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Obit

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Chasen Tributes Pour In, Memorial Service November 21

    It's been a tough day, not only as the death of Ronni Chasen meant the loss of a friend, but as the reality of her violent demise hit home. Also, many of us who spend time at late-night industry functions and drive home at night alone are thinking about how fragile our lives are. Chasen worked tirel...

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    Hollywood Publicist Ronni Chasen Found Shot to Death

    On Saturday night, press agent Ronni Chasen came up to me at the Governor's Ball, kissed me on the cheek, asked me if I had greeted producers Dick and Lili Zanuck and Inception's Hans Zimmer and Chris Nolan, reminded me that she wanted me to interview composer Eliot Goldenthal for Julie Taymor's The Tempest, and told me to save the date for her Christmas party. I've known Chasen since she was a senior press agent at Rogers & Cowan in the 80s. She went on to run her own firm, Chasen & Co., which reps filmmakers and composers. Chasen, who was a diminutive but forceful blonde, kindly tutored me in the ways of Hollywood when I was fresh from New ...

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    Beaver's Billingsley Gone at 94

    The Cleavers were the suburban family I grew up with on black-and-white TV, and Leave it to Beaver's Barbara Billingsley, who played June to Hugh Beaumont's Ward, was my idea of the perfect Mom. Well, she's gone, at 94. I can still hear her soft, high plaintive voice: "Ward, I'm worried about the Be...

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    Tony Curtis: A Life in Pictures

    To go at 85 is to have lived a long and--in the case of Bronx-born Bernard Schwartz--productive life. High points in Tony Curtis's career include Some Like it Hot (channeling Cary Grant, kissing Marilyn Monroe, and making a very pretty woman, clip below), defining the groveling press agent in The Sw...

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    Bonnie and Clyde Director Arthur Penn Dies at 88

    Theatre and film director Arthur Penn died in his Manhattan apartment Tuesday night of congestive heart failure, reports A.P. Penn died a year after his brother, photographer Irving Penn.

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    Editor Sally Menke Died in Beachwood Canyon During Heat Wave, Dog At Her Side

    Editor Sally Menke's body was found by searchers at the bottom of a Beachwood Canyon ravine Tuesday morning, her Lab at her side. She was 56, and had been hiking Monday in L.A.'s extreme heat (which broke the downtown record of 113 degrees Monday, as well as the thermometer recording that record), reports the LAT. I had the pleasure of meeting Menke last year at Lawrence Bender's Oscar party for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, which she edited, along with all of Tarantino's films. It was great fun talking to her about how she and Tarantino debated the merits of whether to divide the film into five chapters or try to weave it into an...

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    Oscar-Winner Patricia Neal Dies at 84 After a Tragic Life

    Patricia Neal has died at her home on Martha's Vineyard, of lung cancer. She was 84. Neal started out strong as a Hollywood leading lady, a beautiful and powerful character actress in such films as The Fountainhead, co-starring her lover Gary Cooper, The Day the Earth Stood Still, A Face in the Crow...

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    Dennis Hopper's Summer of Love: American Dreamer

    In a double-bill with Easy Rider, the rarely seen 16 mm doc American Dreamer kicked off a month-long Dennis Hopper tribute at L.A.’s Silent Movie Theater, which coincides with a major retrospective of Hopper’s art at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Amy Dawes covered the films and the Q & A with c...

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    Wright, Working Title Take on Live-Action Little Mermaid

    Here's welcome news you've all been waiting for: a live action adaptation of the Little Mermaid is in the works. The script is by Abi Morgan (Brick Lane) and director Joe Wright is partnered with Working Title (who also brought us Wright's Atonement and Pride and Prejudice). This is no Alice In Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella (just to name a few of the fairy tales in development or production). It's the original Hans Christian Anderson Little Mermaid - which is more darkly beautiful adult horror story than children's sing-a-long (a stage play adaptation at Little Angel Theatre Company, founded by Wright's father, was part of the ins...

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