British comedian and film director Mel Smith has died at the age of 60, according to the BBC. Smith was a cast member of the groundbreaking U.K. sketch show Not the Nine O’Clock News, alongside Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, and Griff Rhys Jones, with whom Smith formed a long-lasting comedy partnership. In addition to his onscreen performances—which also included small roles in The Princess Bride and National Lampoon’s European Vacation—Smith directed several films, notably 1989’s Richard Curtis-penned The Tall Guy and 1997’s Bean, a showcase for Atkinson’s titular bumbler.
Tag: movies (11-20 of 30)
Soccer legend and current Paris Saint-German player David Beckham has announced that he is retiring from the sport at the end of the current French season, reports CNN. During his lengthy professional career Beckham, 38, played for multiple teams, including AC Milan, Real Madrid, and the Los Angeles Galaxy. He also starred for the English national team and was part of the hugely successful Manchester United team of the ’90s managed by Alex Ferguson, who announced his own retirement just last week.
Special effects artist Marcel Vercoutere has died at the age of 87, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Detroit-born Vercoutere worked on a number of notable movies during the ’70s, including 1971’s Robert Altman-directed Western McCabe & Mrs. Miller and the following year’s Deliverance. But he was best known for his contributions to the classic 1973 horror film The Exorcist and in particular for building, with makeup artist Dick Smith, the robot replica of Linda Blair which featured in the scene where the head of her possessed character turns 360 degrees. “She would sit there and look at you in the room,” Vercoutere would later recall of the replica. “It was frightening it was so alive.” According to his son, Vercoutere died on April 13 at his home in Burbank from complications of dementia.
Australian-born, British-based animator Bob Godfrey has died at the age of 91, according to the U.K. Guardian. Godfrey won an Academy Award in 1975 for his animated short film Great, about the British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He received Oscar nominations on three other occasions for 1972’s Kama Sutra Rides Again, 1979’s Dream Doll, and 1994’s Small Talk. But Godfrey was best known for his work on the Richard Briers-narrated BBC TV show Roobarb, which concerned the adventures of an excitable dog named Roobarb and a mischievous cat named Custard and which delighted a generation of British children in the ’70s. Briers himself passed away last week.
Death Wish director Michael Winner has died at the age of 77. According to BBC News, the filmmaker’s wife, Geraldine, said her husband passed away today at his home in Kensington, London. Winner had endured a run of ill heath since eating a bad oyster on holiday in Barbados in 2007, and last summer, liver specialists had given him 18 months to live.
Harry Carey Jr., a character actor who made a name for himself as part of director John Ford’s classics The Searchers and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, passed away on Thursday of natural causes at a hospice center in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 91 years old.
Born in 1921 to silent film stars Harry Carey Sr. (who spent the bulk of his career in Westerns as well) and Olive Carey, Harry Jr.’s career spanned five decades. Though he rarely took top billing in any of his pictures, his military background (he served in the Navy during World War II) and his horse-riding ability made him an ideal sidekick to friend and frequent co-star John Wayne. The pair appeared in over 10 films together, often with Ford at the helm.
Carey also appeared in films with his parents: One with his father (1948’s Red River) and two with his mother (1956’s The Searchers and 1961’s Two Rode Together).
Younger audiences will likely recognize Carey from his roles as Mr. Anderson in Gremlins, one of the saloon regulars in Back to the Future Part III, and as Marshal Fred White in Tombstone. Overall, Carey appeared in over 100 films and 100 TV episodes (including stops on Gunsmoke and Little House on the Prarie).
He is survived by his wife Marilyn Carey, whom he married in 1944, three children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
A piano featured in the classic 1942 Humphrey Bogart film Casablanca sold at Sotheby’s in New York Friday for $602,500, according to NBC News. The auction house had previously sold the prop for $154,000 in 1988, and this time around had set a pre-sale estimate of $800,000 to $1.2m. Sotheby’s did not name the purchaser.
20th Century Fox has announced that it is canceling planned events before and after today’s premiere of the Billy Crystal-Bette Midler comedy Parental Guidance, following yesterday’s shooting incident in Connecticut. In a statement, a spokesperson for the studio said, “In light of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut we are canceling the red carpet press event and the after party for the Parental Guidance premiere, scheduled today in downtown Los Angeles. The hearts of all involved with this film go out to the victims, their families, their community, and our entire nation in mourning.”
A copyright infringement lawsuit could halt Night Moves, an indie drama that is set to begin production this fall with Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff) directing Jesse Eisenberg, Peter Sarsgaard, and Dakota Fanning. Night Moves focuses on a gang of environmental activists out to blow up a dam, a plot similar to the story of Edward Abbey’s 1975 novel The Monkey Wrench Gang. According to court documents obtained by Deadline, Edward’s widow, Clarke, and Edward Pressman Films own the film options for the book, and they filed suit on Sept. 13 in Los Angeles, claiming that Night Moves is an unauthorized adaptation of The Monkey Wrench Gang. The suit asks for an injunction to stop production on Night Moves as well as unspecified damages from Reichardt, her screenwriting partner Jonathan Raymond, and executive producers Todd Haynes, among others involved in the film.
Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe lost his way kayaking in the waters off New York’s Long Island and was picked up by a U.S. Coast Guard boat and ferried to a harbor, officials said Sunday.
The 48-year-old actor was kayaking with a friend and launched from Cold Spring Harbor Saturday afternoon on the Long Island Sound, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Swieciki. As it got dark, the two got lost and eventually headed for shore, beaching their kayaks in Huntington Bay, nearly 10 miles east from where they had set out. READ FULL STORY
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