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'Empire Strikes Back' and 'Absolutely Fabulous' actor Christopher Malcolm dies at age 67

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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Cate Blanchett cancels morning show appearances after Philip Seymour Hoffman's death

Cate Blanchett, one of the stars of George Clooney’s Monuments Men, which opens this weekend, canceled her promotional morning show appearances. The Oscar-winner had been scheduled to appear on both Good Morning America and Live! With Kelly and Michael on Wednesday.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Blanchett’s rep said the interviews were canceled “to allow Cate the time and privacy to grieve for the loss of her friend Philip Seymour Hoffman.”

Blanchett starred with Hoffman in 1999′s The Talented Mr. Ripley. She and her husband Andrew Upton remained close to Hoffman throughout the years.

'Rudolph' animator Arthur Rankin Jr. dies at 89

Arthur Rankin Jr., a director, producer, and animator best known for creating the classic stop-motion Christmas specials Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, died Thursday at home in Bermuda, THR reported Friday. He was 89.

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British sitcom legend and 'Harry Potter' actor Roger Lloyd-Pack dies at age 69

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.

Ashlee Simpson is engaged

Ashlee Simpson, 29, and Evan Ross, 25, are officially engaged.

Ross, an actor (set to appear as Messalla in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) and son of Diana Ross, announced the news on Twitter, Monday with a sun-soaked photo of the two.
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Tom Cruise settles defamation lawsuit

The publisher of two tabloid magazines said it never intended to imply that Tom Cruise had cut all ties to his daughter after his divorce and announced Friday that it had reached a settlement with the actor over two stories it published.

Bauer Publishing and Cruise’s lawyer wrote in a joint statement that the terms of the settlement were confidential.

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George Clooney, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Idris Elba honored at BAFTA Britannia Awards

George Clooney and Benedict Cumberbatch were honored last night at the BAFTA Britannia Awards in Los Angeles, according to the New York Times. Clooney received the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film while Cumberbatch won the award for British Artist of the Year. Other winners included Idris Elba and Sacha Baron Cohen, who pranked the audience with a skit in which he seemed to push an old woman off the stage.

Winners of the Britannia awards are chosen by members of the Los Angeles arm of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

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Patrick Stewart tweets 'Yes, married'

Captain Picard is feeling playful!

Sir Patrick Stewart, 73, best known for portraying Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, tweeted the words “Yes, married,” Sunday, with a photo of himself and his singer/songwriter girlfriend Sunny Ozell, 35, smiling in a ball pit.

No additional details were provided, but we do hope that Sir Ian McKellen did indeed officiate the wedding.

'Dr. Strangelove', 'Star Wars' cinematographer Gilbert Taylor dies

Gilbert Taylor, the veteran British cinematographer who shot Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and Star Wars, died Friday at his home on the British Isles at the age of 99, according an interview his wife Dee gave to the BBC.

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JJ Cale, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter of rock classics, dies at 74

Grammy-winning musician JJ Cale, who was best known for writing timeless hits for Eric Clapton, died on Friday at age 74, according to his website. Cale suffered a heart attack and passed away at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, Calif.

Cale may not have been a household name on par with the many famous musicians he performed with, and wrote for, over the years, but his blues-drenched influence on the classic rock of the 1970s is as undeniable as it is indelible. Early in his career, Cale toured with the Grand Ole Opry road company before heading west to Los Angeles, where he recorded his song “After Midnight.” It was merely a B-side at the time, but years later Eric Clapton would turn the song into his first solo hit. Clapton also later covered Cale’s doom-soaked ode to — or cautionary tale about — the ’70s drug of choice, “Cocaine”. Decades later, in 2007, the Cale and Clapton team would win a Grammy for their collaboration on The Road to Escondido.

Artists as varied as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana, and Johnny Cash all covered Cale’s songs over the years — the ultimate tribute to a musician who preferred to stay in the background and let his songs speak for him.

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