Veteran actress Donna Douglas has died at the age of 81. The TV star passed away at her home in Pride, Louisiana on New Year's Day (01Jan15).
A former beauty queen, Douglas was named Miss Baton Rouge and Miss New Orleans in 1957, before she embarked on a career onscreen.
She landed appearances on a handful of U.S. talk shows, including The Ed Sullivan Show, where she was spotted by film producer Hal Wallis, who cast her alongside Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine in his 1959 film Career.
She went on to score roles in musical comedy Li'l Abner and Lover Come Back, but she became a pop culture icon and earned the most recognition for her role as Elly May Clampett in 1960s TV series The Beverly Hillbillies from 1962 to 1971.
Douglas reprised her role in 1981 for the TV movie reunion, The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies.
She also featured in a string of other TV hits, including Mister Ed, The Twilight Zone, Route 66 and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and starred alongside Elvis Presley in 1966 movie Frankie and Johnny.
Her final screen credit came in 2013 with family movie Chronicles of Life Trials, which she also directed.
In her later years, Douglas also hit headlines for two famous lawsuits. In the 1990s, she tried and failed to sue bosses at film giant Disney for allegedly stealing her idea for the movie Sister Act, and in 2011, she filed suit against toymakers at Mattel for allegedly using her as the inspiration for a Barbie doll without her permission. That case was settled out of court.
Douglas was married twice - to Roland John Bourgeois, Jr. until 1954, and then to The Beverly Hillbillies director Robert M. Leeds. They divorced in 1980 after nine years of marriage.
George Clooney and his new bride Amal have topped a new celebrity sex tape wish list. The couple, who wed earlier this year (14) in Italy, have toppled Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge as the celebrities porn fans would most like to see making out, according to bosses at top sex tape distributor Vivid Entertainment.
The Clooneys have beaten out Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Martin to the top of the new list, while Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger come in third.
Vivid co-founder Steven Hirsch tells WENN, "George and Amal quickly gained our favour as the world's hottest couple with the speed of their romance and sheer glamour of their Italian wedding. We're confident that a sex tape starring this couple would be an instant international bestseller."
Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello and Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds round out the new top five, while Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, new parents Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine, and Charlize Theron and Sean Penn make the top 10.
The Oscars are supposed to be a barometer for greatness in the movie industry, but sometimes the Academy just misses the mark. Think about it: Three Six Mafia has an Oscar, but Leonardo DiCaprio does not. Snubs inevitably happen every year and some are more egregious than others. As we prepare for the next batch of nominations, let us reflect on some of the biggest snubs that still have us scratching our heads.
1. Leonardo DiCaptio in The Departed
Leo has been nominated a lot, we know this, but he was at his best in this Martin Scorsese flick. It still pains us that this wasn’t his year.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road
We thought Leo/Kate Winslet reunion would equal Oscar magic. But alas, it was not to be.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can
We still love this movie and think he was fantastic as con man Frank Abagnale Jr. Technically he played more than character, as Frank faked his way into becoming an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator
Last Leo one, we promise. But man did he do a good job playing Howard Hughes’ descent into madness.
5. Brokeback Mountain
With the exception of Ang Lee winning for Best Director, Brokeback Mountain got completely shut out of the Oscars. Crash beat it for Best Picture in an upset, and Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams all inexplicably lost in their categories despite delivering amazing performances.
6. Alfred Hitchcock
Can you believe the Master of Suspense never won an Oscar for directing? Despite all of his directing techniques that are now famous, poor Hitch never got Oscar recognition. Couldn’t they have at least given him the Best Cameos in All His Films award?
7. James Dean
We expect that if James Dean had lived longer than his young 24 years, he would have taken home Oscar gold. But the impressive trifecta of films he made during his much-too-short career (A Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant) are enough to make us sad he never won.
8. Saving Private Ryan
This Steven Spielberg wartime epic starring Tom Hanks was beat out for Best Picture by Shakespeare in Love. Rumblings have indicated power producer Harvey Weinstein’s purse strings – rather than the film’s merit - are what actually got Shakespeare the gold.
9. Marilyn Monroe
The iconic bombshell never got to make a breathy Oscar acceptance speech. She was probably most deserving for her part in Some Like It Hot, but it just wasn't in the cards.
10. Amy Adams
Doesn’t it seem like she gets nominated every year? She’s like the female Leonardo DiCaprio at this point. She was great in The Fighter and she was our favorite part of American Hustle last year. Such a shame.
11. Robert Redford
Redford, aka the Brad Pitt before Brad Pitt, has never won an Oscar for acting. He nabbed one in 1981 for directing Ordinary People and got a Lifetime Achievement award in 2002, but the founder of the Sundance Film Festival was never acknowledged for the talent that made him famous.
12. Paul Newman for The Hustler
It took Paul Newman way too long to claim his Oscar glory. He was notoriously snubbed all throughout his prime years – most notably for The Hustler in 1962. The Academy finally gave him an honorary award in 1986 and then a Best Actor Oscar in 1987 for his role in the subpar sequel to The Hustler - The Color of Money.
13. Citizen Kane
This film has been number one on so many AFI Greatest Movies of All Time lists that we kind of just assumed it had won the Oscar for Best Picture. Not so. The Orson Welles masterpiece was beat out by How Green Was My Valley, a movie about a Welsh mining village.
14. Michael Fassbender in Shame
When you put aside the jokes about "best performance by a penis in a movie," you’ll realize that Fassbender actually turns in an Oscar-worthy performance in Shame (clothed or unclothed). We’ll give him time though – we think a statuette is in his future.
15. Ewan McGregor
Ewan (or as we like to call him: every straight man’s mancrush) has turned in some brilliant work over the years – like his roles in Beginners and The Impossible. But sadly it seems it wasn’t enough to catch the Academy’s attention.
16. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp does not have an Oscar. We repeat: Johnny Depp does not have an Oscar. How can the guy who played iconic characters in Edward Scissorhands, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Finding Neverland be lacking a trophy, you ask? It’s a mystery for the ages.
17. Jessica Chastain
Remember when Jessica Chastain had like a million movies come out in 2011? In luckier years, we think at least ONE of those would have gotten her a win. Maybe 2015 will be her year.
18. Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice
Reese Witherspoon beat her out that year for Walk the Line, but Keira would have had our vote for her pitch perfect portrayal of Jane Austen heroine Elizabeth Bennett.
Talk about a beautifully made film. It even won the Golden Globe for Best Drama that year, which is usually a sign that an Oscar imminent. Nope. No Country for Old Men took it instead. Guess nothing beats a Coen Brothers film with an ambiguous ending.
20. Short Term 12
If you've seen this gem of an indie movie starring a riveting Brie Larson, you'll understand why this was a major snub. It was one of the best movies of 2013, but presumably because it was so small, it didn't get any awards love. Travesty.
21. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Smashed
Another small movie, but a huge Oscar-worthy performance by Winstead as a young wife coming to terms with sobriety. Or at least worthy of a nomination. Pay better attention, Academy!
Who do YOU think has been snubbed? Tell us on Twitter by following the links below!
France's former First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Johnny Depp's ex Vanessa Paradis are fronting a new charity anthem to raise awareness about and cash for the battle against Ebola in Africa. Hot on the heels of the release of the reworked Band Aid single Do They Know It's Christmas?, model and singer Bruni, who famously dated Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, and Joe Le Taxi singer Paradis will appear on an all-French charity song, which will be released this Christmas (14).
Noel est la (Christmas is Here) will also feature Lou Doillon, Izia Higelin and singer/composer Jean-Louis Albert.
The single will be released on 1 December (14), and all proceeds will benefit British rocker Bob Geldof's Band Aid Association.
The new Band Aid 30 single, which features Bono, One Direction, Ellie Goulding and Coldplay's Chris Martin was released on Monday (17Nov14) and became the fastest selling U.K. single of the year with 206,000 copies snapped up in just two days.
Veteran singer/songwriter Paul Simon has agreed to open up about his life and career in his first authorised biography. The Sound of Silence hitmaker will work with his longtime pal, author and former Los Angeles Times music critic Robert Hilburn, for the book, which is expected to detail his rise to fame as one half of Simon & Garfunkel, his solo career, and his three marriages to Peggy Harper, actress Carrie Fisher and his current wife, singer Edie Brickell.
In a statement released to the Associated Press, Simon says: "I thought seriously about writing my own memoir, but I'd rather devote my time to making music, which continues to hold my full attention.
"I'm confident Robert Hilburn will write an insightful book. I enjoyed and admired his biography of Johnny Cash and I think he'll tell my story well."
Hilburn, who sits on the nominating committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is known for his 2009 memoir Corn Flakes With John Lennon and Other Tales from a Rock 'n' Roll Life and his 2013 book Johnny Cash: The Life.
He adds, "(The biography will) be a gripping, inspiring portrait of an artist, including the toughness and heart it requires to avoid giving in to the many factors - from rejection to self-doubt to writer's block and complacency - that have derailed so many pop artists."
The as-yet-untitled biography will be published by bosses at Simon & Schuster. A release date has yet to be set.
Songwriter and instrumentalist Johnny Rotella has died, aged 93. The musician's son, John Rotella, confirmed his father passed away peacefully in his sleep in Van Nuys, California on 11 September (14), just days before his 94th birthday.
A statement from Kathy Spanberger, head of music publishing company Peermusic, reads, "He was not only a gifted songwriter but also a renowned musician and raconteur. I will miss the lunches... I had with Johnny because we got to sit back and listen to the wonderful stories of the days he worked with the greats in our business, including Sinatra, Goodman and Glenn Miller."
While growing up in New Jersey, Rotella played clarinet and saxophone in an array of bands throughout his teens, and after military service in World War Two, he relocated to California, began work as a studio woodwind player and became established on the music scene.
Rotella wrote the anthem Nothing But the Best for Frank Sinatra and recorded with Neil Diamond, Frank Zappa and Steely Dan.
He was a sought after session musician, a band regular on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour variety show in the 1970s, and he wrote more than 200 songs, performed by the likes of Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and Doris Day.
Funnyman Steve Martin has led tributes to his pal Robin Williams, following the Mrs. Doubtfire star's death on Monday (11Aug14). Williams was found dead in his home in Marin County, California. He was 63. Reports suggest he committed suicide.
Martin took to Twitter.com on Monday afternoon, shortly after the sad news broke and wrote, "I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul."
David Steinberg, Williams' manager for 35 years, said in a statement: "Nobody made the world laugh like Robin Williams. My brother, my friend, my soul mate, I will miss you."
Cher added, "Oh Robin... He was Sweet LOVELY,Man. He ran high voltage,Mind Always Going, It was who he was.I Know Well..Many X's from High There is Only Low.So Sad", while Williams' Mrs. Doubtfire co-star Mara Wilson writes, "Very sad, very upset, very glad I did not have to hear about this though Twitter. Probably going to be taking some time off it for a while."
Genie. You're free. pic.twitter.com/FWQWPDPP42
— Evan Rachel Wood (@evanrachelwood) August 11, 2014
Other Twitter tributes have come from Johnny Depp, Michael J. Fox, Rihanna, Rita Wilson, Steve Carell, Jared Leto, Morgan Freeman, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Cryer, John Cusack, Jenny McCarthy, Logan Lerman, Evan Rachel Wood, Sharon & Jack Osbourne, Pink, Ellen DeGeneres, Rose McGowan, Shannen Doherty, Josh Groban, Eddie Izzard, Eric Idle, Ashley Tisdale, Marlee Matlin, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski, and Mia Farrow, who posted, "No! Robin Williams you were so loved."
Miley Cyrus never met Williams, but admits the news of his death hit her hard: "I can't take the Robin Williams news. I've never cried over someone I've never met but I can't stop."
And Lindsay Lohan adds, "Mr. Williams visited me the first day of filming The Parent Trap. I will never forget his kindness. What an enormous loss. My condolences."
His former co-stars Henry Winkler and Minnie Driver were also among the first celebrities to pay tribute to Williams. Happy Days star Winkler wrote, "To watch him create on the spot was a privilege to behold... Robin you are an angel now !!! REST IN PEACE", while his Good Will Hunting castmate Driver added, "My Heart's broken. Robin was a beautiful, kind soul. Can't bear that he's gone. So incredibly sorry for his family."
One of the late funnyman's final co-stars, Joel McHale, states, "RIP @robinwilliams. You were one of the very best that ever was. You were one of my heroes."
And Williams' Mork & Mindy co-star Pam Dawber, who recently reteamed with Williams in U.S. TV comedy The Crazy Ones, has revealed she's "devastated" by the sad news of her longtime friend's death. The actor's The Crazy Ones co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar simply posted nine photos of herself with Williams on Twitter.com.
Other thoughtful words came from Glee stars Chord Overstreet and Lea Michele, who wrote, "So heartbreaking to hear the terribly sad news about the amazing Robin Williams, thank you for bringing so much laughter and joy to us all", and Kevin Spacey, who added, "Robin Williams made the world laugh & think. I will remember & honor that. A great man, artist and friend. I will miss him beyond measure."
He made us laugh. He made us cry. He ended up touching every element of the human spirit. #RIPRobinWilliams pic.twitter.com/kbEq7OwPOf
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 12, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama also acknowledged the entertainer's impact to people all over the world in a statement which reads: "Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan and everything in between. "But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien - but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most - from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalised on our own streets. "The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin's family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams."
Meanwhile, a tribute has been posted on a billboard outside Los Angeles' Laugh Factory, where Williams often performed. It reads: "Robin Williams. Rest in Peace. Make God laugh."
Ted Nugent has attacked Idaho casino bosses who have axed his upcoming show at the Worley venue over his outspoken views. Coeur d’Alene Casino owners cited the rocker's "history of racist and hate-filled remarks" when they pulled his upcoming date (04Aug14), and now Nugent is firing back, claiming he has become a victim of America's liberals over his anti-Barack Obama and pro-hunting beliefs.
He tells Radio.com, "They literally have an army assigned to destroy Ted Nugent. To call me a racist is a clear act of desperation. Because everybody knows I’m not a racist!
"My bass player Johnny Gunnel happens to be a black guy. My bass player Marco Mendoza was born in Mexico! Are you kidding me? I pay tribute to Martin Luther King in my songs, I’ve always said my music is a direct result of Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, and all the black musical heroes of my life."
Further attacking what he calls the "sick, stoned, hygiene-challenged (director) Michael Moore fans", the Cat Scratch Fever rocker adds, "They call in and complain that I’m a racist, they claim I’m a paedophile, that I dodged the draft. They call all the promoters, they call all the venues, they call all my sponsors, every day. Meanwhile, what am I doing? I’m going to rock my a** off tonight. And tomorrow night. And the next night."
Nugent is currently touring to promote his new album Shutup & Jam!
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
We've all seen it... two movies leads lean in for a kiss. It's a moment we'd been waiting for since the opening scene. And now that it's here, it's, well, horrible. Sometimes it's intentional, other times it's due to chemistry and occassionally there isn't a clear reason. No matter what the cause, the audience ends up cringing.
We're taking a look at the most memorable kisses in film from the '80s on, including the Best Kisses and the Most Perplexing Kisses. Here, however, are the kisses that made us long for a good old handshake.
Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner, Valentine's Day
Director Garry Marshall's schlocky romance had more than its share of awkward couplings, but Kutcher and Garner's characters — best friends that are just coming out of relationships that ended badly — were supposed to be the saving grace as they finally figure out that they should be together. The characters even admit the awkwardness of moving from friendship to something more. The problem is that the chemistry doesn't get any better even when they're supposed to have figured it out. Maybe being friends wasn't so bad after all.
Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortensen, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Maybe it's just that movie audiences aren't ready for Elven love. Tyler's Arwen and Mortensen's Aragorn played out a staid romance across three movies and the smooching didn't connect at any point. It didn't help that director Peter Jackson might have left in a little too much lip smacking on the soundtrack. When the two come together at the end, Mortensen looks more like he's going to headbutt Tyler rather than kiss her. And don't get us started on the creepy expression on Hugo Weaving's face as he watches.
Will Ferrell and Amy Adams, Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby
Yes, it's true that the kissing in a comedy isn't always supposed to make you think of romance — and it's also true that Ferrell's forced lip-lock with Sacha Baron Cohen was more laughable than anything else — but what earns Ferrell and Adams' passionate undertaking a spot on the list is Ricky Bobby's running commentary as it's happening. We're not sure which is worse: Ferrell comparing Adams to Tawny Kitaen in a White Snake video or her doing some of Kitaen's crawling-on-a-car-hood moves. With a bar full of people watching, it quickly becomes the PDA from hell.
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, The Empire Strikes Back
There's an old saying that earning a tie in a competition is like "kissing your sister." Thankfully, most people don't have enough experience in that area to challenge the axiom. But Hamill's Luke Skywalker knows way too much about sister kissing. Before we find out in Return of the Jedi that Luke and Leia are siblings, the princess lays a major smooch on Luke to make Harrison Ford's Han Solo jealous. The characters can be excused for not knowing that they're related — they were seperated at birth — but what's Star Wars mastermind George Lucas' excuse?
Pee-wee Herman and Valeria Golino, Big Top Pee-wee
For starters, watching Paul Reubens' man-child Pee-wee kiss anyone isn't exactly something that audiences normally clamor for. In Big Top, Pee-wee subjects Italian beauty Golino to one of the longest kisses in film history at somewhere around two minutes. The same year that Pee-wee's movie was released, Golino also played Tom Cruise's girlfriend in Rain Man, where she kissed Dustin Hoffman's Raymond. Now there's an epic year of uncomfortable screen kisses.
Michael J. Fox and Lea Thompson, Back to the Future
There's nothing wrong with kissing your mother. In fact, we strongly encourage it... she gave you life and she deserves a nice chaste smooch to show your appreciation. That does not extend, however, to going back in time and taking your future mom "parking." While it's good that both characters recognized that there was something amiss with the kiss, it still doesn't stop it from giving us the willies every time that we watch Fox's Marty McFly get accosted by Thompson's overly amorous Lorraine.
Steve Martin and Claire Danes, Shopgirl
Martin's novel, on which the movie is based, was a sweet and whimsical look at a young woman trying to transition into being a fully functional adult in Los Angeles. The movie, though, is frequently off in any number of ways, and nowhere more so than when Martin and Danes play out the May-December romantic scenes. The duo are both fine actors, but they don't look any more comfortable doing the kissing than we are watching it.
Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly, Dumb and Dumber
Poor Lloyd. Carrey's dimwitted schmuck couldn't even fantasize right. Taking the expression about sticking your tongue down someone's throat way too literally, Carrey appears to actually cut off Holly's air supply during the spirited game of tonsil hockey. While the scene might have been all in Lloyd's head, unfortunately for Holly they really had to shoot it. And, to think, Carrey and Holly engaged in an off-screen romance... imagine having to do that scene with someone you didn't like.
Emma Waston and Rupert Grint, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2
Watson and Grint grew up together over the course of filming J.K. Rowlings' Harry Potter books. Since the books came out well before the movies were shot, the young actors playing Potter's pals Ron and Hermione had plenty of time to consider what was eventually coming. Fair warning didn't help any because Watson and Grint's discomfort at having to engage in a snogging session on camera comes across quite clearly. All that's missing is the two of them pulling away from each other and actually saying, "Ewww."
Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, The Tourist
Depp and Jolie have both done their fair share of onscreen smooching and have shown plenty of chemistry with other costars. The two pretty people are still attractive even in this bad movie, but they couldn't possibly have less onscreen chemistry. In fact, there are times during what is supposed to be sexy encounters in The Tourist where the duo seem to be acting in different films altogether, and seem to have forgotten entirely that they are supposed to be attracted to one another. When Depp comes up behind the lingerie-clad Jolie, grabs her hair and lays a wet one on her, you half expect her to beat the crap out of him.
Dean Martin's daughter is still searching for the perfect actor to portray the late singer/actor in a new biopic, two years after announcing plans for the project. Deana Martin's memoir, Memories Are Made of This, is set to be turned into a movie, which will be directed by The Godfather: Part III star Joe Mantegna, and she has recruited Jennifer Love Hewitt to play herself in the film - but the singer has yet to find her movie dad.
Martin previously stated in 2012 that Johnny Depp was at the top of her wish list to play the Rat Pack icon on the big screen, but the character's casting is still undecided.
She says, "It has to be the perfect person who can portray all the qualities of my dad. It's a big role to fill and, as of yet, I haven't found that person."
Martin hopes to find the right actor to take on the role so production on the project can begin later this year (14).