Late rapper Pimp C's mother has passed away, according to U.S. reports. Weslyn 'Mama Wes' Monroe had been battling a serious illness in a Port Arthur, Texas hospital and reportedly passed away on Sunday (18Aug13).
A statement from Bun B, Pimp C's partner in the rap collective UGK, reads, "Thanks to everyone that has sent prayers and condolences. She was a great woman. Nurtured us from boys to men and made us strong enough to handle this industry.
"She was the one that kept us going when we didn't wanna go anymore. She was the backbone of UGK, the definition of loyalty, the personification of unconditional love and the essence of what being Trill really meant.
"She's finally reunited with her son. God bless you both. RIP Mama Wes. You gave everything to make us Underground Kings."
Pimp C, whose real name was Chad Lamont Butler, passed away in 2007 in Los Angeles from an overdose of promethazine and codeine coupled with a preexisting sleep apnea condition.
Rocker John Mellencamp's teenage son Speck has turned himself in to authorities in Monroe County, Indiana following charges he was involved in an alleged beating. The 18 year old and his 19-year-old brother Hud have been charged with felony battery after allegedly beating up a man who was sitting on his front porch without warning.
The victim, who was left with several facial fractures, claims Speck threw the first punch.
A third man involved in the beatdown, Ty Smith, is the son of Indiana University baseball coach Tracy Smith.
Both Speck and Smith have been released from custody on $5,000 (£3,300) bail, according to TMZ.com. Hud is expected to surrender to authorities on Saturday (17Aug13).
A treasure trove of memorabilia documenting the life of Oscar-winning actress Vivien Leigh has been acquired by the curators of a British museum. Bosses of London's Victoria and Albert Museum have become the new owners of an archive which belonged to the Gone With The Wind star's grandchildren.
The items include letters Leigh sent to her husband Sir Laurence Olivier, and other notes addressed to her from stars including Marilyn Monroe, as well as former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and playwright Tennessee Williams.
The collection also includes the visitors' book from Leigh and Olivier's home in Buckinghamshire, England, signed by Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Orson Welles, Judy Garland and Rex Harrison, and the actress' personal diary which she kept for more than 38 years.
Other items include photographs, film and theatre scripts and numerous awards.
Martin Roth, director of the museum, says, "Vivien Leigh is undoubtedly one of the U.K.'s greatest luminaries of stage and screen and along with Laurence Olivier, remains a true star of her time. We are thrilled to acquire her archive intact in this centenary year of her birth and to be able to make it available to the public for the first time."
Leigh died in 1967 at the age of 53.
Sir Laurence Olivier's stinging criticism of co-stars including Marilyn Monroe, Joan Fontaine and Kirk Douglas has been revealed in tapes he made for the autobiography he never wrote. The acting legend's audio tapes have been uncovered and used to put together a new biography, almost 25 years after his death, with the permission of Olivier's widow, Joan Plowright, and the original interviewer.
The recordings reveal Olivier's true thoughts on his Hollywood peers, including his "hatred" for Monroe, his troubled co-star in 1957 movie The Prince and the Showgirl.
He said of the iconic blonde, "My hatred for her was one of the strongest emotions I have ever felt."
However, he went on to admit he was blown away by her performance onscreen adding, "I was flabbergasted (by) how wonderful Marilyn was."
Olivier went on to brand his Rebecca leading lady Fontaine "loathsome", while he called his Wuthering Heights co-star Merle Oberon "a silly little amateur".
The star also revealed he was deeply irritated by Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster during production on their 1959 film The Devil's Disciple, spitting, "I didn't care to be taught acting by those two."
The book by Philip Ziegler, titled Olivier, is due for release next month (Sep13). The actor died in 1989 at the age of 82.
Burlesque star Dixie Evans has died at the age of 86. The veteran performer, who was known as the 'Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque', passed away at an assisted care facility in Las Vegas on Saturday (03Aug13), just months after she suffered a stroke.
Evans shot to fame in the 1950s and became known for using her act as a tribute to Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe, mimicking the star's iconic look and even recreating scenes from her movies on stage.
However, the show infuriated Monroe who threatened Evans with a lawsuit in a bid to force her to change her act.
Evans' famous fans reportedly included Frank Sinatra, while longstanding rumours suggest Monroe's ex-husband Joe DiMaggio went to see her show in the aftermath of the couple's divorce.
Evans' career entered a downward spiral in 1962 after Monroe's death and she later became an avid collector of burlesque memorabilia, launched a pageant and founded the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Sin City.
She also inspired the career of current burlesque sensation Dita Von Teese, who paid tribute to her idol in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "Sweet & wonderful lady of burlesque, us neo-burlesque dancers owe a lot to you. Rest in peace."
Paul Schrader is truly a man of the cinema. Which is incredible considering that his strict Calvinist upbringing prevented him from even seeing a movie until his late teens. But the screenwriter of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and the director of American Gigolo, Cat People, and Affliction certainly made up for lost time. Fiercely independent, Schrader’s intellectual cinema has become increasingly difficult to fund over the years. After a failed attempt at directing an Exorcist prequel, he needed to turn to Kickstarter to fund his most recent film, The Canyons.
It’s a movie that received a whirlwind of buzz when Schrader cast Lindsay Lohan as its lead. And even more buzz following a New York Times Magazine article last January that painted the microbudget indie’s production as nearly derailed by Lohan’s bad behavior. In reality, Schrader needed Lohan as much as Lohan needed Schrader. We caught up with the director in time for The Canyons’ limited release this weekend.
Hollywood.com: The Canyons reminds me of Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game: everyone agrees adultery is acceptable as long as there is no emotional attachment. I know The Rules of the Game is one of your favorite films. Do you see a connection between the two movies? Paul Schrader: In their underlying plot structure, definitely. Both films create two love triangles and have them share one access point. You have one triangle that forms around Christian (James Deen). Then the triangles overlap and burn each other, a process that is much like that in The Rules of the Game.
HW: There's a sense of modernist alienation in The Canyons that we might have seen fifty years ago in an Antonioni film. But that ennui appears to have changed significantly due to the influence of technology. How would you categorize the alienation we see in the film? PS: I’m a generation away from Bret, and Bret’s a generation away from these characters. My generation said, “Let’s make things better.” Bret’s generation said, “Let’s make some money.” And what does this generation say? I don’t know. It’s very odd because I think it’s probably the first generation without an actual belief that things are going to get better in the future. It’s an epochal change. How old are you?
HW: I’m 27. PS: So your parents and their parents before them believed they would leave the world a better place for you. Do you think that will be the case for your children?
HW: I don’t know. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now. I’d have to say “No” at this point. PS: Yeah, so that kind of doomed zeitgeist informs your whole psychological ecosystem. And that’s what’s happening to the characters in this movie. They’re making movies but they don’t really care about movies. They’ve got money but they don’t seem to care much about that either. So that is what gives the film its modern, contemporary edge. I could not have written about this generation because I don’t know it well enough. But Bret could. He knows the Grindr world.
HW: Working with Bret on this film — you said you were coming from two different generations — was that something to overcome or were you simpatico rather quickly? PS: Yeah, I knew Bret from years ago because he had been a big fan of American Gigolo and it had influenced him. I always knew that if weren’t on the same page we were in the same book, that there would be a deep, interactive collaboration to had there. I would not have done this on my own.
HW: I was so intrigued by your article in Film Comment in which you likened Lindsay Lohan to Marilyn Monroe because of how neither could separate their personal and professional lives, so it’s as if when you watch them that you’re watching life itself. Do you think that Lindsay Lohan is the only person who could have played Tara in your film? PS: No. No, no, no. No. Bret was opposed to Lindsay because he had written a character who, in his mind, was much more submissive and docile. And Lindsay is certainly not that. She’s in your face. Bret didn’t want her because he thought it would taint the DNA of the movie, but in retrospect he thinks she made it better.
HW: Do you still think that her being cast in the movie was the best choice? PS: Oh yes. I mean, we were making this ourselves. So you’re paying an actress $100 a day. And she doesn’t have a trailer, and she has to do her own hair and makeup and figure out transportation. How many people are going to do that? You will need actors who either haven’t had exposure yet or are having trouble getting work. And Lindsay is uninsurable, so we could approach her with this project. You don’t go to established actors and say “Will you work for $100 a day?” We were casting this film online. We didn’t even have a casting director. We were casting it through “Let It Cast.” We had 650 auditions online.
HW: Though there must have been a lot of stress shooting the movie, at least the fact that this was a microbudget allowed you a degree of freedom. PS: If you can’t take a chance with your own money, when the heck can you take a chance? If this had been financed by a studio, I don’t think they would have let me cast Lindsay and James, certainly not Lindsay because they couldn’t insure her. They’d probably have wanted to change the script and inject a gracenote at the end to make it feel hopeful.
HW: Do you think that New York Times Magazine article helped or hurt the film?
PS: It was a troubled shoot because Lindsay lives in a cone of chaos. And also you’re trying to make a movie for almost nothing. That Times piece began before Lindsay. It was going to be a piece about new ways to fund movies. And then Lindsay came on board. I said, “This’ll be great for you Lindsay because we’ll put an end to this idea of you being irresponsible. The New York Times will be there every day and they’ll see how responsible you can be and how on-time you can be.” That didn’t work out. Lindsay ended up taking over the article, which is what she does. Not even The New York Times is immune to the hurricane force of celebrity culture. But when you’re doing a microbudgeted DIY, how do you get your head above the crowd? Well, you’ve gotta make some noise. And in the end you have to believe the film will stand on its own. You have to reap the whirlwind. Make parody trailers of your own movie before the movie has even come out. Even if people talk about how terrible the movie looks, they’re talking about it.
HW: What would you say to a director who’s thinking about casting Lindsay Lohan in his or her film? PS: Buckle up. She’s worth it. You can shoot around bad behavior but you can’t shoot around a lack of star quality and she has it. Actually, I think she’s in a better place now. I certainly have not written her off.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
More: REVIEW: ‘The Canyons’ Is Irredeemably Awful All the Insane Things Lindsay Lohan Did on the Set of ‘The Canyons’ ‘The Canyons’ Is Rejected at SXSW: 10 Other Times Lindsay Lohan has Faced Rejection
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
Rapper The Game has been slapped with a defamation lawsuit from a former babysitter after allegedly damaging her reputation by lashing out at her online. Karen Monroe claims the Dreams hitmaker, real name Jayceon Taylor, took aim at her in a series of posts online last month (Jun13), when he is said to have shared a photo of the childcare assistant and warned his followers against employing her.
He reportedly went on to list his reasons for dismissing her, adding in one message, "She was BUSTED having sex with her then boyfriend and leaving a used condom & the wrapper in my daughter's room!!!"
Now Monroe, who also worked for hip-hop star Nas, is taking legal action amid claims she lost work as a result of The Game's attack and received death threats and insults from his Instagram.com followers.
In legal papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday (24Jul13) her lawyer states: "(The Game) stated that Plaintiff had been fired by him for lying, stealing, screaming at his children, mistreating other children, doing very inappropriate and unbecoming things of a babysitter...
"To ensure that Plaintiff was appropriately identified as the target of Defendants defamatory rant, Defendant identified Plaintiff by her name, attached a picture of her on his Instagram account with the caption 'Beware if this person is watching your children, she is a very dangerous baby sitter', and listed Plaintiff's Twitter and Instagram accounts."
Monroe is seeking unspecified damages, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
British pop star Kerry Katona is set to play Marilyn Monroe in a new musical based on the life of the iconic actress. The Atomic Kitten singer announced to her Twitter.com followers on Monday (22Jul13) that she had accepted the lead in upcoming production Norma Jeane The Musical by writer Belvedere Pashun.
Katona says, "I'm thrilled to have been given this opportunity to play one of the world's biggest female icons and can't wait to get to work.
"A successful career in drama has always been a main goal of mine and this role is a challenge but one I'm going to grab with both hands."
Pashun adds, "I needed an actor of huge talent, personality and experience - Kerry was at the top of my list. This show will change the shape of people's perceptions of Marilyn Monroe and we expect to announce a new star of drama on stage and screen with Kerry's performance."
The show is set to preview later this year (13).
Former child star David Spenser has passed away at the age of 79. He died in Spain on Saturday (20Jul13). No further details were available as WENN went to press.
Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Spenser began performing in plays on British BBC programme Children's Hour when he was only 11 years old, and he later played the titular role in 1948 radio series Just William.
He also appeared in a variety of U.K. TV shows, including Doctor Who, The Saint, Z Cars, Dixon of Dock Green and The Bell Family, while his other credits include stints in movies The Earth Dies Screaming, In Search of the Castaways and Carry On... Up the Khyber.
In addition, Spenser directed two documentaries on comedian Benny Hill and produced a handful of his own radio plays for the BBC, such as The Way We Live Now and Mr Norris Changes Trains.
He is survived by his actor brother, Jeremy Spenser, who appeared alongside Marilyn Monroe in The Prince and the Showgirl.
Thousands of unpublished negatives of Hollywood siren Marilyn Monroe are to go under the hammer later this month (Jul13) as part of a collection which is expected to fetch $300,000 (£193,548). Around 3,700 negatives of the Some Like It Hot beauty, taken by famed celebrity snapper Milton H. Greene, will go up for auction on the 27 July, along with the copyright, so buyers will be able to print images and licence the material.
The pieces are just a fraction of 75,000 celebrity negatives and slides Greene shot in the 1950s and 1960s and the archive includes hundreds of production stills of Faye Dunaway during the filming of Bonnie & Clyde and Cary Grant and Doris Day in That Touch of Mink.
Green's archive, which is spread over 268 lots, is going up for sale with Los Angeles specialists Profiles in History and most of them are expected to sell for between $1,000 (£645) and $15,000 (£9,677).
Profiles in History owner Joseph Maddalena said, "It's a big, big deal. It's like selling the recipe for Coca-Cola," while the company's photography consultant, Christopher Belport adds, "(This kind of sale is) nearly unheard of in a public venue, particularly for an entire archive."