Let's have a look back at the days when -- why not? -- a sports star could awkwardly play himself on a sitcom.
1. Keith Hernandez on Seinfeld
This is possibly the best story arc of the show - which is impressive, since the show was famously 'about nothing.'
2. Kevin McHale on Cheers
McHale did a better job as an actor than he has as a NBA general manager and coach. Maybe he should see if his agent can get him any work.
3. Derek Jeter/Bernie Williams on Seinfeld
Jeter did a much better job on here than his wooden stint on Saturday Night Live. Bernie Williams showed he was a better guitar player than actor.
4. Paul O'Neil on Seinfeld
When it came to athlete cameos in the '80s and '90s, Seinfeld had the market down on lock - Entourage took over in the next decade.
5. Reggie Jackson on The Jeffersons
This was a precursor to Jackson's stellar performace in The Naked Gun.
6. Michael Jordan on SNL
Jordan deserves a mention just for keeping a straight face during his segment with Al Franken's Stuart Smalley character.
7. Joe Namath on The Simpsons
Namath had already appeared on The Brady Bunch almost two decades before, but he redeemed himself in this voiceover work.
8. Bo Jackson on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Bo Knows Comedy.
9. Don Mattingly on The Simpsons
Mattingly's fu manchu mustache overwhelmed everyone on one of the show's all-time finest episodes.
10. Barry Bonds on Beverly Hills, 90210
Bonds before the whole bulked up body and steroid accusations.
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You can sell a wacky misadventure or a brooding navel-gazer 0n the mention of Bill Murray alone. The actor's recent years have offered more of the latter sort of movie, pegging him regularly as a misguided narcissist coming to blows with his self-destructive lifestyle. But Murray's newest turn has the potential to transport him back to the days of summer camp high jinks and one-upping military officers: Deadline reports that the reformed Ghostbuster will star in Rock the Kasbah, a new feature film by Barry Levinson.
The story will transport music producer Murray to Kabul, where he takes on a quest to transport a young Afghan girl with a beautiful singing voice to a nationally televised talent show akin to American Idol.
Ostensibly, the plot sounds moreover conducive to screwball comedy somewhat reminiscent of the classic Road To films, complete with exotic location and mismatched travel companions. But there's plenty here that might suggest something closer to the vein of Murray's later era work, like Broken Flowers. Director Levinson's true call to arms isn't straight comedy as much as satire (Wag the Dog), dramedy (Good Morning, Vietnam), or even full-fledged tear-jerking drama (Rain Man, of course). When he tries to do straight laughers, we end up with Envy. So, we're kind of led to hope that Rock the Kasbah has got some of the filmmaker's sincerity lining the potentially zany story.
But either way, it's a genus that Murray knows how to handle. There are few who can apply the same gravitas to something like the riotous Caddyshack as to the reverberating Lost in Translation. Having won it with everything except an odd Garfield, Murray has earned fans' trust either way. Straight comedy, heavy drama, or something in between (such as all of Murray's Wes Anderson work), Rock the Kasbah already has promise.
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Why have Emmy voters withheld their votes from shows with high ratings? Is it because the creative criteria used by Emmy voters and critics are often not what viewers prize most in a show? We take a look at the Emmy equation and why ratings victory and Emmy night victory don't always go together. Check out the complete story at Studio System News.
Norman Winter, a publicist who represented music icons including Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan, has died. Winter passed away on Thursday (22Aug13) in Las Vegas due to complications from Lewy Body disease. His family declined to reveal his age, but he was believed to have been in his 80s.
He worked closely with the King of Pop to promote his legendary Thriller album, and also helped Jackson acquire some of the The Beatles' song catalogue and negotiate his endorsements with Pepsi.
Throughout his career, Winter also worked with a whole host of music greats such as Neil Diamond, Dr. Dre, Garth Brooks, Paul Anka, Queen, Barry White, AC/DC, Marvin Gaye, Usher, Billy Joel, and Jackson's sister Janet.
Jackson's longtime attorney John Branca says, "We are so sad to hear of the passing of our dear friend Norman Winter. Norman was a unique, one of a kind character who was dearly beloved. He was of great help and service to Michael and our team during the Thriller period."
Winter is survived by his wife Joy, daughters Jennifer and Elizabeth and brother Alfred, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Producers of U.S. police drama Rizzoli & Isles have paid tribute to tragic actor Lee Thompson Young by dedicating an episode in his honour. The body of the former Disney star was discovered by police at his Los Angeles apartment on Monday (19Aug13) and his manager has stated the former Disney star apparently committed suicide.
Young's last role was as Boston police detective Barry Frost in Rizzoli & Isles, and Tuesday night's (20Aug13) episode of the show closed with a silent tribute to the actor.
A message displayed onscreen read, "In loving memory of Lee Thompson Young, 1984 - 2013" before viewers were shown a montage of silent clips of the actor in his role as Frost.
The drama series has halted production following the news of Young's death and it remains unclear how long the suspension will last.
The cop show's executive producer Janet Tamaro has also paid tribute to Young, saying in a statement, "Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young. We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family.
"Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on and offscreen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace. We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother."
Still churning out genius at the age of 87, Elmore Leonard was showing no dearth of imagination decades into his writing career. Author of the novels that inspired films like Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, Barry Sonnenfeld's Get Shorty, and the FX series Justified, Leonard has given as much to Hollywood's crime genre as just about any other creative force. Sadly, Leonard succumbed to complications following a stroke suffered three weeks back, passing away on Tuesday morning, as reported by his Facebook page. Leonard was reported to be surrounded by family, in the comfort of his home, at the time of his death.
Leonard pioneered his writing career in the 1950s, kicking off a long line of novels with The Bounty Hunters. Only a few years later, his books began to earn the attention of producers, taking form in film and television adaptations. Elmore's first title to earn the treatment was Hombre, written in '61 and taking big screen form in '67. In addition to penning prose that would translate to films by great directors and screenwriters, Elmore worked on a handful of his own screenplays, such as Richard Quine's The Moonshine War and Burt Reynolds' Stick. Elmore is also famously responsible for the short story that inspired two film adaptations in '57 and 2007.
With Justified going strong on the FX network with a cult fan base and his novel The Switch being brought to film in the developing feature Life of Crime (starring Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, and Isla Fisher), Leonard's influence has shown no signs of waning. The great writer, with a flare for crime, drama, and comedy alike, will surely be missed, but will no doubt maintain a presence in film for years to come.
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Production on U.S. police drama Rizzoli & Isles has been put on hold following the apparent suicide of actor Lee Thompson Young. Police discovered the 29 year old's body at his apartment in Los Angeles on Monday (19Aug13) morning, and in a statement his manager confirmed that the former Disney star took his own life.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, TV bosses shut down production on Rizzoli & Isles; it is unknown how long the suspension will last, according to TheWrap.com.
Young's manager Jonathan Baruch has paid tribute to his longtime client, who shot to fame in Disney's The Famous Jett Jackson, writing, "It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning. Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends at this difficult time."
Young had a key role as detective Barry Frost on Rizzoli & Isles, alongside Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. The show was recently renewed for a fifth series.
Joining Baruch in paying tribute to the tragic young star, Gabrielle Union, new dad Donald Faison and Solange Knowles took to Twitter.com on Monday to mourn his passing.
Union wrote, "I had the pleasure of working w/ #LeeThompsonYoung on Flash Forward & he was an extremely talented beautiful soul. My thoughts & prayers are with his loved ones," while Faison added, "This breaks my heart. RIP Lee Thompson Young."
Glee star Harry Shum, Jr. also offered up his thoughts, posting, "Feeling incredibly sad about Lee Thompson Young. My heart goes out to his family and friends," and his Glee co-star Amber Riley added, "Man...RIP #LeeThompsonYoung #Jett Jackson...Everything that glitters isn't gold. You just never know, that just tore me up a little. Man."
Solange tweeted, "Very very sad to hear about Lee Thompson Young. He was always very kind, and such a light," and even filmmaker Wes Craven paid his respects, adding, "My sympathy to the family of Lee Thompson Young and to all those who knew and loved him...I had the pleasure of working with him in 2007 on Hills Have Eyes 2. He was a pro, gifted and warm. The tragedy of this kind of loss is particularly bewildering and painful."
UPDATE: Young's publicist has confirmed Young's suicide to TMZ, offering the statement, "It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning ... Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed."
EARLIER: Lee Thompson Young, who children of the '90s will remember as the titular character in Disney's The Famous Jett Jackon, was found dead in his home of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, TMZ reports. He was just 29 years old.
According to TMZ, staffers on the TNT show Rizzoli & Isles, on which Young played Detective Barry Frost, became concerned when Young didn't show up for work Monday morning. They then called Young's landlord to check up on the actor. It was allegedly the landlord who found Young dead in his Los Angeles home.
Young enjoyed success as a teen star on The Famous Jett Jackson as well as the Disney Channel Original Movie Johnny Tsunami in the 1990s and went on to star in the film Friday Night Lights in 2004. While he had small roles on a number of popular shows — including Smallville and Scrubs — he was largely out of the spotlight until Rizzoli & Isles, which he joined in 2010.
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Oscar-winning German composer Hans Zimmer is to be honoured for his contribution to music at this year's (13) Classic BRIT awards. Zimmer has scored the music for films including Gladiator and The Lion King, for which he won an Academy Award in 1995, and his work will be celebrated at the prestigious U.K. prizegiving later this year (13).
The presentation of the Outstanding Contribution to Music award comes four years after Zimmer was handed the Soundtrack of the Year trophy for Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises at the 2009 ceremony.
Co-chairmen of the Classic BRIT Awards committee Dickon Stainer and Barry McCann say in a statement, "We are absolutely delighted to be honouring the outstanding talent of Hans Zimmer with this award. Hans Zimmer’s recent work including Inception has been a dominant force for classical music specifically in the digital download era."
The Classic BRIT Awards will be held at Royal Albert Hall in London on 2 October (13).
Cult funk rockers Living Colour are to celebrate their 25th anniversary alongside Jada Pinkett Smith's band Wicked Wisdom at the ninth annual Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn, New York later this month (24-25Aug13). Public Enemy leader Chuck D, Vintage Trouble, Questlove, Theophilus London and Danny Brown are also slated to appear at the weekend event at Commodore Barry Park.