Welsh actor Michael Sheen is to direct and star in a special stage performance of Dylan Thomas' play Under Milk Wood. The Masters of Sex star will perform alongside Scandal actress Kate Burton, the daughter of late actor Richard Burton, during the one-off production at the 92nd Street Y community centre in New York, where the play first premiered in 1953.
Sheen will read the part of First Voice, the role Thomas played during the original read-through of the drama about the residents of a Welsh fishing village.
The free performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Wales on 26 October (14), the eve of the centenary of Thomas's birth.
Sheen says, "To perform it again and give it new life in the same place where it was first born really, then that's incredibly thrilling and very moving... And for it to go out at the same time on the radio in Wales, knowing that everyone in Wales will be able to listen to it at the same moment as people in New York are able to sit and listen to it as well, it's terrific."
Sheen took on the First Voice role for a BBC Wales TV adaptation in May (14). Richard Burton also played the part in the 1972 film version opposite his on/off wife Dame Elizabeth Taylor.
A love letter written by Dame Elizabeth Taylor to her on/off husband Richard Burton is up for sale. The screen legend penned the touching note to mark their 10th wedding anniversary in 1974, just weeks before they split, and three months before their first divorce.
In the letter, Taylor pledges her love to her unfaithful husband, writing, "My darling (my still) My husband... I wish I could tell you of my love for you, of my fear, my delight, my pure animal pleasure of you - (with you) - my jealousy, my pride, my anger at you, at times. Most of all my love for you, and whatever love you can dole out to me - I wish I could write about it but I can't... Anyway I lust thee, Your (still) Wife."
The note is expected to be sold for at least $59,500 (£35,000) in an online auction on the Paul Fraser Collectibles website.
The couple remarried in 1975 and divorced for a second time in 1976. Burton died in 1984 and Taylor passed away in 2011.
Director Brian G. Hutton has died, aged 79. The filmmaker passed away on Tuesday (19Aug14) after suffering a heart attack last week (begs11Aug14).
The New York City native began his career as an actor, but stepped behind the camera after taking part in a directing programme with Universal Studios.
In 1968, Hutton directed Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton in the war classic Where Eagles Dare, and he teamed with the duo again in 1970 for Kelly's Heroes, which also starred Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O’Connor and Donald Sutherland.
Hutton also made two movies with Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor - drama X, Y and Zee opposite Michael Caine and Night Watch with Laurence Harvey.
In 1980, Hutton was recruited to replace Roman Polanski as the director of The First Deadly Sin, after his predecessor fled America to escape statutory rape charges. The movie featured Faye Dunaway and Frank Sinatra in his final major film role.
Hutton also directed the films High Road to China, The Pad and How to Use It, and Sol Madrid.
As an actor, Hutton starred in movies like Fear Strikes Out, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, King Creole, The Case Against Brooklyn, and TV shows such as Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Have Gun - Will Travel, Rawhide and The Rifleman.
Breaking Bad will go up against House Of Cards in the fight for the best international TV show prize at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) TV Awards. The drama shows will compete against French supernatural show The Returned and Danish political drama Borgen at the television awards ceremony in London on 18 May (14).
Breaking Bad, starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, is also up for the Radio Times Audience Award, which will be voted for by the British public. It will compete against U.K. shows including detective drama Broadchurch, Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor and reality shows Gogglebox, The Great British Bake Off and Educating Yorkshire.
Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan has been nominated in the Leading Actor category for his portrayal of a serial killer in The Fall, along with Dominic West for in his role as Richard Taylor in Burton and Taylor, Sean Harris for Southcliffe and Luke Newberry for In The Flesh.
West's co-star Helena Bonham Carter is up for Leading Actress for her portrayal of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. She will compete against Kerrie Hayes (The Mill), Maxine Peake (The Village) and Olivia Colman (Broadchurch).
Broadchurch is also nominated in the Drama Series category alongside The Village, detective thriller Top of the Lake and comedy My Mad Fat Diary, while Dornan's The Fall will compete in the Mini-Series group against Southcliffe, In The Flesh and The Great Train Robbery.
Other stars to have landed key nominations include Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, who is nominated for best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme for The IT Crowd, going head-to-head with his co-star Richard Ayoade. The sitcom is also nominated in the Situation Comedy category.
Actor Rhys Ifans is set to follow in fellow Welshman Richard Burton's footsteps by starring in a new film adaptation of iconic poet Dylan Thomas' famous play Under Milk Wood. Director/producer Kevin Allen has obtained the movie rights to the 1954 work, which features the dreams and innermost thoughts of the inhabitants of a fictional Welsh fishing village, and is planning to make back-to-back English and Welsh language versions of the project, which was previously tuned into a big screen release by filmmaker Andrew Sinclair in 1972.
Allen has cast Notting Hill star Ifans in the role of First Voice, which was originated onscreen by Burton.
Burton's on/off wife Dame Elizabeth Taylor also starred in the 1972 film.
Producers have promised to "veer away from delivering a one dimensional, literal reflection of Thomas' original work" and instead "explore some of the darker, visceral elements" of "a richly funny, filthily fluid dystopian dreamscape - whilst not stooping to mess with Thomas' original text".
Filming on Under Milk Wood is due to begin this summer (14).
Plenty of actors have lent their voices to prime time animated series like The Simpsons or movies like The Croods and Toy Story. But it’s hard to imagine Saturday Morning Cartoons with huge stars. A lot of people are shocked to find out that the original voice of Shredder on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star James Avery, or to recall which Star Wars veteran was behind The Joker. Perhaps you weren't aware of the big names behind some of these childhood favorites...
Captain Planet and the Planeteers
A group of teenagers use magic rings to harness the elements and to summon Captain Planet, an environmental superhero. Each episode, they battle villains trying to pollute the environment. Whoopi Goldberg voices Gaia, the spirit of the Earth and their boss. What a lot of children at the time didn’t realize is the show’s villains are all played by major celebrities. Meg Ryan is Dr. Blight, a disfigured doctor who works with a sarcastic British computer. Jeff Goldblum plays Verminous Skumm, a mutated rat creature with a fondness for toxic waste. Sting even appears on the show as the creatively named Zarm. Other villains are played by Hollywood veterans Martin Sheen, James Coburn, Malcolm McDowell, and Ed Asner. Major celebs also stop by for guest appearances including Danny Glover, Louis Gossett Jr., and even Elizabeth Taylor.
This Disney cartoon creates a mythology where stone gargoyles come to life when the sun sets. It also has a bizarre Star Trek connection. Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis play series villains David Xanatos and Demona. There are also performance by other The Next Generation stars Michael Dorn, Brett Spiner, LeVar Burton, and Colm Meany. The captains of Deep Space Nine, Avery Brooks, and Voyager, Kate Mulgrew, appear on the cartoon. Nichelle Nichols even makes an appearance.
Batman: The Animated Series
Batman is probably the most star-studded cartoon in television history. The series features appearances by stars from the 1970s to today. 1970s icons like Adrienne Barbeau, Michael York, and Marilu Henner pop by the series. Bewitched actress Elizabeth McGovern plays her last role ever on the cartoon. Mark Hamill, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker, finds a career resurgence playing The Joker. Night Court’s Richard Moll, The Beastmaster Marc Singer, and Melissa Gilbert all bring 1980s nostalgia playing major characters. Bruce Wayne’s various love interests include Heather Locklear, comedian Julie Brown, and Supergirl Helen Slater. There are also appearances by future celebrities like Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss and Megan Mullally.
Similarly, this Man of Steel cartoon has a ton of television actors lending their voices. Superman is voiced by Wings star Tim Daly and Lois Lane is Desperate Housewives star Dana Delany. Sitcom stars Peri Gilpin, Brad Garett, and Joely Fisher all appear on the show.
Hit British crime drama Broadchurch looks set to dominate the U.K.'s Royal Television Society Programme Awards after receiving four top nominations. The murder-mystery series, about a child's death in a small coastal town, is nominated in the Drama Serial category alongside zombie show In The Flesh and Elisabeth Moss' Top Of The Lake.
Broadchurch's female leads Olivia Colman and Jodie Whittaker will go up against each other for the Actor - Female award along with My Mad Fat Diary star Sharon Rooney, and the show's creator Chris Chibnall is up for a writing prize.
In the Actor - Male category, Idris Elba is nominated for his turn as a troubled cop in Luther alongside Stephen Dillane (The Tunnel) and Lennie James (Run).
Burton and Taylor, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West as Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, has received a nod in the Single Drama line-up, competing with Our Girl and The Challenger.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 18 March (14).
Late movie legend Richard Burton vowed to stay sober while making classic movie Under Milk Wood by limiting his drinking to only one bottle of vodka a day. The Welsh actor, who was a hardened drinker, appeared in the 1972 film opposite his on/off wife, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, and Peter O'Toole, and the film's director has opened up about the making of the movie in a book called Down Under Milk Wood.
In the tome, Sinclair reveals the difficulties he faced as he attempted to gather three of Hollywood's biggest names together, describing it as like "fixing a weekend between Howard Hughes, Queen Elizabeth II and Puck".
The moviemaker also claims Burton promised to cut down his booze intake while making the movie, adding, "'I am not drinking on your film,' he told me. 'That means only one bottle of vodka a day. I'm sober on two, but when I'm drinking it is three or more.'"
In the book, Sinclair also details Taylor's outrageous demands, including three special French nightgowns which swallowed up 50 per cent of the project's costume budget and her refusal to travel to the Welsh town of Fishguard for filming on location. Her scenes were shot separately at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England.
Sinclair also claims Taylor refused to perform on one of her scheduled filming days, so O'Toole took her out to lunch, plied her with alcohol and then held her up as she drunkenly read her lines in front of the camera.
Producer Allan Mckeown has lost his battle with prostate cancer at the age of 66. McKeown passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday (24Dec13).
He began his career as a hairdresser in the 1960s in the U.K. for celebrity clients including The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Michael Caine.
He shifted careers in 1969 and became one of Britain's first independent television producers working on several U.K. and U.S. shows including Tracey Takes On, which won six Emmy Awards in 1997, with his actress wife Tracey Ullman.
McKeown also founded a a group which acquired the ITV franchise in the south east of England. He sold his share in 1996.
In addition to his TV work, McKeown also produced stage shows including The Big Love, Jerry Springer The Opera and Lennon, and films Villain, Get Carter and XYZ.
McKeown was most recently working on Indian comedy series Mumbai Calling.
He is survived by Ullman, who he married in 1983, and their two children.
When the episode open, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and Rebecca (Bridget Regan) were in his bed, entwined after a vigorous night of ... ahem. She pressed him on the window and the Mosconi Codex, he said she was better off not knowing, since the other person involved was a Bad Person. She then left, clearly still smitten despite a brief awkward conversation with Mozzie (Willie Garson). Bomer and Regan clearly have chemistry and this doesn't seem forced, like Sarah (Hilarie Burton) was.
Meanwhile, at the office, Agent Clinton Jones (Sharif Atkins) showed Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) a Welsh coin found at a pawn shop - one of the coins that had been stolen before.
Caffrey and Mozzie then went to the church where the stained glass window was to determine how to steal it. Mozzie shot a pane out with some kind of pellet, which would necessitate a repair. Clever. Caffrey then went to work at the FBI office, where Burke showed Caffrey the coin. He said that he wasn't going to stop until he found out who stole it. Caffrey tried to look unaffected, but he looked more constipated than anything.
The coin had been swiped by a nun ... yes, a nun. They decide to find a fence who dealt in these things. Caffrey said he'd got on the streets, and Burke wanted to go with him. Caffrey got him off the trail by saying that if the fence was new, he'd run if the FBI was seen sniffing nearby. Burke asked if Mozzie knew anyone and Caffrey replied that he was at a lunch and it would be bad to interrupt him. Burke called his wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen), saying that he knew she had a lunch, but needed to stop by her office.
Caffrey met Andrew Dawson, the prosecutor who had taken the bribe to let Burke go free before. He presented a Mutually Assured Destruction scenario and got the fence's name.
Mozzie was waiting for Elizabeth, having a nice picnic set up. His phone bleeped, it was a text from her phone, which Burke had taken. Before the FBI agent could sit down, Mozzie dropped about five or more cell phones in a pitcher of water. Burke asked him about possible fences and Mozzie reluctantly told him (after Burke threatened to have an old case of his re-opened) about a fence named Karl Dekker in a flower shop. Mozzie happened to be persona non grata with Dekker, though. He told Burke to look for a sign with a tulip on it.
Caffrey went to the area of the fence's place and found Burke wandering the same area. It turned out Mozzie had left a fact out - the color of the tulip. There were three signs with tulips of different colors. While Caffrey and Burke were dithering about the color, Mozzie slipped in and warned Dekker, who thought it better to escape than to extract any revenge on Mozzie. Seconds later Burke and Caffrey found guns, since Mozzie had interrupted an arms deal. Mozzie switched shoes with someone to escape, much to Burke's consternation.
Mozzie and Caffrey reconvened later and Rebecca joined them. She implored Caffrey to let her in on the plan ... which he reluctantly agreed to.
The plan was for Caffrey and Mozzie to slip in at 9am, since the glass repair people took a coffee break then. Rebecca kept the workers occupied by 'accidentally' dropping an earring in a sewer grate (as a native New Yorker, I hope she later boiled that earring several times). There was a third worker inside, but Mozzie steered him away with a secret handshake. Caffrey climbed up and stole the window. The three of them slipped away, but the worker immediately discovered the theft and was standing outside, puzzled, when Burke was in the area.
Caffrey revisited the scene of the crime moments later, saying he had been buying a croissant. Skeptical, Burke told Jones, who said he was going to stake out Dekker's shop to see if he returned, to call him later regardless of the situation. He then went to Caffrey's and fielded the call. Jones told him that he hadn't found Dekker, but Burke was responding as if Jones had collared the fence. He then made as if he was going to go to the office to interrogate him and told Caffrey to come alone. This painted Caffrey into a corner - he confessed that he had taken the money. Burke was furious and ready to arrest him, but Caffrey told him why he had done it (leaving out the part that Curtis Hagen played in it). Caffrey laid it out - if Burke did arrest him, Burke's case would be re-opened and he would likely lose his job, which would devastate his family life. The FBI agent left him at home.
The next scene was an intense conversation between Burke and Elizabeth.She felt that Caffrey had done the right thing. Burke, who always viewed things in the prism of right or wrong with no gray areas for justice, felt that he had been wrongly freed on false evidence and that he couldn't live with himself if he let that go. An angry Elizabeth said that he had better be absolutely sure that he was ready to do this act of professional suicide.
Burke was at the office the next morning, watching a clearly uncomfortable Caffrey sit at his desk. In walked Jones with Dekker - he had come back and fallen into Jones' stakeout. Caffrey immediately realized he had been played. Upstairs in the interrogation room, Jones and Burke decided to hold the coins as leverage. Caffrey told him he realized that Burke had misdirected him and pointedly said that the ends justified the means there. Burke realized he needed to confront the dirty federal prosecutor. Caffrey offered to go, but Burke went alone. He presented his own Mutally Assured Destruction scenario - return the coins and resign or Burke would arrest him there, which would effectively end his own career.
Caffrey was still sweating the situation but pressing ahead with Mozzie. They dissembled the stained glass window and Rebecca joined them. What they found was that if they looked at one piece of glass that was one color, it could reveal a message on another. This could also be used on the manuscript, but only the original. Which was in Hagen's possession. This did give them some leverage, though and Caffrey was mulling over how it could get him out from under Hagen's thumb for good.
Dawson folded. He returned the money and resigned. Burke called Caffrey into his office and told him that news, but then said that it was a compromise ... one that he would never do again. He also realized that Caffrey did do what he did to help him.. but he also did it because he was a criminal. The trust was shattered now. Really. Yeah, right. Over the course of five seasons, the trust between the two has apparently been shattered more times than a herd of bulls running through the finest china shop.
The next episode is in three weeks, with Hagen apparently taking Rebecca hostage. I'll see you all in the New Year for more recaps.