz reminisced about the pair receiving good reviews — even from Rolling Stone — on their tour together last year; and Jones’ enthusiasm early in their career when he heard their music on the radio.

In retrospect, Dolenz said he understands The Monkees phenomenon. “It was a television show about this band that was not successful, that wanted to be the Beatles but never was on the show. It was about the struggle for success, and it spoke to all bands, all the garage bands, all the kids around the world who were in their living rooms and in their basements trying to become successful. Because on the television show, we were never successful, so that endeared us, I think. That made it real to a lot of kids. The closest thing that’s come along down the pike since The Monkees, I think, is Glee, which is a show about an imaginary glee club but they really are good and they can actually do it.”  READ FULL STORY

Celine Dion talks Whitney Houston: 'I'm scared of show business'

As viewers witnessed during several touching tributes on last night’s Grammys, the music community is still reeling from the death of Whitney Houston. This morning, Houston’s fellow vocal titan Celine Dion called in to Good Morning America, telling cohost Robin Roberts, “Whitney’s been an amazing inspiration for me. I’ve been singing with her my whole career, actually. I wanted to have a career like hers, sing like her, look beautiful like her.”

Dion speculated, “It’s just very unfortunate that drugs and… I don’t know, bad people or bad influences took over.” She cited icons who have fallen to the pressures of fame, including Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, saying, “Something happens, and that’s why I’m so scared — I’m scared of show business,” she admitted. (As of Monday afternoon, Houston’s body had been released, but toxicology reports and the official cause of death had not.) See the full video after the jump. READ FULL STORY

Ben Gazzara: An appreciation of a one-of-a-kind actor

When Ben Gazzara passed away on Friday, he left behind a six-decade legacy on stage and screen. He was one of those rare, unique actors whose sly grin and sandpaper voice could make any scene he was in instantly memorable…and he will be missed by everyone who loves movies.

Gazzara’s career began in earnest in the mid-’50s, when starred in a pair of Broadway hits. First was Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, in which he played Brick (the role later went to Paul Newman when director Richard Brooks turned it into a movie). Next was A Hatful of Rain, which earned him a Tony nomination. Just like that, Gazzara’s career was off and running. In 1959, he had his breakthrough role on screen in Otto Preminger’s controversial courtroom drama, Anatomy of a Murder, playing a lieutenant on trial for murdering the man he believes raped his wife. Even with a powerhouse cast that included Lee Remick, George C. Scott, and Jimmy Stewart, the smoldering Gazzara stood out. Not that you could tell that from the film’s hokey, old-timey trailer.

In the mid-’60s, Gazzara landed the lead role in the NBC TV series Run For Your Life, playing a lawyer named Paul Bryan, who is given nine months to live. Ironically, the show lasted for three seasons.

Gazzara’s greatest artistic collaboration was with actor-director John Cassavetes. Decades before independent film as we know was born, Cassavetes and his pair of macho pals, Gazzara and Peter Falk, created a new kind of down-and-dirty cinema. It was emotionally messy, raw, and true. 1970’s Husbands is a perfect example.

Here’s a clip of the three amigos (Cassavetes, Falk, and Gazzara) giving the usually unflappable talk show host Dick Cavett a hard time while promoting the film.

My personal favorite of all of Gazzara’s performances is in Cassavetes 1976 bleak and ballsy drama The Killing of Chinese Bookie. He plays the blowhard owner of a seedy strip club who loses money gambling to the wrong people and is forced to pay off his debt by committing the sin of the film’s title. It’s a harrowing movie — and Gazzara is tragic and electric.

Gazzara wasn’t all Method seriousness, though. He could a mischievous prankster, too. Take his performance as the baddie who sends his goons after Patrick Swayze in 1989’s Road House. There are plenty of great Gazzara scenes in this pop-culture guilty pleasure, but my favorite will always be when he, without a care in the world, swerves behind the wheel of his convertible while singing the doo-wop oldie “Sh-Boom”.

In the later years of his career, Gazzara worked non-stop, often giving small character parts his own unique, indelible stamp. One of the best is his role as porn kingpin Jackie Treehorn in 1998’s The Big Lebowski. After the film became a cult hit, Gazzara explained that even though his role was a nothing part, he agreed to do it because he couldn’t stop laughing when he read the Coen brothers’ script.

Etta James' 'At Last': Share your memories of the Greatest Wedding Song Ever

It’s impossible to remember the late Etta James and not think about her song “At Last.” When EW named the 50 best love songs in 2005, it came in at No. 14. I remember writing the entry: “It’s not the first rendition of this 1942 tune, but Etta’s is the finest, thanks to a strong, sensual delivery that says (or is it shouts?) I deserve this! No wonder every bride on earth thinks it was written just for her.” The lyrics are so simple, her voice and string section so triumphant — no song captures the jubilation of knowing you’ve found love better.

Share your memories of the song below. READ FULL STORY

Cheeta, chimpanzee and Tarzan movie star, dies at 'roughly 80'

Cheeta the chimpanzee, who starred in Tarzan movies alongside Olympic swimmer-turned-actor Johnny Weissmuller in the 1930s and ranked #1 on EW.com’s list of the 10 Best Monkeys at the Movies, died of kidney failure Saturday. According to the Suncoast Primary Sanctuary’s outrach director, Cheeta was “roughly 80 years old, loved fingerpainting and football and was soothed by nondenominational Christian music.”

Roughly 80?! Way to live, chimp! That’s amazing! (Cheeta was an anomaly; the average zoo chimp dies around age 35-45.) I sure hope my favorite chimp lives that long.

The similarities between Cheeta the chimp and your average human don’t stop there: Cheeta loved to see people laugh, abandoned art projects as soon as he got bored with them, enjoyed standing up nice and tall, and “when he didn’t like somebody or something that was going on, he would pick up some poop and throw it at them.”

Primates: They’re just like us!

RIP, Cheeta.

Read more:
10 Best Monkeys at the Movies (PHOTO GALLERY)
PopWatch poll: What’s your favorite primate movie?

The Best TV Character Deaths of 2011

Few things are more beautiful in a TV series than the death of a main character. TV shows used to be created out of static component parts, with casts of characters that would only evolve very gradually, if at all. But that’s all changed in the last 10 years, first with the advent of death-happy cable networks — farewell, Big Pussy — and then with the mid-decade rise of serialized dramas that merrily killed off cast members in an effort to perpetually raise the narrative stakes. Nowadays, it’s practically essential for any remotely violent drama to kill off a main character in the season finale. Still, in the crowded TV graveyard of this blood-soaked 2011, 10 deaths stood out. Here are the 10 Best TV Character Deaths of 2011. (Spoilers, natch.) READ FULL STORY

Christopher Hitchens, in his own words -- VIDEO

Since it’s nearly impossible to find the right words in order to give the proper credit to the fascinating, daring life and legacy of Christopher Hitchens (yep, this just about expresses exactly what it feels like today) it’s best to let him do the talking. In the wake of the passing of Hitchens, who died at the age of 62 after a battle with esophageal cancer, fans are remembering the writer and polemicist through his literary works, as well as his many televised appearances and public talks. Below are clips of some of his most memorable moments. Watch and — as Hitchens would have wanted — learn: READ FULL STORY

In Memoriam: A video tribute to late greats lost in 2011

They spent their lives making us laugh, cry, and groove to their music. One even spent his life making our lives easier. And their legacies will continue to live on — in the video embedded after the jump, EW remembers the legendary entertainers that left us way too soon in 2011. They may be gone, but, as we confide with our Siris, we’ll always remember them. READ FULL STORY

Patrice O'Neal to receive weekend-long tribute from Opie and Anthony on Sirius XM Radio

Patrice O’Neal will get to make ‘em laugh once more. Radio hosts Opie and Anthony will say goodbye to their friend and the longtime visitor to their Sirius XM Radio show with a weekend-long tribute to the late comedian who passed away Tuesday at the age of 41, due to the complications from a stroke.

According to a release from Opie and Anthony, the radio hosts, along with comedian Jim Norton, will broadcast a nonstop marathon of O’Neal’s funniest and most memorable visits to the program over the past eight years. (Highlights will include the actor/comedian reviewing popular country music, as well as receiving career advice from Chris Rock.) READ FULL STORY

'GamePro' shuts down print magazine: Farewell, childhood

Gamepro

Long ago, in the early 1990s, it wasn’t always easy to find people who shared your passions. There were no Facebook groups or trending topics. Primordial online chat rooms were only readily accessible to smart people with better technology than my family’s old Macintosh. I was somehow the only person in my elementary school class who played videogames — or maybe there were more gamers, and we all just kept quiet, because let’s put it this way: Talking about Super Mario wasn’t the best way to not get made fun of. So for me, GamePro was an oasis of sanity; proof that there were other people, smart people, adult people who dug videogames as much as I did. READ FULL STORY

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