The widow of jazz musician Dave Brubeck has died at the age of 90. Iola Brubeck lost her battle with cancer on 12 March (14) in Wilton, Connecticut, according to to the New York Times.
She was considered the driving force behind her husband's fame after she encouraged him to perform on college campuses in the 1950s.
Iola, who served as her husband's manager, booker and publicist, also frequently collaborated with him and in the early 1960s they developed a jazz musical, The Real Ambassadors, which had a soundtrack featuring Louis Armstrong, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, and Carmen McRae.
Dave Brubeck passed away in December, 2012.
The news broke Sunday in New York newspapers and on Time Warner Cable's New York 1 channel that film critic/columnist/actor Rex Reed was arrested Saturday for allegedly shoplifting three compact discs. National coverage of the alleged crime continued Monday in such publications as USA Today.
Reed was apprehended by security officers at a Tower Records store near his apartment for allegedly tucking CDs by Mel Torme, Peggy Lee and Carmen McRae into his jacket without, as authorities maintain, paying for them.
Sources suggest Reed, who currently writes an entertainment column for The New York Observer, could have sustained the financial hit of paying for the items. He lives at the Dakota, one of Manhattan's most expensive and exclusive apartment buildings (John Lennon was shot there); owns a spread in an elite corner of rural Connecticut; and, as a single man-about-town, is free of such asset-drainers as wives, mistresses, kids and pampered pets.
Also, say sources, there are all the free movies, books, theater tickets, meals, vacations (name your festival!), and, yes, CDs that are the rightful booty of any writer who covers books, celebs, restaurants, theater, movies, concerts, cabaret, etc. (Reed's beat has been most of these.) Reed may even get free insurance, depending upon what his appearances in films like "Myra Breckinridge" and "Superman" guarantee him in terms of Screen Actors Guild benefits.
Yet not everyone in New York jumped with glee at news of Reed's arrest. Take Shulabeth Ezrailson (Brandeis '69), for instance, whose message board postings and e-mails have been coursing through the Web since the weekend and whose hand-outs have already papered lower Broadway and the New York University and Columbia University campuses.
"How can an entire nation jump to the conclusion that the pigs got it right and Reed got it wrong?" an outraged Shulabeth told Buzz/Saw, as she referred to allegations made by Tower Records security guards and arresting officers. The longtime activist (she headed the Patty Hearst Bail Fund) says she will be leading demonstrators on March 14 outside the downtown courtroom where Reed will have his hearing.
Shulabeth's ravings on behalf of Reed have also apparently elicited an important witness who is scheduled to appear at the March 14 hearing on Reed's behalf. Explains Shulabeth: "This individual will be testifying under oath that he has gone shopping with Reed and has seen him hand over cold hard cash for designer underwear."
Shulabeth may not be real but her ardor is, as is her historical perspective. "The 19th century had Dreyfus, the 20th century had Patty Hearst," she cries. "We're now in the 21st century where no one -- not even Rex Reed -- can get enough!"
In spite of her fervor, Shulabeth's motives may not be as pure as her political protestations and commitment suggest. Buzz/Saw has learned that she is currently shopping life rights to her story, including her efforts on behalf of Reed and her just-launched Rex Reed Defense Fund.
STEAM HEAT: Writer/director Ben Younger's feature debut "Boiler Room," opening Friday, is a terrifically impressive and entertaining film that should knock the socks off critics and bring filmgoers into theaters in droves.
Yes, the film -- a kind of "Wall Street"-lite but with the hip, frenetic pizazz and slickness of "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" -- has its antecedents (Variety's guy predicted "Boiler Room" will be "dismissed by serious critics as derivative"). But the story about twentysomething recruits sucked in by greed into the high-pressure, low-life, and corrupt world of illegal stock brokering is gripping, as are the unforgettable performances from Giovanni Ribisi, Nicky Katt, Ron Rifkin, Nia Long, Scott Caan, Vin Diesel and others.
Some critics have suggested "Boiler Room" is the perfect entry in this era of dot-com frenzy and instant millions. Yet there are several films in the works that are pure dot-com plays: D. A. Pennebaker's "startup.com," a documentary about a real startup called GovWorks; and Wayne Wang's "Center of the World," which focuses on the sex lives of young guys caught up in the Web.
Pennebaker's film has been in the works for ages as it patiently tracks the not quite blazing-speed birth of a dot-com that is going through rounds of financing and endless meetings. The Wang film, which is now casting, begins shooting next month in digital and may be out, via Artisan Entertainment, later this year.
In the meantime, "Boiler Room" is a best bet for a thrilling look at Young Men Wanting Money.
BART'S BARK: Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart has another book out, "Hollywood May Be Dead...but Who Did It?" but does he dare name the culprits? The problem in so doing is that Variety, like its competitor The Hollywood Reporter, is abetted in its reporting if the Powers That Be are cooperative.
Now with stakes raised as the Reporter prepares to open a New York office, Variety should be playing nicey-nice with the Hollywood higher-ups. But a quick glance at the Bart tome suggests he really takes some important issues by the collar.
For instance, about the "Meet Joe Black" fiasco, he writes: "What were they thinking? Here's a movie with a premise that works, provided you don't have time to think about it. That's the rub: You have precisely three hours and one second to think about it," a fact Bart finds all the more ironic since the film was a remake of the merely 78-minute "Death Takes a Holiday."
Bart blasts such filmmaking indulgences, fueled by the unprecedented success of the very lengthy "Titanic," and shows how the studios -- now turned into monstrous multinational corporations -- have lost their touch. Yes, "Hollywood May Be Dead..." is more recycled Bart columns from GQ but he knows his stuff and, occasionally, takes some brave and deserved swipes.
But the really nifty swiping to watch may happen in the near future when Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Kurt Andersen's Powerful Media all converge on the same turf as they cover and try to outdo one another in the wonderful, wacky world of entertainment business reporting. Toss in the dizzying developments of programming delivered on the Web or that elusive thing called the television and it may be more than Hollywood that's dead.
As the under-18 female world continues to mourn the loss of bachelorhood for Backstreet Boys (and cousins) Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell, we've hunted down who we think are their blond, lucky fiancées, or as Backstreet fans know them, The Witches Who Stole Our Future Husbands.
Richardson and Willits Richardson, 28, is engaged to Kristin Willits, a dancer for Cher, says USA Today. The two met in a Disney World cafeteria when Richardson was working as a Ninja Turtle and have been dating off and on for seven years.
As for 24-year-old Littrell, we say his betrothed is longtime girlfriend Leighanne Wallace, a budding actress whose credits include "Wild America," "My Fellow Americans" and two Backstreet videos. She has a few Web sites of her own out there (whether they're hateful or supportive sites is another story). She's 30, which already puts her two decades ahead of most Backstreet fans and as far as they're concerned, dangerously close to Michael Douglas cradle-robbing territory.
Spurned fans, meanwhile, are pouring their hearts out on chat boards across the world, some slamming the Backstreet fiancées as "Yoko Onos" (how do prepubescents even know that reference?) and warning that the group "probably won't be number one or number two on [MTV's 'Total Request Live'] I'll tell you that." Others, who say they have met Wallace, call her everything from "really sweet" to "trash." On MTV Online, another fan wrote: "Now they're just throwing us away like a piece of trash."
Leighanne Wallace But others, bless their hearts, take comfort in knowing the other three Boys -- young blond heartthrob Nick Carter, tattooed, follicularly challenged A.J. McLean and bearded, ponytailed Howie Dorough -- are still single, and their Meaty Cheesy-inspiring music lives on. But one fan dared to speculate, "With all this negativity looming around with those who are obviously fair-weather fans, I wonder what will happen when ANY of the guys from 'N Sync become engaged."
Okay, now that's not funny.
THE BIRTH ACCORDING TO TRAVOLTA: John Travolta's about to become a father again, and reveals that he and wife Kelly Preston plan to introduce the unborn child to Scientology right out of the womb. According to "Entertainment Tonight" and the New York Daily News, Travolta, 45, says Preston, who is eight months along, will have a "quiet birth."
"We do the traditional French Lamaze, but in Dianetics [the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard], you try and keep the delivery room quiet so there's nothing recorded in the child's mind that shouldn't be there while there's pain going on," Travolta explains.
It's not completely quiet, though. Preston, 37, is allowed to moan in pain -- thank goodness -- but "any people saying any kind of negative verbiage may adversely affect the baby later on," says Travolta. Does this mean no discussing around the kid why Travolta agreed to star in "Michael"?
AGE MADE HIM DO IT: Film critic Rex Reed has been working to lift the negative reviews he's gotten since his shoplifting arrest last week. In a column for the Feb. 21 edition of the New York Observer, Reed, 61, claims a "senior moment" caused him to take three CDs from a Manhattan Tower Records store. When he was caught with the compact discs (by Mel Torme, Peggy Lee and Carmen McRae) in his pocket, he offered to pay by credit card, "or the $500 in cash I had in my wallet," but was rejected. "I don't consider myself guilty of anything but careless stupidity," Reed says.
But all is not lost. Reed got a call from Lee's press agent, who said the pop-jazz legend "was so thrilled I wanted one of her CDs enough to put myself through so much hell that she was sending me an entire collection. I hope none of the songs is 'My Funny Valentine.' "
MUSIC BEAT: Carlos Santana, closing in on his likely Grammy sweep on Wednesday, retook the top spot on Billboard's album chart this week. "Supernatural" was followed by: Dr. Dre's "Dr. Dre 2001" and Celine Dion's "All the Way: A Decade of Song," which each moved up one spot. D'Angelo's "Voodoo," which held at No. 1 for two weeks, slipped to No. 4, and Christina Aguilera's self-titled debut stuck to No. 5.
The Top Five singles in the country are as follows: "I Knew I Loved You," Savage Garden; "Thank God I Found You," Mariah Carey featuring Joe and 98 Degrees; "Amazed," Lonestar; "What a Girl Wants," Christina Aguilera; and "Breathe," Faith Hill.
QUICK TAKES: A court has dismissed a bid by the undercover Los Angeles policeman who arrested George Michael in a public restroom in 1998 to sue the British pop star for $10 million on the grounds of emotional distress. Marcelo Rodriguez claimed emotional and mental distress and slander after Michael released the music video for "Outside" shortly after his arrest. The video was shot partly in a lavatory and features two policemen kissing. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge dismissed the case on Monday, saying Rodriguez was a public official and could not under law recover damages for alleged emotional distress ...
... "As the World Turns" star Michael Park, who plays Jack Snyder, and wife Laurie welcomed 7-pound daughter Kathleen Rose into the world Monday in New York ...
... Universal Studios president Ron Meyer threw an engagement/baby party for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones last weekend, according to the New York Daily News. Sean Connery and Danny DeVito were among those in attendance ....
... So Leo and Brad won't be there, but you can always count on Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator himself has been tapped as a presenter for the 72nd Annual Academy Awards. Same goes for "Austin Powers" groovester Mike Myers. Look for both dudes at the big show, happening March 26 at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium.
... After playing God (literally) in "Dogma," rocker Alanis Morissette will make her Broadway debut in "The Vagina Monologues" March 21-April 2 at Los Angeles' Westside Theater, says Variety. Morissette filled in for Calista Flockhart Wednesday night in Los Angeles for a V-Day 2000 benefit performance.
'Tis Valentine's Day, for loved ones to unite and lovelorn to show spite. In observance of this occasion, we find Tinseltown's love/no-love meter has been cranked up a notch.
Former bad-boy Christian Slater got married over the weekend to former television producer Ryan Haddon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. The ceremony Saturday night was attended by 150 guests, according to his publicist, and officiated by author Neale Donald Walsch. The vows were taken from Walsch's book ``Conversations with God, Book 3.''
Slater, 30, was once as notorious for his bad behavior as he was for his wicked eyebrows. After squiring actresses (and co-stars) Winona Ryder, Samantha Mathis and Patricia Arquette as well as Christina Applegate and supermodel Christy Turlington, he was sued for palimony by longtime girlfriend Nina Huang after their 1995 split. He was later arrested for allegedly beating then-galpal Michelle Jonas and a police officer during a drug and alcohol-fueled brawl and spent three months in jail.
But that's all in the past; Slater's a family man now. He and Haddon, 28, have a 10-month-old son, Jaden Christopher, who will accompany his parents on their Hawaiian honeymoon.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: David Bowie and wife Iman have announced that they're expecting their first child in August.
Says the once-androgynous rocker, "It's been a long and patient wait for our baby, but both Iman and I wanted the circumstances to be absolutely right, and didn't want to find ourselves working flat out during the first couple years of the baby's life," Bowie, 53, said in a statement.
He and 44-year-old Iman, the Somali-born supermodel, were married in 1992. They have one child each from previous marriages.
Meanwhile, Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher suffered a crib-death scare over the weekend when 18-day-old daughter Anais suddenly turned blue and stopped breathing for about 30 seconds, reports London's Mirror. The musician phoned paramedics and passed instructions to his mother-in-law, who lay the baby on her back to clear the airways. The hospital gave Noel and the baby's mother, Meg Mathews, a breathing monitor in case the problem recurs.
COUPLINGS AND UNCOUPLINGS: London is also the setting for an engagement between Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay and Brit TV star Denise Van Outen, according to the Sun tabloid. The paper reports that Kay (real name Jason Kay) proposed with a $15,990 engagement ring after popping the question over dinner at his home.
Across the ocean, all was not well on the Dominican Republic front, where singer-actress Diana Ross and husband Arne Naess formally divorced Friday. The nation, which is the place for quickie divorces as long as one of the spouses is present, granted the split to the couple, who were married in 1986 and separated in April. The former Supreme, 55, and Naess, 61, have two children; Ross also has three daughters from previous relationships.
But in New York, a happy marriage took place for, well, Sigourney Weaver's dog. The actress' pooch exchanged collars with a "studly" Italian greyhound, which she calls "the Mel Gibson of Italian greyhounds," in a pre-mating marriage ceremony (or "muttrimony") at an Upper East Side pet boutique, according to the New York Post. No word on the prenup agreement.
QUICK TAKES: Film critic Rex Reed was arrested Saturday after he was allegedly caught shoplifting three CDs from a Tower Records store. The New York Observer columnist, 61, was seen removing albums by Mel Torme, Peggy Lee and Carmen McRae and putting them in his jacket pocket. Security officials stopped him, and he was charged with larceny and criminal possession of stolen property ...
... Miramax Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein emerged last week at a party for the New York Post's Page Six after months of rumors about the illness that kept him away from Sundance and the Golden Globes. The company spokesman maintains that Weinstein, 47, suffered a bacterial infection and is now back in the swing of things -- minus 40 pounds and wearing a nicotine patch to keep him away from those cigarettes.
... Leonardo DiCaprio is supporting Al Gore for president, according to an interview in the new Time magazine. The star of "The Beach" says he's on the verge of joining his campaign and almost took the stage during the New Hampshire primary to cheer on the White House hopeful. "I was going to just stand onstage and look hardcore," Leo tells Time. But likely he knew that would elicit fainting spells from the campaigner's daughters.
YOUNG AND RESTLESS: We'd like to take this time and promote some starlets who, despite their fame, looks and Internet downloads, are in the mood for love this Valentine's Day.
Perennially chirpy Jennifer Love Hewitt says, "I'm afraid that I'll never get married because I'm a hopeless romantic." She's currently seeing a musician she won't name, but as the 20-year-old recently revealed at a magazine luncheon in New York, "I'm going to end up alone when I'm 95, sitting home surrounded by 19 cats."
And teen pop queen Britney Spears, who has exchanged e-mails with Prince William, has confided her Valentine's Day wish to TV Guide Online: "My dream is to make a movie and to have a love scene with Ben Affleck. He is so real and so warm."
But if Ben's not available, she'd still like to date someone in show business. "Of course, if I met somebody at McDonald's and I fell in love with him, I'd have to go with my heart. But it would help being in the same industry, because you know what that person is going through, scheduling-wise," Spears, 18, says.
So basically, if you're a celebrity or a McDonald's cashier, you have a shot.