Drew Barrymore's half-brother has broken his silence about their sister's death on what would have been her 48th birthday. The body of Jessica Barrymore, who shared the same father as Drew, was found slumped behind the wheel of her car in National City, California on Tuesday (29Jul14).
Pills were reportedly discovered on the passenger seat and a can of energy drink was wedged between her legs.
An autopsy is currently underway, but her brother John feels sure her death was a "drug misadventure".
He tells the New York Daily News that "some empty vodka bottles (and) a couple bags of meth (methamphetamine)" were also found in the vehicle.
He says, "My guess is that it was the booze and pills, like with (tragic actor) Heath Ledger. I seriously doubt she took her own life... She was a kindred spirit. She knew laughing is what saves us all."
Drew Barrymore previously released a statement, in which she wrote, "Although I only met her briefly, I wish her and her loved ones as much peace as possible and I'm so incredibly sorry for their loss."
Her half-brother doesn't blame the actress for keeping her distance from the family, adding, "I don't blame her (Drew) for being terrified of anyone she's related to. Her parents were pretty toxic."
Jessica Barrymore would have turned 48 on Thursday (31Jul14).
"My favourite onscreen kiss was Heath. That was pretty excellent. He was just so beautiful and sweet and gentle. He was lovely. That's a tough one to answer, but an amazing memory." Kate Hudson fondly remembers her The Four Feathers co-star, late actor Heath Ledger.
Hollywood veteran James Garner was killed by a massive heart attack, coroners have ruled. The Rockford Files star passed away at his Los Angeles home on 19 July (14) and now officials have confirmed acute myocardial infarction was the cause of death.
Garner's death certificate, filed in the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Heath on Tuesday (29Jul14) and obtained by editors at TMZ.com, also reveals the 86 year old suffered from coronary artery disease.
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
Do you remember where you were when Batman V Superman was announced? When the first glimpse of Avatar was bestowed upon the world? Probably not, but for the Comic-Con faithful, these moments are gospel. San Diego Comic-Con has become the destination for any geek worth his salt, and a select few moments throughout the convention's history have become legendary to fans across the world. Here are the most memorable moments from Comic-Cons past.
The Batman V Superman announcementRight at the tail end of the 2013 Warner Bros. panel, a Jittery Zack Snyder turned up to announce that he was working on a sequel to Man of Steel. Then, with help from the booming voice of Harry Lennix and a choice excerpt from Frank Miller's classic Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns, Warner Bros. dropped a bomb on Hall H with the announcement of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was then untitled). When the logo blazed on screen with all its glory, SDCC 2013 had hit its definitive peak.
Michael Keaton earns the cowlEveryone remembers the ballyhoo made about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, but comic book fans had been complaining about casting long before then. All the way back at Comic-Con 1988, the fervor about the new Batman movie was high; many fans didn't think Michael Keaton could pull off the Caped Crusader. But most of these detractors quieted down when the original creator of Batman, Bob Kane himself, stopped by the Con and gave the actor and Tim Burton's production his blessing via a set visit. He also showed up with a ton of set photos and production designs to ensure fans that his creation was in good hands.
Twilight comes to Comic-ConFor nearly 40 years, Comic-Con had been a place for more male-focused geekery. But in 2008, the playing field was leveled when the Twilight saga was given a panel in the hallowed nerd pantheon that is Hall H. This of course brought droves of Twilight fans to the convention center, who of course butted heads with seasoned veterans of the Con who though the new visitors didn't belong. But Twilight's domination of that year's festivities were undeniable. The vamps were here to stay.
The Avatar preview screeningIf there's one thing to learn from Comic-Con, it's that you shouldn't always buy into the hype. Hyperbole flows through San Diego like a river, and people will champion anything and everything as a gamechanger. But the hype around the preview screening of Avatar at 2009's convention was so massive, it was hard not to believe. The preview of James Cameron's spectacle-laden adventure left many Con-goers slack-jawed with awe.
The Avengers assemble in Hall HJoss Whedon has long been a popular face at comic-con, but he might as well have been coronated as king when he brought every member of The Avengers on stage for the first time in 2010. It was a moment that Marvel studios had been steadily building up to for years, but seeing all of those heroes (albiet in street clothes) in one place at the same time was magical.
The Iron Man trailer premiereUnsuspecting fans at the first ever Iron Man panel were greeted with a surprise visit from Jon Favreau, and an even bigger surprise: the first look at a new trailer for Iron Man. The trailer was only a few seconds long, showing Iron Man shooting through the sky, but it was enough to send the hype for the upcoming film skyrocketing. It was surefire proof that Marvel was doing right by all these heroes.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World wows the crowdIn a rare treat, fans at the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World panel were treated to a screening of the film. Edgar Wright's dazzling comic book adaptation won heaps of praise from attendees, and Hollywood's relationship with the convention was riding high. Unfortunately, the studios soon found out the convention hype doesn't always equal ticket sales, and the film fizzled out of the box-office without recouping it's budget.
Karen Gillan goes baldMaybe it was just a really convincing wig, maybe we just couldn't wrap our heads around those deep red locks being fake, or maybe we just don't usually expect to see people ripping hair off of their heads at Comic-Con. But at the panel for Guardians of the Galaxy, after being confronted by host Chris Hardwick with accusations that her character in the upcoming space opera is bald in the comics, the actor unleashed her buzzed head to the world, and everyone lost their minds.
The former child star who played Mel Gibson's daughter in The Patriot has died at the age of 21. Skye McCole Bartusiak died at her home in Texas on Friday (18Jul14).
Bartusiak also appeared alongside Charlize Theron and Tobey Maguire in The Cider House Rules and in Don’t Say a Word, opposite Michael Douglas. She also featured in hit TV shows House and Lost.
She becomes the second member of Gibson's The Patriot family to die young - her movie brother Heath ledger passed away following a prescription drug overdose in 2008.
Touchstone Pictures via Everett Collection
Summer: it's a time to relax, soak up the sun, eat mountains of ice cream and tackle the massive pile of books you've been meaning to read. Whether you need to make your way through hundreds of pages of classic literature before school starts up again or you've just been putting off the heavier tomes on your shelf until you have some more free time, reading the classics can sometimes be a slog in the summer. But it's a task well worth undertaking, and not just because it's good to broaden your literary horizons. Many of your favorite films are actually twists on well-worn tales. Sure, they're enjoyable on their own, but the only way to really pick up on the humor of Jane Austen or the references to Shakespeare in a suburban high school rom com is to read the books first. We've rounded up the best movies that become even better, funnier and more charming after you've read the works their based on. Consider it a well-earned reward for a book well read.
10 Things I Hate About YouBased On: The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare.Most Drastic Change: Aside from the high school setting, he plot was simplified to reduce the amount of characters and false identities. For example, Joey Donner was originally two characters, Gremio and Hortensio. Best Reference to the Source: After Kat almost hits Michael with a car, he calls her a “shrew”; Michael also quotes Shakespearean sonnets several times throughout the film, and Cameron quotes the play itself (“I burn; I pine; I perish”). And there's that one girl who is oddly in love with "William."You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: Almost every name in the film is a reference to something else. Padua High School refers to Padua being the location of the play, and Patrick’s last name, Verona, is where Petruchio is originally from. Kat and Bianca’s last name – Stratford – is a reference to Shakespeare’s hometown.
Clueless Based On: Emma by Jane Austen Most Drastic Change: Updating the film to be about ‘90s Valley girls; none of the character’s names are similar to Austen’s characters.Best Reference to the Source: The wedding fake-out at the end of the film. Since Austen wrote a great deal about the marriage plot, all of her novels end with the heroine getting married. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: While most of the characters have Austenian equivalents, Dionne is an original character, although it could be argued that she represents Ms. Weston. Also, Amy Heckerling cut out the character of Jane Fairfax completely. She is the main obstacle to Emma and Frank Churchill’s relationship; his Clueless doppelganger, Christian, is gay instead.
Bridget Jones’ Diary Based On: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Most Drastic Change: Instead of the large family that Elizabeth Bennet has in the book, Bridget is an only child, and has a large group of friends to give her advice, all of whom vaguely resemble her sisters. Best Reference to the Source: Casting Colin Firth as Mark Darcy. Author Helen Fielding has said that she based the character (both in name and looks) on his portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC miniseries. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: Instead of Darcy making two proposals, he only makes one; Bridget’s speech when she finds out that he is moving is a reflection of his second confession of love.
She’s the Man Based On: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Most Drastic Change: In the play, Viola just pretends to be a man, and calls herself Cesario, rather than specifically impersonating her brother Sebastian. Best Reference to the Source: The character of Malcolm, who is based on the character of Malvolio, has a pet tarantula named Malvolio. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Books: Like 10 Things I Hate About You, all of the names are either adapted from those of the characters - Duke Orsino is the modern-day equivalent of Orsino, who is a duke, and the restaurant they frequent is called Cesario – or the locations – the school’s name Illyria, is where the play takes place.
Screen Gems via Everett Collection
Easy A Based On: The Scarlett Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne Most Drastic Change: In the book, Hester is ostracized for cheating on her husband with a priest; she got pregnant during the affair. In the film, Olive only pretends to sleep with people. Best Reference to the Source: The foreign film that Olive goes to see, courtesy of one of her fake hookups, is called Der Scharlachrote Buchstabe, which translates to The Scarlett Letter.You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: The film is up-front about many of its similarities to Hawthorne’s book, as Olive is studying it in class. Though Olive doesn’t have an affair with anyone, Hester and Arthur Dimmsdale’s relationship is paralleled in the affair that Mrs. Griffith has with Micah.
ScroogedBased On: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Most Drastic Change: At the end of the film, Frank reunites with his love, Claire. However, in the book, too much time has passed for him to reconcile with Belle, and so he is instead content with becoming part of the Cratchitt family. Best Reference to the Original: In addition to Frank Cross joking about “scaring the Dickens out of people,” one of the TV shows he produces is called “Scrooge,” which was an alternate title that Dickens published the story under. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: The Bob Cratchitt part is played by two different characters: Frank’s overworked assistant Grace Cooley and the much-abused yes-man Eliot Loudermilk.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? Based On: Homer’s The Odyssey Most Drastic Change: Instead of journeying home after a great war, Ulysses has escaped from a prison chain gang. Best Reference to the Source: The film is filled with references to the epic, but the cleverest is the repeated use of the song “Man of Constant Sorrow,” as the name Odysseus (the Greek equivalent of Ulysses) means “man who is in constant pain and sorrow.” You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: In order to win Penelope’s hand in marriage, all the suitors must string Odysseus’ bow and shoot an arrow through a dozen axe heads, but only Odysseus is strong enough to string the bow. In the film, Ulysseus also strings a bow in order to prove that he is who he says he is, and not an imposter.
Ruby Sparks Based On: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw.Most Drastic Change: In the play, Higgins “makes” Eliza by transforming her from a flower girl into a lady, but in the film, Calvin physically creates Ruby, as she is a product of his imagination.Best Reference to the Source: At the end, Ruby becomes her own person, and leaves Calvin behind to do what she wants and become who she wants, which reflects the controversial ending of the play, in which Eliza leaves Henry behind in order to marry Freddy, even though Henry disapproves. The ending of Shaw's play was very controversial when it was first performed, but it was important to him that Eliza doesn't marry Henry. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: Calvin’s brother, Harry, repeatedly warns him to be careful with what he’s doing, and not to disregard Ruby’s emotions, just like how Henry’s friend, Colonel Pickering, constantly warns Henry to be kind to Eliza and to treat her like a real person, rather than an experiment.
Heath Ledger's father has expressed his sadness after the actor who received his son's scholarship fund was arrested on suspicion of drug possession. Rising star Ryan Corr, who appears in Russell Crowe's upcoming movie The Water Diviner, is facing a drug possession charge after police officers in Sydney, Australia allegedly caught him smoking heroin.
He was given a huge career boost in 2011 when he was named the recipient of the Heath Ledger Scholarship Award, which is named in honour of the late Australian actor and funded by famous benefactors including the star's former partner Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.
Ledger's father Kim, who is a patron of his son's scholarship fund, has now spoken of his disappointment following news of Corr's arrest.
He says, "It does make me sad to hear that because we have enough problems with alcohol and drugs... I have some empathy for what happens around that situation with families but very little empathy for people that put it in their own mouth. We do what we can to help people but we're not involved in the proactive side of it."
Ledger was just 28 years old when he died from an accidental prescription drug overdose in 2008. Previous winners of the scholarship include Dark Shadows star Bella Heathcote and James Mackay.
Rising Australian actor Ryan Corr is facing a drug charge after he was allegedly caught smoking heroin. Corr, who stars in Russell Crowe's upcoming directorial debut The Water Diviner, was allegedly caught puffing on the substance by police officers in the Bondi Beach area of Sydney on 27 May (14). The cops also allegedly found a bag of heroin powder in his possession.
The Wolf Creek 2 star, who was charged with possessing a prohibited drug, did not attend his first court appearance at Waverley Crown Court in the city on Tuesday (08Jul14) because he was filming a TV series in the U.K. His solicitor appeared on his behalf.
Corr, the winner of the 2011 Heath Ledger Scholarship Award, is scheduled to appear in court on 2 September (14).
Singer Adam Levine has denied sleeping with Lindsay Lohan despite his name appearing on the leaked list of her former celebrity lovers.
The Maroon 5 frontman was just one of 36 male stars on the scandalous handwritten list which was posted online by a U.S. tabloid in March (14). Lohan later confirmed she wrote the list as part of her rehab treatment last year (13), but like James Franco, who also dismissed rumours he was sexually involved with the Mean Girls star, Levine tells shock jock Howard Stern he never slept with Lohan.
Levine insists, "That's not true. I did not have sexual intercourse with Lindsay Lohan. I will swear on anything that you ask that I have never had sex with Lindsay Lohan! "Here's the problem: I bet you if we brought her in here and you asked her to her face 'Did you have sex with James (Franco)?' she'd say yes."
In addition to Levine and Franco, other celebrities on Lohan's list included Ashton Kutcher, Heath Ledger, Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron, Colin Farrell and Wilmer Valderrama, who she dated for six months in 2004.
A 25-year-old rising actor from Heath Ledger's home state in Australia has been awarded a scholarship set up in the late actor's memory. Cody Fern was named the winner of the 2014 Heath Ledger Scholarship Award in a special dinner in Los Angeles hosted by performer Tim Minchin on Thursday night (12Jun14).
The actor will receive a $20,000 (£12,500) prize and two years of classes at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre in L.A.
Fern hails from Southern Cross, Western Australia, the same state as Ledger's native Perth.
He beat out competition from Home and Away star Axle Whitehead and Charlotte Best.
Fern tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I've always had plans to come to Los Angeles; now it's a reality and will happen a lot sooner. There's some exciting projects going on, it's looking bright and the award makes it all possible."
The fund was set up by the Australians in Film organisation in Los Angeles in memory of the late Brokeback Mountain actor following his death from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs in 2008.