Actor Christopher Malcolm has died at the age of 67. In the early ’70s, the Scottish-born Malcolm originated the part of Brad Majors in the original stage production of The Rocky Horror Show and co-produced a West End revival of the cult musical in 1990. But the actor was probably best known for playing the character of Zev Senesca in Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back and Saffy’s father Justin in the beloved British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous. His other acting credits included 1980’s mercenary action movie The Dogs of War, Warren Beatty-directed Reds (1981), and Highlander and Labyrinth (both released in 1986).
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Kentucky pastor Jamie Coots — who starred on National Geographic’s Snake Salvation, a reality show about the practice of serpent-handling in church — has died of a poisonous snake bite. CNN reports that Coots died Saturday evening in his home after refusing treatment. According to Deadline, National Geographic was not planning a second season of Snake Salvation, but will air a special tribute episode for Coots.
Actress Emily Blunt and Office star John Krasinski have welcomed their first baby, a girl named Hazel.
Paula Deen has found a key ingredient to bringing some sizzle back to her career — a cash infusion worth at least $75 million from a private investment firm.
The Savannah-based celebrity cook announced Wednesday that she’s launched an umbrella company that will oversee her restaurants, cookbooks, product endorsements, and other remaining slices of her media empire. The new company, called Paula Deen Ventures, said private-equity firm Najafi Companies is investing $75 million to $100 million to help Deen make a comeback.
Deen’s fortunes took a dive last year after comments she made under oath during proceedings in a lawsuit, namely that she had used racial slurs in the past, became public. The Food Network dropped Deen, as did pork producer Smithfield Foods, book publisher Ballantine, and several other companies that paid her to endorse their products.
In a statement, Deen praised the partnership with Phoenix-based Najafi and the decision to name Steven Nanula, who has already worked with Deen for the past two years, to serve as CEO of Paula Deen Ventures. READ FULL STORY
Comic actor Dave Madden, who played the child-hating agent on the hit 1970s sitcom The Partridge Family, died in Florida on Thursday at age 82.
Madden died at a hospice center near his home in the Jacksonville area, his niece Mary Frances Miller said.
Towering and rumpled, Madden was best known for his role as Reuben Kinkaid, who managed the Partridge family band and regularly clashed with its impish preteen bassist, played by Danny Bonaduce.
While the series starred Shirley Jones, with her real-life son David Cassidy as the resident heartthrob, it was Madden and the freckle-faced Bonaduce who became the reigning comic duo. Jones said Madden “made the show, I felt.”
“His relationship with Danny Bonaduce is what made the show work: this strange, mad little boy and the grown man who was even worse as a father figure,” she said Thursday. “It was hysterical!”
Though Madden played a guy bedeviled by the youngsters who surrounded him, Jones said that off-camera he “loved kids.”
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The actor who played “The Professor” on Gilligan’s Island, Russell Johnson, has died.
His agent, Mike Eisenstadt, says Johnson died Thursday morning at his home in Washington State of natural causes. He was 89.
Johnson was a busy but little-known character actor when he was cast in the slapstick 1960s comedy about seven people marooned on an uncharted Pacific island.
His character, high school science teacher Roy Hinkley, built generators and other gadgets out of scraps of junk found on the island. Johnson later joked that the one thing The Professor never figured out how to do was to fix the leaky boat so the group could get back to civilization.
During its three-season run on CBS, critics lambasted the show. But after its 1967 cancellation, it found generations of new fans in reruns and reunion movies.
British character actor Roger Lloyd-Pack has died at the age of 69, according to The Guardian. Lloyd-Pack was much loved in his homeland for playing the dim-witted Trigger in the hugely popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses and the equally slow Owen Newitt in the similarly successful, Richard Curtis-penned show The Vicar of Dibley. But he was an incredibly versatile performer whose big screen credits included Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Interview with the Vampire, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in which he played Barty Crouch Sr. In addition to his TV and film roles, Lloyd-Pack was an accomplished theater actor and recently appeared alongside Mark Rylance in London productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night. According to his agent, Lloyd-Pack was suffering from pancreatic cancer and died at home surrounded by his family.
The Supreme Court will decide whether a startup company can offer live television broadcasts over the Internet without paying fees to broadcasters.
The high court agreed on Friday to hear an appeal from television broadcast networks in their attempt to shut down Aereo Inc., which takes free signals from the airwaves and sends them over the Internet to paying subscribers.
Broadcasters have sued Aereo for copyright infringement. The big networks have supplemented their advertising revenue with fees from cable and satellite TV companies for redistributing their stations to subscribers. If customers drop their pay-TV service and use Aereo, broadcasters would lose some of that revenue.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that Aereo did not violate the copyrights of broadcasters with its service, but a similar service has been blocked by other judges.
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