Actress Annette Charles, who played Cha Cha, the villain’s feisty girlfriend who famously danced with John Travolta in Grease, died Wednesday, according to California State University – Northridge, where she was a part-time professor. The 63-year-old actress, who also appeared in television shows like Magnum, P.I., The Incredible Hulk, and The Bionic Woman before leaving acting in 1987, had cancer. “She was a very dynamic and inpirational speaker, ” says Dr. David Rodriguez, the chair of the school’s Department of Chicana/o Studies. “She also had such a great sense of social consciousness and social justice, and her students just loved her.”
Tag: Movie (51-60 of 1972)
Commercials director and visual effects specialist Michael Gracey will direct Disney’s Snow White revisionist feature, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The live-action project, now called The Order of the Seven, has been in the works since 2002. This film — which, to be clear, has nothing to do with either Universal’s upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman (starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron) or Relativity’s still-untitled Snow White film (starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts) — will be set in China and “is evolving into an original action film, with the Snow White elements being minimized.”
Some might criticize their 23-year age gap, but Aaron Johnson and Sam Taylor-Wood are still going strong. So strong, that they’re expecting their second child together. According to People, Kick-Ass star Johnson, 21, and 44-year-old filmmaker Taylor-Wood will soon welcome baby No. 2. The couple, who are engaged, already have one child, 1-year-old Wylda Rae. Taylor-Wood also has two daughters from a previous relationship with art dealer Jay Jopling.
Johnson, who starred in Taylor-Wood’s John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, addressed the couple’s age gap last year: “I’ve got a wonderful woman. I’m an old soul, and she’s a young soul.”
Actor Joe Pesci is suing Fiore Films, the production company behind the John Gotti biopic Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father, for $3 million, reports the Associated Press. The suit alleges that the company used Pesci’s name to drum up interest in the project, only to rescind an offer for Pesci to play Gotti enforcer and childhood friend Angelo Ruggiero. The 68-year-old actor (pictured here at a May 2010 event) also claims he gained 30 pounds for the role.
John Travolta is attached to play the title role of the notorious New York mobster in the film, which is set to start production in January with director Barry Levinson. Other confirmed stars include Al Pacino, Lindsay Lohan, and Kelly Preston. Levinson and James Toback (who penned Levinson’s 1991 gangster film Bugsy) are writing the screenplay.
UPDATE: When reached by the AP, Mike Fiore, CEO of Fiore Films, claimed it was Pesci who had pulled out of the project, when the original director, Nick Cassavetes, left the film in April. Pesci, contends Fiore, said he would not return until Cassavetes was replaced, and then rebuffed attempts by Levinson to reach out to him. “Before we had a deal, Mr. Pesci walked away,” says Fiore, who also contends he’s considering countersuing Pesci. “He’s wasting his time and everybody else’s time. I might be a newbie in town. This newbie is not going to get bulled around.”
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Michael Cacoyannis, the Cyprus born-filmmaker who directed Anthony Quinn in the 1964 Oscar-nominated film, Zorba the Greek, died of complications from a heart attack and chronic respiratory problems on Monday at an Athens hospital, according to the Associated Press. He was 89.
After studying law in London and working for the BBC, Cacoyannis made his debut as a director with Windfall in Athens (1954). Two years later, he won a Golden Globe for best foreign language film for Stella, starring Melina Mercouri. His greatest hit would be Zorba, based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel and starring Anthony Quinn. Cacoyannis earned three Oscar nominations — for Best Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture — and the film won three trophies, including one for Best Supporting Actress (Lila Kedrova). His final film was The Cherry Orchard (1999), which starred Charlotte Rampling, Alan Bates, and a young Gerard Butler.
“His movies received awards at the most important film festivals in the world,” Greece’s culture minister Pavlos Geroulanos said. “His work became the vehicle that took Greek culture to every corner of the earth, and served as a source of inspiration for Greek and foreign artists.”
Jane Fonda claims QVC canceled an appearance by the actress because of 'insane pressure' from extremist groups
Jane Fonda has alleged QVC cancelled an appearance by the actress because of pressure “by some well funded and organized political extremist groups.” The Oscar winner was due to appear on the network today to talk about her book Prime Time.
In a blog item she wrote for website The Wrap, the actress alleged, “The network said they got a lot of calls yesterday criticizing me for my opposition to the Vietnam War and threatening to boycott the show if I was allowed to appear.” Fonda went on to write that she was “deeply disappointed that QVC caved to this kind of insane pressure by some well funded and organized political extremist groups. And that they did it without talking to me first.”
In a statement to Reuters, QVC spokesman Paul Capelli said Fonda’s appearance was cancelled because of a “programming change.” Capelli added that he couldn’t “speak to Ms. Fonda’s comments, other than to confirm that a change in scheduling resulted in her not appearing today.”
Tobey Maguire’s attorney has fired back after a bankruptcy trustee sued the actor for over $300,000 in allegedly illegal poker winnings, saying Maguire is innocent of any wrongdoing. The court filings released on Thursday say that Maguire didn’t only win while playing hedge fund manager and convicted con man Bradley Ruderman, he also lost $168,500. Maguire’s attorney says that he shouldn’t owe the Ponzi investors anything, but if the actor is required to pay anything back, it should be reduced to the amount he lost in the private Texas Hold ‘em games held in various upscale Los Angeles-area hotels.
The lawyers representing Ruderman’s clients are asking for $4 million from the 22 players named in the suit, and claim that Maguire is not entitled to his winnings because they came from $5.2 million of Ruderman’s clients’ money.
Actor Tobey Maguire is reportedly being sued for $311,000 in poker winnings he received from hedge fund manager Bradley Ruderman, currently serving a 10 year sentence in federal prison for embezzling millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme from 2003 to 2009, reports People.
The money was allegedly won in a series of private, illegal Texas Hold ‘em poker games held in elite Los Angeles-area hotels like The Four Seasons and the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The lawsuit, brought by lawyers representing Ruderman’s clients, claims Maguire, 35, is not entitled to the winnings because they came from $5.2 million of Ruderman’s clients money lost in high stakes gambling, and the games were unlicensed with the state of California. Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck also reportedly took part in the games, but are not named in the suit. Director Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook) and actor Gabe Kaplan (Welcome Back, Kotter), however, could be sued for their winnings in the games. No criminal complaints have yet been filed.
Reps for Maguire have not responded to requests from EW for comment.
Pennsylvania’s West Goshen police department has confirmed that Jackass star Ryan Dunn’s blood alcohol concentration far surpassed the legal limit when during his fatal collision early Monday morning. Dunn’s BAC measured .196 percent. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is .08 percent. No other substances turned up in Dunn’s blood, however.
Through a scene reconstruction, the police department also determined that Dunn was driving between 132 and 140 miles per hour when he lost control of his car and ran off the road. The county coroner’s office previously classified the accidental death to be caused by blunt trauma and the heat of the fire from the explosion caused when Dunn’s 2007 Porsche collided with trees.
Jackass 2 crew member Zachary Hartwell was also killed in the crash.
The Chester County Coroner’s Office has confirmed to EW that Jackass star Ryan Dunn, 34, and his friend Zachary Hartwell — a production assistant on Jackass Number Two — died of accidental “blunt and thermal trauma” due to yesterday’s early morning accident, in which Dunn’s 2007 Porsche careened into a patch of trees in the Pennsylvania town, then burst into flames. A toxicology report, however, is not yet complete, so questions over Dunn’s blood alcohol level will not be resolved until the full autopsy report is released likely within six weeks. Dunn tweeted a picture of himself drinking just hours before the accident.
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