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Mack Chico

By

2012/09/03 at 12:00am

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, dead at 54 from heart attack

09.3.2012 | By |

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, dead at 54 from heart attack

Michael Clarke Duncan a loveable and gracious man and actor has died today from a heart attack. He was 54. According to his fiancee, the Oscar nominee for “The Green Mile” passed away while being hospitalized following a July heart attack, two months ago.

Publicist Joy Fehily released a statement from Clarke’s fiancée, the Rev. Omarosa Manigault, saying the 54-year-old actor died Monday morning in a Los Angeles hospital after nearly two months of treatment following the July 13 heart attack.

The 6-foot-5, 300 pound Duncan appeared in dozens of films, including such box office hits as “Armageddon,” ”Planet of the Apes” and “Kung Fu Panda.”

Duncan had a handful of minor roles before “The Green Mile” brought him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor. The 1999 film, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, starred Tom Hanks as a corrections officer at a penitentiary in the 1930s. Duncan played John Coffey, a convicted murderer.

Here’s a movie clip that best remembers his work:

Pau Brunet

By

2009/12/28 at 12:00am

‘Avatar’ is #1 at the box office, again

12.28.2009 | By |

'Avatar' is #1 at the box office, again

The estimated $278 million in weekend box-office revenue broke the previous record of roughly $253 million set in July 2008, the weekend “The Dark Knight” was released.

A diverse group of films drew throngs to the multiplexes: James Cameron’s “Avatar” pushed strongly into its second week while “Sherlock Holmes,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” and “It’s Complicated” all opened.

“Avatar,” the 3-D epic, topped them all, earning $75 million for 20th Century Fox, according to studio estimates Sunday. Remarkably, that was only a 3 percent drop from its opening weekend total of $77.4 million. (Blockbusters typically drop 30-50 percent in the second weekend.) In its 10 days of release, “Avatar” has made $212 million domestically — and could be on its way to a worldwide gross of over $1 billion.

“This thing is going to be playing and playing, I can tell you that,” said Bert Livingston, 20th Century Fox distribution executive. “There’s a lot of business out there. Everybody’s got good movies out.”

In second was “Sherlock Holmes,” Guy Ritchie’s reboot of the franchise with Robert Downey Jr. starring as Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective. The Warner Bros. film opened with a weekend total of $65.4 million, including a record Christmas Day debut of $24.9 million.

It was a start that seemed sure to pave the way for sequels. Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., called the result “sensational.”

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” which opened Wednesday, took in $50.2 million on the weekend and $77.1 million in its five days of release. The film, also from Fox, earned an impressive $18.8 on Wednesday alone. The strong start suggested that “Squeakquel” was likely to surpass its 2007 original, which made $217 million.

Also opening was Nancy Meyer’s “It’s Complicated,” the romantic comedy from starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. With an audience 72 percent female, the Universal film took in $22.1 million, a solid debut.

The buffo Christmas weekend results spelled good things for all the films in release in the coming week — one of the most lucrative of the year.

“We all know what next week means to the industry. This is a huge,” said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal. “Christmas is past us. No more shopping, no more returning. College kids are home. … I’m so optimistic about what the next weekend holds for us.”

Said Livingston: “Starting this Monday, every day is a Saturday.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. “Avatar,” $75 million.

2. “Sherlock Holmes,” $65.4 million.

3. “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” $50.2 million.

4. “It’s Complicated,” $22.1 million.

5. “Up in the Air,” $11.8 million.

6. “The Blind Side,” $11.7 million.

7. “The Princess and the Frog,” $8.7 million.

8. “Nine,” $5.5 million.

9. “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” $5 million.

10. “Invictus,” $4.4 million.

Mack Chico

By

2009/05/05 at 12:00am

Dom DeLuise, actor, comedian and chef, dies

05.5.2009 | By |

Dom DeLuise, actor, comedian and chef, dies

Dom DeLuise, the portly actor-comedian whose affable nature made him a popular character actor for decades with movie and TV audiences as well as directors and fellow actors, has died. He was 75.

DeLuise died Monday night, son Michael DeLuise told KTLA-TV and radio station KNX on Tuesday. The comedian died in his sleep after a long illness. Calls to his agent were not immediately returned.

The actor, who loved to cook and eat almost as much as he enjoyed acting, also carved out a formidable second career later in life as a chef of fine cuisine. He authored two cookbooks and would appear often on morning TV shows to whip up his favorite recipes.

As an actor, he was incredibly prolific, appearing in scores of movies and TV shows, in Broadway plays and voicing characters for numerous cartoon shows.

Writer-director-actor Mel Brooks particularly admired DeLuise’s talent for offbeat comedy and cast him in several of his films, including “The Twelve Chairs,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Silent Movie,” “History of the World Part I” and “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.” DeLuise was also the voice of Pizza the Hutt in Brooks’ “Star Wars” parody, “Spaceballs.”

The actor also appeared frequently in films opposite his friend Burt Reynolds. Among them, “The End,” “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” ‘Smokey and the Bandit II,” “The Cannonball Run” and “Cannonball Run II.”

Another actor-friend, Dean Martin, admired his comic abilities so much that he cast DeLuise as a regular on his 1960s comedy-variety show. In 1973, he starred in a situation comedy, “Lotsa Luck,” but it proved to be short-lived.

Other TV credits included appearances on such shows as “The Munsters,” “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Burke’s Law,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Diagnosis Murder.”

On Broadway, DeLuise appeared in Neil Simon‘s “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” and other plays.

Because of his passion for food, the actor battled obesity throughout much of his life, his weight reaching as much as 325 pounds at one point. For years, he resisted the efforts of family members and doctors who tried to put him on various diets. He finally agreed in 1993 when he needed hip replacement surgery and his doctor refused to perform it until he lost 100 pounds.

He and his family enrolled at the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C., and DeLuise lost enough weight for the surgery, although he gained some of it back afterward.

On the positive side, his love of food resulted in two successful cookbooks, 1988’s “Eat This — It Will Make You Feel Better!” and 1997’s “Eat This Too! It’ll Also Make You Feel Good.”

At his Pacific Palisades home, DeLuise often prepared feasts for family and friends. One lunch began with turkey soup and ended with strawberry shortcake. In between, were platters of beef filet, chicken breast and sausage, a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs and a saucer of lettuce.

He strongly resembled the famed chef Paul Prudhomme and joked in a 1987 Associated Press interview that he had posed as Prudhomme while visiting his New Orleans restaurant, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen.

DeLuise was appearing on Broadway in “Here’s Love” in the early 1960s when Garry Moore saw him and hired him to play the magician “Dominick the Great” on “The Garry Moore Show.”

His appearances on the hit comedy-variety program brought offers from Hollywood, and DeLuise first came to the attention of movie-goers in “Fail Safe,” a drama starring Henry Fonda. He followed with a comedy, “The Glass Bottom Boat,” starring Doris Day, and from then on he alternated between films and television.

“I was making $7,000 a week — a lot of money back then — but I didn’t even know I was rich,” he recalled in 1994. “I was just having such a great time.”

He was born Dominick DeLuise in New York City on Aug. 1, 1933, to Italian immigrants. His father, who spoke only Italian, was a garbage collector, and those humble beginnings stayed with him throughout his life.

“My dad knows everything there is to know about garbage,” one of the actor’s sons, David DeLuise, told The Associated Press in 2008. “He loves to pick up a broken chair and fix it.”

DeLuise’s introduction to acting came at age 8 when he played the title role of Peter Rabbit in a school play. He went on to graduate from New York City’s famed School of Performing Arts in Manhattan.

For five years, he sought work in theater or television with little luck. He finally decided to enroll at Tufts College and study biology, with the aim of becoming a teacher.

Acting called him back, however, and he found work at the Cleveland Playhouse, appearing in stage productions that ranged from comedies such as “Kiss Me Kate” to Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

“I worked two years solidly on plays and moving furniture and painting scenery and playing parts,” he remarked in a 2006 interview. “It was quite an amazing learning place for me.”

While working in summer stock in Provincetown, Mass., he met a beautiful young actress, Carol Arthur, and they were soon married.

The couple’s three sons, Peter, Michael and David, all became actors and all appeared with their father in the 1990s TV series “SeaQuestDSV,” in which Peter and Michael were regulars.

Mack Chico

By

2009/02/22 at 12:00am

Penelope Cruz wins the Oscar!

02.22.2009 | By |

Penelope Cruz wins the Oscar!

Penelope Cruz won the first Academy Award of the night Sunday, claiming the supporting-actress honor as a tempestuous artist in Woody Allen’s Spanish romance “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

The win capped a big weekend for Cruz, fresh off her win Saturday for the same prize at the Spirit Awards honoring independent film. “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” features Cruz as an unstable Spaniard in a steamy three-way affair with her ex-husband and an American woman.

“Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one,” Cruz said, who went on with warm thanks to Allen. “Thank you, Woody, for trusting me with this beautiful character. Thank you for having written all these years some of the greatest characters for women.”

It’s the fifth time an Allen film has earned a performer a supporting-acting honor. Cruz joins past Allen collaborators Dianne Wiest, a dual Oscar winner for “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Bullets Over Broadway”; Michael Caine for “Hannah and Her Sisters”; and Mira Sorvino for “Mighty Aphrodite.”

The award was presented by five past supporting-actress winners, including last year’s, Tilda Swinton, plus Eva Marie Saint, Anjelica Huston, Whoopi Goldberg and Goldie Hawn.

Mack Chico

By

2009/01/14 at 12:00am

Ricardo Montalban dies at 88

01.14.2009 | By |

Ricardo Montalban dies at 88

Ricardo Montalban, the Mexican-born actor who became a star in splashy MGM musicals and later as the wish-fulfilling Mr. Roarke in TV’s “Fantasy Island,” died Wednesday morning at his home, a city councilman said. He was 88.

Montalban’s death was announced at a meeting of the city council by president Eric Garcetti, who represents the district where the actor lived. Garcetti did not give a cause of death.

“The Ricardo Montalban Theatre in my Council District — where the next generations of performers participate in plays, musicals, and concerts — stands as a fitting tribute to this consummate performer,” Garcetti said later in a written statement.

Montalban had been a star in Mexican movies when MGM brought him to Hollywood in 1946. He was cast in the leading role opposite Esther Williams in “Fiesta.” He also starred with the swimming beauty in “On an Island with You” and “Neptune’s Daughter.”

A later generation knew Montalban as the faintly mysterious, white-suited Mr. Roarke, who presided over an island resort where visitors were able to fulfill their lifelong dreams. “Fantasy Island” received high ratings for most of its 1978-1984 span on ABC television and still appears in reruns.

In a 1978 interview, he analyzed the series’ success:

“What is appealing is the idea of attaining the unattainable and learning from it. Once you obtain a fantasy it becomes a reality, and that reality is not as exciting as your fantasy. Through the fantasies you learn to appreciate your own realities.”

Mack Chico

By

2009/01/04 at 12:00am

‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ 3D trailer to be seen in Super Bowl!

01.4.2009 | By |

'Monsters vs. Aliens' 3D trailer to be seen in Super Bowl!

Some 150 million 3D glasses will be given away for Super Bowl viewers to watch a 90-second 3D sneak preview of the big-screen animated feature “Monsters vs. Aliens.” While 3D telecasts are nothing new, this marks the first time one has been done for such a large audience.

DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg called the stunt “perhaps the biggest media-advertising event in history.” He wouldn’t give a hard figure on the cost, but said it “involves tens of millions of dollars.”

Katzenberg promised the quality of the 3D will be superior to what has been done in the past. He said the glasses will use Intel InTru 3D and ColorCode 3-D, which updates the old red-blue Anaglyph system.

The technology will also allow those without the glasses to see an almost ordinary image on the TV screen. But, Katzenberg added, it still doesn’t come close to the 3D quality moviegoers will see in theaters when the film opens stateside March 27.

“Monsters vs. Aliens” follows a group of ragtag Earthling monsters who are out to save the world following an alien invasion. The film features the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen and Kiefer Sutherland.

The glasses will be distributed free at Pepsi/SoBe Life Water displays at 28,000 locations including grocery, drug and electronics stores and big-box retailers.

The promotion was unveiled Saturday during NBC’s telecast of the AFC Wild Card Playoffs between the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers. NBC, which will air the Super Bowl on Feb. 1, has its own interest in making sure the glasses are used, as it will air a 3D episode of its series “Chuck” the following night.

“Monsters vs Aliens” is co-directed by Rob Letterman (“Shark Tale”) and Conrad Vernon (“Shrek 2”), who supervised production of the promotion that will air during the Super Bowl.

The directors said they will be watching the telecast from home. “With beer,” Vernon said, laughing. “We’re going to test the effects of beer and 3D,” said Letterman.

Mack Chico

By

2008/12/24 at 12:00am

Tina Fey is the ‘Entertainer of the Year’!

12.24.2008 | By |

Tina Fey is the 'Entertainer of the Year'!

Tina Fey was voted The Associated PressEntertainer of the Year, an annual honor chosen by newspaper editors and broadcast producers across the country. Fey was selected by AP members as the performer who had the greatest impact on culture and entertainment in 2008.

The 38-year-old comedian bested runner-up Robert Downey Jr., whose comeback was capped with the blockbuster smash “Iron Man,” and the third-place vote-getter, Heath Ledger, who posthumously wowed audiences as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”

But it was Fey who most impressed voters largely with her indelible impression of Gov. Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live.” Her cameos on her old show (where she had been a head writer until 2006) helped drive the show to record ratings and eventually drew an appearance from Palin herself.

“Tina Fey is such an obvious choice,” said Sharon Eberson, entertainment editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “She gave us funny when we really needed it and, in a year when women in politics were making huge strides, Fey stood out in the world of entertainment.”

Fey’s 2008 was a full year, though.

She also starred for the first time on the big screen in “Baby Mama” (which grossed $60 million at the box office) and won three Emmys for her critically lauded NBC sitcom “30 Rock,” which she created, stars in and writes. In the comedy series category, she won for best lead actress and best writing, and shared in the award for best comedy series.

“She simultaneously entertained us with her wit and put a mirror up to the nation during the election and made us think about what was going on,” said Scott Shive, assistant features editor at the Lexington Herald-Leader. “She is the epitome of the smart kid coming out on top for once.”

As soon as Palin was chosen as Sen. John McCain‘s running mate, conjecture mounted that the similar-looking Fey would have to return to “SNL” to play her.

In an interview earlier this fall, Fey recalled watching early TV coverage of Palin: “That was the first time I thought, ‘Well, I kinda do look like her. I’d better really listen to how this lady talks.'”

Fey debuted the impression on the “SNL” season premiere and a sensation quickly followed. She made four more pre-election appearances as Palin on the late-night satire.

“From the winks to the nods to the accent, she nailed it,” said Marc Bona, assistant entertainment editor of the Plain Dealer in Cleveland. “And she did so at a time when it seemed the whole country was tuned in — both to the presidential race as well as ‘Saturday Night Live.'”

Her Palin impression has benefited “30 Rock,” too. The show premiered its fourth season to 8.5 million viewers, a million more than last year’s opener.

Recently, she was also nominated for a Golden Globe (for best performance by an actress in a TV series, comedy or musical), as well as a Screen Actors Guild award.

“The ‘SNL’ stuff has certainly changed things for me,” Fey said in October. “A lot more people seem to know who I am.”

Last year’s AP Entertainer of the Year also went to a comedian whose satire blended in with politics: Stephen Colbert.

Mack Chico

By

2008/11/20 at 12:00am

John Malkovich and Diego Luna to hit Mexico’s Broadway

11.20.2008 | By |

John Malkovich and Diego Luna to hit the Mexican Broadway

John Malkovich is so touched by the plight of migrant children who cross illegally into the United States that he plans to make a documentary about it.

The actor and director says the documentary, which will be titled “Triple Crossing,” will seek to humanize the issue of illegal migration.

Malkovich said Wednesday the film will be produced by Canana Films, a production company owned by Mexican actors Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal.

Malkovich, of “Burn After Reading,” is in Mexico directing the play “The Good Canary.”

Luna, of “The Terminal” and “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” interprets the play’s lead character, writer Jack Parker.

The play opens Nov. 26 for 10 weeks in Mexico City’s Teatro Insurgentes.

Pau Brunet

By

2008/11/17 at 12:00am

Bond sets franchise record at the box office!

11.17.2008 | By |

Bond sets franchise record at the box office!

It’s a Bond market .

Quantum of Solace,” with Daniel Craig returning as James Bond , easily made for the best opening weekend for the spy franchise, earning more than $67 million at the box office. The series’ first direct sequel opened with nearly $30 million more than its predecessor, 2006’s “Casino Royale.”

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Media By Numbers LLC:

1. “Quantum of Solace,” Sony/MGM, $67,528,882, 3,451 locations, $19,568 average, $67,528,882, one week.

2. ” Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa ,” Paramount, $35,017,301, 4,065 locations, $8,614 average, $116,905,195, two weeks.

3. ” Role Models ,” Universal, $11,150,030, 2,798 locations, $3,985 average, $37,577,245, two weeks.

4. ” High School Musical 3: Senior Year ,” Disney, $5,656,162, 3,202 locations, $1,766 average, $84,169,216, four weeks.

5. ” Changeling ,” Universal, $4,254,080, 1,896 locations, $2,244 average, $27,631,772, four weeks.

6. ” Zack and Miri Make a Porno ,” Weinstein Co., $3,146,312, 2,210 locations, $1,424 average, $26,465,482, three weeks.

7. “Soul Men,” MGM, $2,350,141, 2,048 locations, $1,148 average, $9,370,925, two weeks.

8. “The Secret Life of Bees,” Fox Searchlight, $2,338,279, 1,449 locations, $1,614 average, $33,627,359, five weeks.

9. ” Saw V ,” Lionsgate , $1,767,405, 2,002 locations, $883 average, $55,380,488, four weeks.

10. “Beverly Hills Chihuahua ,” Disney, $1,579,080, 1,617 locations, $977 average, $90,878,127, seven weeks.

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