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James Gandofini, 1961-2013

In his own (exceedingly humble) words: “I dabbled a little bit in acting in high school and then I forgot about it completely. And then at about twenty-five I went to a class. I don’t think anybody in my family thought it was an intelligent choice. I don’t think anybody thought I’d succeed, which is understandable. I think they were just happy that I was doing something.”

He was great as Tony Soprano, of course, but also great in movies like Not Fade Away and In The Loop.

Helen Gurley Brown, icon of publishing and so much more, has died. Said the Los Angeles Times:

She worked as a secretary in L.A. and then, like Peggy in “Mad Men,” worked her way up to be an advertising copywriter. She had married David Brown before writing her 1962 bestseller “Sex and the Single Girl,” a live-it-up guide to how a modern woman could conveniently manage having an affair with a married man. …

Brown’s reputation as author and editor shifted over time, but her exuberant, sex-positive work is now often thought of as feminist and even radical.

Helen Gurley Brown, icon of publishing and so much more, has died. Said the Los Angeles Times:

She worked as a secretary in L.A. and then, like Peggy in “Mad Men,” worked her way up to be an advertising copywriter. She had married David Brown before writing her 1962 bestseller “Sex and the Single Girl,” a live-it-up guide to how a modern woman could conveniently manage having an affair with a married man. …

Brown’s reputation as author and editor shifted over time, but her exuberant, sex-positive work is now often thought of as feminist and even radical.

Marvin Hamlisch, who died today at 68, was a legendary composer — and conductor — who achieved coveted EGOT status (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). He also won a Pulitzer for A Chorus Line. Here’s a recent performance, rich with trademark verve: “Poker Face,” with Idina Menzel.

Hamlisch made his mark in the musical theater world with “A Chorus Line,” which originated at New York’s Public Theater in 1975 before transferring to Broadway, where it ran for nearly 15 years….

In Hollywood, Hamlisch wrote music for the movies The Way We Were, The Spy Who Loved Me and Sophie’s Choice. In recent years, he teamed with director Steven Soderbergh on The Informant! and the upcoming Behind the Candelabra, a biopic of Liberace.

theavc:


Hemsley’s most iconic character was created specifically for him, after All In The Family producer Norman Lear, seeking a match for Archie Bunker’s uncompromising, wheezing racism, honed in on the actor as someone who could convincingly go toe to toe. At the time, Hemsley was busy with Broadway, so Lear actually introduced the Jeffersons to the Bunkers two years before Hemsley officially joined the cast, leaving the door open for him by pairing Isabel Sanford’s “Weezie” with George’s brother Henry (played by Mel Stewart). The odd setup and constant explanations for why George was never around—which mostly had to do with George not wanting to consort with white people—all ended up being worth it once Hemsley finally arrived in 1973. Immediately it was clear that George Jefferson was the perfect foil for Archie Bunker: He was every bit as stubborn, bigoted, and yet strangely loveable in his awfulness, and within two years the Jeffersons moved on up out of Queens and into Manhattan—and onto their very own, equally lasting show.

Some thoughts on the life of Sherman Hemsley.

theavc:

Hemsley’s most iconic character was created specifically for him, after All In The Family producer Norman Lear, seeking a match for Archie Bunker’s uncompromising, wheezing racism, honed in on the actor as someone who could convincingly go toe to toe. At the time, Hemsley was busy with Broadway, so Lear actually introduced the Jeffersons to the Bunkers two years before Hemsley officially joined the cast, leaving the door open for him by pairing Isabel Sanford’s “Weezie” with George’s brother Henry (played by Mel Stewart). The odd setup and constant explanations for why George was never around—which mostly had to do with George not wanting to consort with white people—all ended up being worth it once Hemsley finally arrived in 1973. Immediately it was clear that George Jefferson was the perfect foil for Archie Bunker: He was every bit as stubborn, bigoted, and yet strangely loveable in his awfulness, and within two years the Jeffersons moved on up out of Queens and into Manhattan—and onto their very own, equally lasting show.

Some thoughts on the life of Sherman Hemsley.

Reblogged from theavc