Musical theatre composer Mary Rodgers has died, aged 83. The daughter of Broadway icon Richard Rodgers passed away on 26 June (14), according to Playbill.com.
Rodgers grew up with her father's enormous success in the theatre, and she wrote the music to Once Upon a Mattress, the musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson tale The Princess and the Pea, in her 20s.
The production, which debuted in 1959, gave lead actress Carol Burnett her big break and her first Tony Award nomination.
Once Upon a Mattress closed less than a year after opening, but found success with a TV special in 1964 and 1972, both starring Burnett, as well as a Broadway revival in 1996 starring Sarah Jessica Parker.
Rodgers also composed the music to such shows as A to Z, Hot Spot, and Working.
She later became a children's book author, and wrote A Billion for Boris, Summer Switch, The Rotten Book and Freaky Friday, which was adapted for the big screen in 1976, featuring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster, and again in 1995 and 2003, when it starred Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan.
Rodgers' son with her second husband Henry Guettel, Adam Guettel, is also a musical theatre composer. He earned two Tony Award wins for Best Score and Best Orchestrations for his 2003 musical The Light in the Piazza.
Rodgers is survived by her sister, Linda Rodgers Emory, five children, seven grandchildren and step-grandchildren.
"Mary-Louise Parker, who ended up on The West Wing, left a message on my voicemail saying, 'Hi, this is Mary-Louise Parker. Josh Lyman badly needs to get laid, and I'm the one to do it!' She was in the next episode." Writer Aaron Sorkin on how Mary-Louise Parker landed a part for herself in The West Wing, opposite Bradley Whitford.
Actress Mary-Louise Parker and some of her former Weeds co-stars are reuniting to bake brownies with a lucky fan for charity. The Emmy winner has launched a campaign raffle on fundraising website Omaze.com, and for just $10 (£6), fans will be entered into a contest to win the grand prize of spending a day in Los Angeles with Parker, Kevin Nealon and Hunter Parrish, while baking the decadent dessert and enjoying a best-of-Weeds marathon.
The money raised from the contest will go towards Hope North Uganda, an organisation which helps support the young victims of the African country's civil war.
Parker tells Us Weekly, "The raffle benefits escaped child soldiers in Uganda, a school I'm working with there. It's in a really tenuous place financially and I'm trying to turn it around and give the kids a chance. Kids' whole villages have been wiped out. It's harrowing and heartbreaking. They have been left with nothing and we just want to help. This is their only chance. I want to help kids everywhere."
For fans of the popular series who are hoping to incorporate the much-talked about special ingredient used on Weeds into the brownie batter, Parker jokes, "Whatever helps raise money for the kids, I'm down to do. I'd probably make oxycontin brownies if they asked - whatever! Just kidding."
The contest ends on 20 April (14).
It isn't every comedian that can get away with doing an entire interview on The Tonight Show doing an imitation of someone else. Yet, when Kristen Wiig did exactly that — taking a seat next to buddy Jimmy Fallon dressed like One Direction's Harry Styles during his first week as host — it was completely charming. The same goes for when Wiig pops in on her old Saturday Night Live stomping grounds, as when she showed up in a cold open this season reprising her highly inappropriate, small-handed Dooneese character during a parody of NBC's The Sound of Music.
Quite simply, the Bridesmaids star makes every TV show that she comes in contact with better just by her presence, so why should that be limited to just late night? There are plenty of primetime offerings that could use some of Wiig's charm.
Parks and RecreationFellow SNL alum Amy Poehler's show has a strong history of funny guest stars (Louis CK, Parker Posey, Megan Mullally) so the writers would know what to do with Wiig. With Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones having departed, there's also plenty of available screen time. Even if it's just for a single episode, the show could use the boost. We've already met two of Nick Offerman's ex-wives both named Tammy (same as his domineering mother). What could it hurt to have a just as crazy Tammy III?
Downtown AbbeyWiig was just in Will Ferrell's period piece parody miniseries The Spoils of Babylon on IFC, so she should be good with the costumes. Elizabeth McGovern's Cora Crawley is from the States… she has to have a cousin someplace, right? Wiig is just the person to turn up as an ugly American full of dating advice and some "just get over it already" tips for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery).
The Vampire DiariesWe get it… hot vampires. After five seasons of watching pretty people fall in and out of love, biting each other's necks just isn't enough anymore. Let's say that Paul Wesley's Salvatore has an undead aunt that wants to pal around with Nina Dobrev's Elena… or Katherine or Amara or whatever other doppelgangers she has. Wiig seems perfectly capable of turning from funny to scary in a heartbeat… or, you know, whatever vampires have.
Game of ThronesWiig's pal Ferrell had a spoof on his Funny or Die website that turned GoT into a reality show. The producers of HBO's smash probably wouldn't want to go full-on comedy, but we could see Wiig doing a guest turn as a woman that befriends Peter Dinklage's Tyrion, only to be killed in some horribly graphic way just as he's starting to feel a little bit better about life.
The BlacklistNBC has a hit in the freshman James Spader thriller, but the struggling Peacock network can't afford to take any chances. It's always far better to keep the audience entertained while they're still watching a show than to have to lure them back later after they're already watching whatever's on CBS at the time. The show hasn't done much in the way of name guest stars so far, but Isabella Rossellini did make an appearance so it's not like they're completely averse to it. Maybe the next name on Spader's list could be a woman who controls foreign leaders from behind the scenes using her looks and charm… and maybe, just maybe, she has really, really tiny hands.
Former Weeds star Mary Louise Parker his heading back to the small screen in a new TV comedy titled Feed Me for America's NBC Network. Parker will play a woman who serves as an accountant for her family-run restaurant. This will mark the Emmy winner's first TV gig since ending her eight-season run on Weeds in 2012.
This year, BET's Being Mary Jane totally nailed it: creator Mara Brock Akil had the number one original series debut on cable for the 2013-14 television season. Five million viewers tuned into the season premiere, and with good reason. The protagonist, Mary Jane Parker (played by Gabrielle Union) is fascinating and complex, the love triangles (and quadrangles... or squares... or trapezoids) are intense, and the music offers a fantastic soundtrack for all of that drama. But we're here to celebrate the one extra-special reason folks are tuning in: the crazy-hot sex scenes that just won't quit. Mary Jane has had a quite a busy season thus far, and we've all been enjoying it immensely. So join us as we reminisce about some of the unforgettably steamy NSFW moments from Being Mary Jane.
The Only Shower Scene That Matters
From this point on, we shall no longer think of Norman Bates dressed up as his mama and wielding a knife when someone makes reference to a shower scene. Now, the only shower scene that matters is this one, in which Mary Jane runs into the one guy she'd been avoiding at the gym promises to place you firmly on Team Andre. Firmly. Until...
That Awkward Moment When You Find Yourself on #TeamAvery
For the most part, viewers are rooting for Union's character to make it work with Omari Hardwick's Andre, mainly because... well... did you see the shower scene? Those two are hot! But in a recent episode, Andre got into a heated argument with his wife, which resulted in some insanely steamy make-up loving. Although the Avery/Andre reunion didn't last very long, it was an unforgettable scene and for a moment, a few of us found ourselves on Team Avery.
David's First Hello
If you're not watching the show you missed that first episode where — SPOILER ALERT — Mary Jane may or may not have stolen this guy's sperm. But before the stolen babymakers comes the love-makin', and when David showed up with a bag of chips and asked if she'd be "down for some consensual sex," the two of them were actually pretty good together. It also helps that Union's body is the definition of flawless, so pretty much every scene where she's rocking a t-shirt and panties (because it's all about the t-shirt and panties) is hot.
Self Love Is The Best Love
We're not gonna lie. That scene? Where Mary Jane — how do you put this delicately? — provided herself with self love? At work?! Kind of a big deal. She opened up about preparing for the experience in a recent interview. Not only was the scene hot, but it was both humorous and progressive, and sort of made us feel like there should be more women masturbating on television. Ya know. For feminism.
So now you're feeling some combination of completely entertained and shamefully dirty. Watch Being Mary Jane to keep that feeling going.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson celebrated the life of his close friend and collaborator Philip Seymour Hoffman by delivering a touching eulogy at the actor's funeral in New York on Friday (07Feb14). The filmmaker cast the tragic actor in three of his films - Boogie Nights, Magnolia and The Master - and he helped to pay tribute to his late pal at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola service by sharing his favourite memories, many of which prompted warm laughter from mourners including Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and The Master co-stars Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix.
The Wire star John Doman, who was among the 400 guests at the memorial, tells NBC News, "It was sad, it was celebratory, it was emotional, it was inspirational, it was terrific."
Playwright Jose Rivera, who worked with Hoffman at the Off Broadway Labyrinth Theater Company, tells the Wall Street Journal, "It was quite beautiful. He (Anderson) just had a lot of very personal and lovely memories of Phil. And he made us all laugh; he quoted Phil extensively and we could kind of hear his voice in the room."
After the 90-minute service, Hoffman's coffin was carried out by six pallbearers as his longtime girlfriend, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three young children looked on from the top of the church's steps.
Other stars in attendance at the funeral included Michelle Williams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Ellen Burstyn, John Slattery, Mary Louise Parker, Jerry Stiller, Marisa Tomei and Spike Lee.
A larger, public memorial for Hoffman, who died from a suspected drug overdose on Sunday (02Feb14), is expected to be held later this month (Feb14).
Actors Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Amy Adams, Julianne Moore and Joaquin Phoenix are among the mourners who gathered in New York on Friday (07Feb14) to attend the private funeral of tragic actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Other celebrity friends and admirers, including Michelle Williams, Ethan Hawke, Ellen Burstyn, John Slattery, Mary Louise Parker, Jerry Stiller, Marisa Tomei and Spike Lee, were also spotted arriving at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan's Upper East Side to pay their respects and say farewell to the Oscar winner, who died from a suspected heroin overdose on Sunday (02Feb14).
An estimated 400 guests joined Hoffman's longtime girlfriend, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three young children for the service, which took place a day after friends, family and former co-stars remembered the 46 year old at a wake at the nearby Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home.
The church where the funeral is currently taking place is the same venue where R&B star Aaliyah and former U.S. First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis' memorial services were held.
The actor's family has asked for charity donations in lieu of flowers for The DreamYard Project and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation - Hoffman's favourite causes.
A larger, public memorial is expected to be held later this month (Feb14).
"It was written by Adam Duritz and Ryan Adams. I know them, I love the song. It doesn't get a lot of airplay though. Adam told me he started writing it the night after I won a Tony, and then Ryan came over. They're two of my favourite singers and good friends, both of them." Actress Mary Louise Parker confirms Counting Crows' Butterfly in Reverse was written about her.
Sound Of Music stars Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews have paid tribute to their co-star Eleanor Parker, who died on Monday (09Dec13). The 91 year old, who played The Baroness in the beloved 1965 movie musical, passed away at a medical centre near her home in Palm Springs, California, and Andrews has spoken of her fondness for the veteran actress while promoting new film Saving Mr. Banks, which chronicles the story behind her Disney movie Mary Poppins.
She says, "Eleanor was a charming, elegant and beautiful lady. It was an honour to know her and a pleasure to work with her. She was beloved by all who knew her and will be remembered as one of the legends of Hollywood."
Meanwhile, Plummer, who romanced her character in Sound of Music has released a statement, which reads: "Eleanor Parker was and is one of the most beautiful ladies I have ever known.
"I hardly believe the sad news for I was sure she was enchanted and would live forever."