Jeff Conaway, the former star of Taxi and Grease who has a history of substance abuse problems, is currently in critical condition at an Encino, Calif., hospital after a suspected overdose, reports the Los Angeles Times. The 60-year-old actor has pneumonia and remains unconscious. In 2008, Conaway appeared on two seasons of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew to get help for his addiction to cocaine, painkillers, and alcohol.
Tag: Movie (71-80 of 1977)
Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child more than a decade ago with a member of his household staff, and Maria Shriver’s decision to separate from her husband was precipitated by his admission of paternity, according to the Los Angeles Times. “After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago,” the actor said Monday night in a statement issued to the paper. “I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry … I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time. While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not.”
The staff member and her child have not been identified, in order to protect their privacy, but the Times reports that she voluntarily left her position with the Schwarzeneggers in January after 20 years.
UPDATE: In a statement to People, Maria Shriver said, “This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal. I will have no further comment.”
Maria Shriver to Twitter followers: ‘Thank you for all the kindness…’
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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has picked up its own win, but this victory is far less glitzy than the awards handed out during its Golden Globes ceremony: The HFPA has won a legal battle with former publicist Michael Russell. The Hollywood Reporter reports that a California Superior Court judge dismissed defamation claims made by Russell against the HFPA. Among other things, Russell also claimed the HFPA interfered with his recruiting attempts and methods. The judge ruled that the HFPA, who countersued Russell in February, was protected under free speech. “As most of the remaining claims concern employment issues, we are confident that we will remove them by demurrer or motion for summary judgment,” Joseph Campo, an attorney for HFPA, said in a statement. “This baseless complaint will not reach the jury.” UPDATED: Russell’s attorney issued the following statement to EW about the judge’s ruling, “[The] judge dismissed two minor claims … My clients look forward to having the eight pending claims for business torts and punitive damages resolved by a jury.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver announced late Monday that they are separating after 25 years of marriage, People reports. The news comes five months after Schwarzenegger ended his second term as the Republican governor of California. In a joint statement, Schwarzenegger, 63, and Shriver, 55, say that they have been living through “a time of great personal and professional transition,” and that they are currently living apart “while we work on the future of our relationship.” The couple have four children together, aged from 14 to 21.
Schwarzenegger has been in the news the last few months for a different reason, as he decides how he will transition back to show-business after nearly eight years in politics, including the character-based thriller Cry Macho and a possible return to the Terminator franchise that first made him a superstar. Last month, he announced in the pages of EW that his first project would be the animated series The Governator, which posited that after ending his career in the governor’s mansion, Schwarzenegger became a high-tech, crime-fighting superhero. “We’re using all the personal elements of Arnold’s life,” explained co-creator Stan Lee. “We’re using his wife [Maria Shriver]. We’re using his kids. We’re using the fact that he used to be governor.” Schwarzenegger, however, confessed that, as of six weeks ago, Shriver was unaware she was going to be a character on the show. “I have never had a conversation with Maria about any of this,” the former governor said. “It will be a big surprise for her.” (Reporting by Benjamin Svetkey)
EW cover story: The Return of Arnold
EW cover story: Q&A with Arnold Schwarzenegger
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Arthur Laurents — an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and director who penned the books of watershed musicals West Side Story and Gypsy — died on Thursday due to complications from pneumonia. He was 93. (Deadline first broke the news.) Born in Brooklyn, Laurents wrote training films during World War II, and transitioned to playwriting after the war, finding his first success with 1945’s Home of the Brave, a play about anti-semitism in the armed services. His first major hits, though, were the musicals West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959). Laurents directed Broadway revivals for both shows — Gypsy in 1974 and again in 1989 and 2008, and West Side Story in 2009, when he was 91. He won the Tony for Best Direction for the 1983 Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles.
In film, Laurents wrote the Alfred Hitchcock 1948 thriller Rope, which starred his then-lover Farley Granger, as well as the films Anastasia (1956), Bonjour tristesse (1958), The Way We Were (1973) and The Turning Point (1977), the last of which was nominated for Best Picture.
Most recently, Laurents had signed onto a prospective feature film version of Gypsy starring Barbra Streisand. His partner of over 50 years, actor and real estate developer Tom Hatcher, passed away in 2006.
Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was taken via ambulance to a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday after she began having difficulty breathing, Reuters reports, and was admitted for pneumonia. Her condition was reported as serious. Gabor, 94, has been in and out of hospitals for the better part of a year after breaking her hip in July; her right leg eventually had to be amputated above the knee.
A decomposing body found on April 27 in the Los Angeles home of actress Yvette Vickers is presumed to be the 82-year-old former B-movie starlet, but the Associated Press reports that DNA tests might be required and confirmation could take a week. She was discovered by a neighbor who noticed her mail was piling up. Police, who don’t suspect foul play, say she may have died months ago.
Vickers grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and got her first screen credit in 1950’s Sunset Boulevard. Though she also had a bit part in Hud, she became more famous for B-movies, like Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Attack of the Giant Leeches, and posing for Playboy.
January Jones, who stars as Betty Francis on the AMC drama Mad Men, is pregnant, reports People. In confirming the news to the magazine, a representative for the actress did not reveal the identity of the father, but noted that the baby, Jones’ first, is due this fall. Jones stars in June’s X-Men: First Class, while the fifth season of Mad Men premieres in 2012.
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