Children's TV producer and playwright Martin Tahse has passed away at the age of 84. He died on 1 July (14) in Los Angeles.
Tahse began working as a theatre producer before turning his attentions to TV, where he focused on shows which tackled social issues for kids.
His onscreen credits included The Skating Rink in 1975, about a boy with a stutter, 1977's Very Good Friends, which starred Little House on the Prairie's Melissa Sue Anderson as a young teen coming to terms with the accidental death of a younger sibling, and A Matter of Time (1981), about a girl whose mother is dying from cancer. Both of the latter shows earned Tahse Daytime Emmy Awards.
He also co-wrote and produced 1990 TV movie Matters of the Heart, starring Jane Seymour, and added playwright to his resume in 2003 after adapting Allan Gurganus' novel Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All into a one-woman show for Ellen Burstyn.
Celebrated children's author Allan Ahlberg has snubbed a literary award in protest against its sponsor Amazon.com. The British writer, famous for his Burglar Bill books with his illustrator wife Janet, was chosen as the recipient of the inaugural Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award but has refused to accept it over the huge online retailer's U.K. tax payments.
In a letter to thebookseller.com, he explains, "I was, of course, delighted. I told my wife, told my daughter and ran around the house. Then I discovered that the award was sponsored by Amazon and felt obliged to refuse it.
"Tax, fairly applied to us all, is a good thing. It pays for schools, hospitals - libraries! When companies like Amazon cheat-paying 0.1% on billions, pretending it is earning money not in the UK, but in Luxembourg - that's a bad thing. We should surely, at the very least, say that it is bad and on no account give it any support or, by association, respectability."
Country music stars Gary Allan and Chris Young were forced to scrap appearances at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday night (05Jun14) due to illness and injury. Vocal issues forced Allan to pull the plug on his fan club party, while Young's hand injury kept him from a planned autograph signing event.
Reports suggest he cut his hand while cooking.
Young is still hoping to perform at the festival on Saturday night (07Jun14), but Allan's vocal problems are far more serious - the It Ain't the Whiskey singer has suffered similar issues in the past, and underwent surgery in 2010 to remove a polyp from his throat.
A representative for Lindsay Lohan has vehemently denied sensational allegations the actress downed vodka during a recent interview with a U.S. style magazine. Editors at Kode have featured the troubled star on the cover of the May (14) issue, and the accompanying interview contains claims that Lohan, who is working on her sobriety after a stint in rehab last year (13), was drinking alcohol while talking to a reporter.
The Mean Girls star's publicist has now shot down the story, insisting the interview was carried out via email.
A statement from the representative reads, "Lindsay never spoke to any journalist at Kode. The interview was completed via email. We have no comprehension on why a journalist would fabricate this content and distribute it in such an irresponsible way."
Lohan is also said to have confessed to an affair with a married man in the interview.
The magazine's editor-in-chief Allan Troy Watson is standing by the story, saying, "I have sworn testimonies that it took place that back up everything."
Executive editor Jacob Simon adds, "Yes, the interview took place and everything stated in the article is fact and came directly from Lohan herself. And we have photos chronicling the writer and Lindsay's numerous times together."
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.
Singer Gary Allan has been named country music's sexiest man by readers of Country Weekly magazine. The It Ain’t the Whiskey hitmaker came out on top after a month-long poll, beating out the likes of Luke Bryan and Toby Keith. Allan takes over from Christian Kane, who topped the list last year (12).
Allan Bregg / Splash News
For those who live in cities with an active film industry, spotting idle celebrities wearing wigs and looking bored while smoking cigarettes is just another Thursday. But sometimes, even locals can be caught off guard.
When a Hollywood back lot won't suffice, you have to go straight to the source for old-timey looking buildings. New Yorkers got a bit of a surprise when a block of lower Manhattan was transformed into 1900s Americana — complete with dirt and hay covered streets, and all signs of modernity removed. And to think, they were JUST getting used to those shared Citibike racks, now they have to deal with horse buggies and street urchins.
Turns out this transformation is thanks to Steven Soderbergh, who's filming his new Cinemax series, The Knick, starring Clive Owen — so much for Soderbergh's retirement. Set in downtown New York, the new drama is about "Knickerbocker Hospital and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff, who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics." Also, Owen is set to play a doctor hooked on liquid cocaine. Let's hope he doesn't go method for this one. The series is set for release in sometime next year. So if you're in the city, head over to Orchard Street between Delancey and Grand in the Lower East Side to catch a glimpse of the filming or just for some vicarious time travel on your lunch break. If you wear a bonnet, perhaps you could pass for one of the 300 extras on set.
Musical couple Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida are set to be feted with a top prize at Canada's JUNO Awards in recognition of their philanthropy work. The married singer/songwriters have been unveiled as the recipients of the 2014 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award for "their devotion to philanthropy and humanitarian causes at home and abroad".
Kreviazuk and Maida, who have been actively working with charities aiding mental health patients to organisations providing funds and support to war-torn societies, will receive the honour at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on 29 March (14), in Winnipeg.
Previous recipients include Bryan Adams, Neil Young and Tom Cochrane.
Rock legend Lou Reed has died at the age of 71, five months after receiving a liver transplant. The exact cause of death was not available as WENN went to press, but reports suggest the former Velvet Underground frontman passed away on Sunday (27Oct13).
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1942, he formed the Primitives and the Warlocks with Welsh musician John Cale. The duo teamed up again to create the Velvet Underground with Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, and the group became a staple of the late 1960s New York City music and art scene, attracting artist Andy Warhol as a mentor and producer.
The band's 1967 debut The Velvet Underground & Nico is considered one of the most important albums of the 20th century.
Reed, real name Lewis Allan Reed, enjoyed a solo career after splitting with the group in 1970, recording another landmark album - 1972's Transformer, with David Bowie as his producer.
The late rocker also recorded groundbreaking albums Lou Reed, Berlin, Sally Can't Dance and Coney Island Baby, as well as the hits Walk On the Wild Side, Perfect Day and Satellite of Love.
He reunited with Cale in 1991 for the acclaimed Warhol tribute album Songs For Drella and regrouped the Velvet Underground in 1992 for a series of European gigs, including a set at the Glastonbury festival in England.
In the past decade, Reed, a famous student of martial art T'ai Chi, released the double album The Raven, which was based on the work of horror writer Edgar Allen Poe, and, in 2010, he teamed up with heavy rockers Metallica to record 2011's critically-savaged Lulu album.
Famous for his moody, often disagreeable nature, Reed will go down in music history as one of rock's most influential artists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Velvet Underground in 1996.
He leaves behind his wife, performance artist and songwriter Laurie Anderson.