Former Happy Days star Don Most is set to become one of the big attractions at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah this year (15) - the flame-haired actor will stage An Evening With Don Most: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin & Dean Martin at the Filmmaker's Lounge in Park City on Friday (23Jan15). Sundance begins on Thursday (22Jan15).
Veteran actress Anita Ekberg has died, aged 83. Ekberg passed away on Sunday (11Jan15) at a hospital in Rome following a series of illnesses, which left her wheelchair-bound. The cause of death was not disclosed as WENN went to press.
The Swedish-born actress is best known for her role as Sylvia in Federico Fellini's classic film La Dolce Vita, appearing in one of the movie's most iconic scenes, wading through Rome's Trevi Fountain in a strapless dress.
She appeared in numerous Hollywood films including War and Peace with Audrey Hepburn and 4 for Texas with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, and was even considered to play the first Bond girl in Dr. No, but lost the role to Ursula Andress.
Ekberg was also known for her string of relationships with Hollywood's leading men and was linked to stars including Errol Flynn, Yul Brynner and Sinatra.
A Tony Award and a Golden Globe trophy Al Pacino picked up early in his career are heading to the auction block. The Godfather star earned his first Tony in 1969 after he was named Best Supporting Actor in a Play for his role in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and he added to his trophy case in 1974, when he claimed the Globe for Best Leading Actor in a Drama Film for Serpico.
He gifted the two prizes to his manager mentor, producer Martin Bregman, who has since handed them over to bosses at Goldin Auctions in New Jersey.
Bidding on the Tony Award starts at $10,000 (£6,250), while the Golden Globe Award is listed for a minimum of $25,000 (£15,625).
The accolades aren't the only Pacino memorabilia up for grabs in the celebrity goods sale - a collection of his old movie scripts, including the original 1973 script for Bank Job, which was later named Dog Day Afternoon, is also featured among the lots, alongside a gold Rolex watch the actor had inscribed for Bregman.
Other items going under the hammer include a sailor costume Frank Sinatra wore in 1945 movie Anchors Aweigh, Dean Martin's military jacket from 1958 film The Young Lions, and a Les Paul guitar purchased by Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page from the Eagles' Joe Walsh in 1969, which has a starting bid of $20,000 (£12,500).
Bidding for the auction will open next week (12Jan15) until 7 February (15).
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!
Goodfellas star Frank Sivero is suing the creators of The Simpsons over allegations they ripped off his onscreen persona. Sivero, who played ill-fated mobster Frankie Carbone in Martin Scorsese's classic 1990 gangster movie, has filed a $250 million (£156 million) lawsuit against Fox Television Studios over The Simpsons' wiseguy character Louie.
He claims the mob henchman, who has appeared in 16 episodes over the years, is based on his portrayal of Carbone, and suggests a group of writers on The Simpsons got the idea while they were living next door to him in California in 1989 while he was preparing for the role.
The legal papers, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, state, "They knew he was developing the character he was to play in the movie Goodfellas. In fact, they were aware the entire character of Frankie Carbone was created and developed by Sivero, who based this character on his own personality... Louie's appearance and mannerisms are strongly evocative of character actor Frank Sivero."
Sivero, who also appeared in The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II, is demanding $250 million in damages as well as legal fees. Earlier this year (14), the actor sued a deli in California for using the character's name on a sandwich.
In Goodfellas, Frankie Carbone is killed off by fellow gangsters and his body is hidden in a frozen meat locker.
Acclaimed musician George M. Roberts has died aged 86. Roberts passed away on Saturday (27Sep14) in Fallbrook, California after suffering complications from pneumonia. He had also been battling multiple sclerosis.
Roberts was known as 'Mr. Bass Trombone' in the music industry, having played on more than 6,000 recordings over his 50-year career.
He was an in-demand session player in Los Angeles from the 1950s through until the 1980s, and he worked with music greats including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald.
Roberts also recorded two solo albums, the second of which, movie composer John Williams served as the arranger and pianist.
Williams went on to hire Roberts to play on many of his film scores, including Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Roberts also appeared in the orchestras which recorded themes for U.S. variety programmes including The Rosemary Clooney Show and The Dinah Shore Show, as well as the Academy Awards and President John F. Kennedy's inauguration ceremony in 1961.
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.
Dustin Lance Black has paid tribute to Harvey Milk's speech writer Frank M. Robinson following his death at the age of 87. Robinson passed away on Monday (30Jun14) in San Francisco, California. No further details about his death have been released.
A noted sci-fi novelist and journalist, Robinson is best remembered for penning rousing speeches for Harvey Milk, the first openly gay candidate to be elected into office in the U.S.
The politician's story was told in 2008's Oscar-winning film Milk, starring by Sean Penn, and the movie's screenwriter Black has remembered the man who helped the gay activist speak to the masses.
In a post on his Facebook.com page, he writes, "This morning Frank M. Robinson left this world. He was Milk's speech writer, an acclaimed sci-fi author and was like a father to me. To say the earth feels made of quicksand lately makes it sound too solid. Frank, I'll miss your thunderous laughter, your protective love and your razor sharp writer's mind."
His death comes just weeks after Black lost his mother.
Robinson, who made a cameo appearance in the movie, will also be remembered for his books The Power, which was transformed for the big screen in 1968, and The Glass Inferno, which was combined with Richard Martin Stern's The Tower and adapted into 1974's The Towering Inferno starring Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.
Judges at the U.S. Supreme Court have granted late screenwriter Frank Petrella's daughter permission to proceed with her copyright infringement lawsuit over classic Martin Scorsese movie Raging Bull. Paula Petrella has been locked in a legal dispute with executives at MGM Holdings Inc. since the late 1990s, amid claims they illegally based the 1980 Robert De Niro picture on a copyrighted script her dad had written in 1963, but she didn't file suit until 2009, demanding royalties from the continued commercial use of the film.
Her case was twice dismissed in court in San Francisco, California, citing her long delay in taking legal action.
She refused to give up the fight and took her case to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., where a panel of judges overturned the previous ruling, allowing Petrella to renew her lawsuit and pursue her claims.
Frank Petrella died in 1981 - the same year that Raging Bull, starring De Niro as real-life boxer Jake LaMotta, won two Oscars.
One of Martin Scorsese's nephews has been arrested on suspicion of dealing heroin. Frank Scorsese, whose father is the Hollywood director's brother, stands accused of selling the drug to an undercover police officer on three separate occasions, according to the New York Post.
The 39 year old, was arrested and charged after the third sale and is now facing counts for criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance.
John and Lori Santillo, who own the mechanics shop where Scorsese works, have also been taken into custody on drugs and weapons charges following a police raid on the couple's Staten Island, New York on Wednesday morning (30Apr14), when cops discovered heroin, five shotguns, two pistols and a rifle.