Bosses of the retirement home where Lord Richard Attenborough lived in his final years have cancelled their open day as a mark of respect for the late actor/director. The Jurassic Park star died on Sunday (24Aug14), aged 90, at Denville Hall care home for retired actors in north London, where he moved in 2008 to spend his final years.
Officials at the residence have cancelled their Open Day event in September (14) as a mark of respect to Attenborough, who served as President there.
A spokesperson tells Britain's Daily Telegraph, "This is our version of dimming the lights of Broadway... a blazing light in all our lives has gone out."
The director's family has asked fans who want to pay tribute to Attenborough to make donations to the home, where his widow Sheila Sim still lives.
A public memorial will be held for Attenborough in November (14).
Thor actor Chris Hemsworth is in negotiations to join The Hangover's Ed Helms for a new movie in the National Lampoon's Vacation franchise. The Australian hunk is in talks to show off his comedic skills in another follow-up to the original 1983 film, which was directed by the late Harold Ramis and starred Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo and John Candy.
Helms has already signed on to appear in the new movie along with Christina Applegate, according to Variety.com.
The new movie, titled Vacation, follows Rusty Griswold, the son in the franchise's hapless Griswold family, as an adult experiencing his own family break.
Rusty, who was played by former child star Anthony Michael Hall in the first Vacation movie, will be played by Helms in the reboot.
Actor Adrien Brody jumped at the chance to portray Harry Houdini onscreen because he was fascinated by the legendary illusionist as a child and wannabe magician.
The King Kong star takes on the title role in upcoming miniseries Houdini and reveals the Hungarian immigrant and famed performer, who was known for his sensational escape acts in the early-1900s, provided "a profound level" of inspiration for him during his youth.
Brody tells U.S. breakfast show Today, "What he symbolises, still, resonated with me as a boy... "He is the epitome of the American dream. He is someone who has not only escaped the confines of the physical shackles, but the shackles that keep down the impoverished people. He was an Eastern-European immigrant... "He overcame all these things and he escaped that and he represented that to people, that it's possible, and that's a very heroic thing..."
At the end of the interview segment, Brody showed off his own magic skills by breaking a pencil in half with a folded dollar bill. The actor admitted he hadn't performed the trick in 30 years, but he succeeded on his third attempt, leaving Today co-host Tamron Hall stunned.
The death of Pink Martini drummer Derek Rieth has been ruled a suicide. The 43-year-old percussionist was found dead at his home in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday night (20Aug14), and the state's medical examiner has now concluded the musician died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The band's shows at Oregon Zoo on Friday (22Aug14) and Saturday (23Aug14) went ahead as planned without Rieth, and the group dedicated the performances to the late star.
Pink Martini posted a message on the band's Facebook.com page prior to the first concert assuring fans they would play the shows in their bandmate's honour, writing, "Thank you all for your kind words and support. Derek would want nothing more than for the show to go on. We’ll see you tonight and tomorrow at the zoo."
Rieth's death comes just weeks after the band was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl's Hall of Fame in June (14).
Once a year, we're treated to a cultural event unlike any other: the MTV Video Music Awards. Some of the moments from ceremonies past will live forever in our mind, from Chris Rock joking about Jennifer Lopez and her derrière's need for more than one limousine to Diana Ross jiggling Lil Kim's exposed breast. The show knows how to provoke controversy, and has thus remained a lightning rod for pop culture discussion since it began in 1984. This list isn't about the most controversial moments in the award show's history, but the most mesmerizing live performances it gave us (some of which, yes, surely did drum up some controversy).
1. Madonna - "Like A Virgin" 1984
Possibly one of the most iconic performances ever, period. Madonna's signature wedding dress and 'boy toy' belt are still synonymous with 80s pop culture, and it's all thanks to this performance. She rolls around on the floor quite suggestively, setting the tone for what we've come to expect from both the Queen of Pop and the VMAs.
2. Madonna - "Vogue" 1990
Madonna returned to the stage in 1990, decked out in Marie Antoinette-inspired clothing, and delivered this perfectly choreographed rendition of her classic "Vogue." Though completely covered as an 18th century aristocrat, Madge still managed to sexualize the performance by shoving faces into her bosom and lifting up her skirt to allow her backup dancers a peak beneath.
3. Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott - "Like A Virgin/Hollywood Medley" 2003
Now that's how you open an award show. Or is it? The downside of this majesty: it ended up being all anyone could talk about... for ten years. I don't think anything in VMAs history earned this must discussion until the dawn of Miley. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, at the time the two biggest pop stars around, having been so clearly influenced by Madonna, took to the stage to pay homage to her 1984 VMA performance only to be joined by the Queen herself. As everyone knows, eventually the Material Girl smooched both Spears and Aguilera (though for some reason, we mostly just focus on Britney Spears) before Missy Elliott came in and got everyone dancing away the shock.
4. Beyoncé - "Love On Top" 2011
NO. SHE. DIDN'T. This was a moment I'll never forget. Beyoncé came out, annihilated the song (which is an incredible feat in and of itself, spanning six key changes in one number), but then dropped the microphone and grabbed her budding baby bump to announce her pregnancy to the world. This performance still gives me chills, and when I think about it, I can't help but want to jump up and down like Kanye does at the end. It's just perfect.
5. Miley Cyrus & Robin Thicke (feat. 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar) - "We Can't Stop/Blurred Lines/Give It 2 U" 2013
The performance that everyone knows about... so much so that my grandfather just called me to ask how he can clear "Miley Cyrus twerk" from his YouTube history. In combination with her video for "Wrecking Ball," this performance made sure everyone would be talking about Miley Cyrus for months to come. It provoked discussions about sexuality, racial appropriation, and age differences. Not to mention, it helped destroy a marriage (thus leaving us to deal with a groveling Robin Thicke).
6. Diddy, Sting, Faith Evans, 112 - "I'll Be Missing You" 1997
A tribute to The Notorious B.I.G., this is an undeniably beautiful and meangingful song. Sting coming on stage to perform the sample of "Every Breath You Take" shows more than just artists collaborating to make wonderful music, but it demonstrates the music community coming together in remembrance of loved ones.
7. Beyoncé - "Ring the Alarm" 2006
Beyoncé is a goddess. We know. Beyoncé can do no wrong. We know. At the time of this performance though, Queen Bey was just beginning to prove just how much of a force to be reckoned with she was. I distinctly remember not being familiar with this song as she descended to the stage, but this performance sold me on it. The highlight isn't the amazing trench coat she twirls around in during the beginning of performance, but that unexpected hydraulicks-inspired dance routine that she does in the middle. Girl just slayed and slaaaayed.
8. Chris Brown & Rihanna - "Wall to Wall"/"Umbrella"/"Billie Jean"/"Kiss Kiss" Medley 2007
Let's go back to a time when saying "Chris Brown" and "Rihanna" in the same sentence didn't immediately present a problem and focus on this gem of a performance from 2007. The two were rising stars with some of the biggest songs of the year, joining forces on stage for a magical moment. Say what you will about Chris Brown, but he's the best dancer we've had around since Michael Jackson. As he table-top dances and leaps from table to table, even eventually paying tribute to MJ, we were reminded of just how good he is.
9. Lady Gaga - "Paparazzi" 2009
Ladies and gentleman, Lady Gaga has arrived. She gave the sort of performance we've come to expect from her: theatrical, filled with musical ability, bizarre, and shocking. Mostly in the way it ended, with Mother Monster hanging on stage and bleeding to "death." Um... this was truly a shocking moment, even for her.
10. Britney Spears - "I'm a Slave 4 U" 2001
What made this one memorable? For one thing, she beings the performance in a cage with a tiger. That's just the start. Then she gives us the sort of magnificent dance routine that we love so much we're willing to worship whatever she does now just in memory of a performance like this. Just as you're thinking it won't get any better, the python comes out and Britney shimmies around the stage with the albino snake around her shoulders. (Can you believe there is an entire generation of people who were only able to witness Britney performances like "Gimme More?" I shudder to think).
11. Britney Spears - "Satisfaction/Oops! I Did It Again" 2000
This performance is perfect (and by that, we mean that it's flawed in a variety of ways, but if you're looking for real singing or anything substantial, watch the Grammys and hope for the best). Watching it now, knowing that she's going to rip off that suit and hat and give us one of the best choreographed hair tosses ever recorded, we can't help but get excited. The nude body suit and that booty grab at the 2:00 mark really cemented her place as a sex icon (as if the subtle schoolgirl costume and red latex catsuit hadn't already).
12. Hole - "Violet" 1995
Courtney Love is nothing if not raw. She dedicated this performance to a slew of deceased musicians and loved ones, including husband Kurt Cobain and bandmate Kristen Pfaff, and proceeded to rock out in typical Courtney style and tried to destroy everything on the stage. This, of course, happened before she threw the contents of her purse at Madonna and struck up a conversation in the middle of an interview.
13. Eminem - "The Real Slim Shady" / "The Way I Am" 2000
Eminem made a statement in 2000 by proving that he was the real Slim Shady, marching through Radio City Music Hall with a sea of imitators. More impressively is how many times he grabs his crotch. You'd think he was in genuine fear of being assaulted or something.
14. Kid Rock (feat. Run-DMC, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Joe C.) - "King of Rock"/"Rock Box"/"Bawitdaba"/"Walk This Way" 1999
What's not to like about this performance? As much as I wish I didn't like Kid Rock, I have to give him his props. This performance was stellar, and is probably one of the only performances on this list that my brother enjoyed watching too (just kidding, we mentioned Britney Spears stripping into a nude bodysuit, right?).
15. Michael Jackson - Medley 1995
At a whopping fifteen minutes long, this performance is more of a Michael Jackson concert than a VMA performance. However, it's definitely one of the better ways to spend fifteen minutes, as this performance is jam-packed with everything you'd expect from a Michael Jackson performance. He is the King of Pop, after all.
Radio presenter Gerry Anderson has died, aged 69, following a long battle with illness. The Northern Irish host fronted BBC Radio programmes for 30 years and was inducted into the U.K Radio Hall of Fame in 2005.
Getty Images/Jason LaVeris
"It's Saturday Night Live!" will forever be the four words we associate with Don Pardo, announcer for the NBC variety show for nearly 40 years, who passed away Monday night at the age of 96 (via CBS News). Since 1975 — with only a single season-long hiatus in the early '80s — Pardo's inimitable timber introduced us to SNL’s stars, featured players, musical guests, and episode hosts, earning a permanent residence in the pop culture realm’s collective auditory cortex. But there’s more to the man than his weekly exclamations from the announcing booth at Studio 8-H. Pardo’s 75-year-long career took him to a multitude of interesting corners that we so often overlook:
Let the Games BeginA staff fixture at NBC, Pardo announced the original iterations of many of its game shows, including The Price Is Right (from 1956 to ’63) and Jeopardy! (from ’64 to ’75), as well as later programs Three on a Match, Winning Streak, and Jackpot! between ’71 and ’75.
Happy Turkey Day!For many years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade presented its army of inflatable cartoon characters with the gravitas of Pardo’s smooth baritone. Pardo announced the annual event for NBC straight up through 1999.
NBC via Getty Images
And That’s the NewsPardo boasted a longstanding career as a news broadcaster, both on radio and television; he started out as a World War II reporter for NBC Radio. On the date of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Pardo announced the tragedy to NBC’s television audience, becoming one of the first parties to report on the death of the 35th president.
He Also Had a Musical SidePardo proved his tastes in music to be rather esoteric when he teamed with the likes of Frank Zappa and Weird Al Yankovic for performances and recordings. Pardo first collaborated with Zappa in 1976 on a rendition of “I’m the Slime,” and then again joined forces with the innovative rock artist for his live album Zappa in New York in ’78.
Five years later, Pardo would pay homage to his game show era by contributing vocally to Weird Al’s “I Lost on Jeopardy” as well as appearing in the music video.
Of Course, He Had His Woody CredAn honorary New Yorker, Pardo managed to work his way into the filmography of Woody Allen, appearing in the 1987 comedy Radio Days as a host of the Name That Tune parody “Guess That Tune.” His acting career beyond the Allen picture includes Honeymoon in Vegas and the John Ritter comedy Stay Tuned.
And He Could Take a JokePardo was a hard worker until the very end — flying back and forth between his home in Arizona and New York City every week to announce episodes of SNL — but was hardly a man who took himself too seriously. This is evident by his self-parodying appearances on The Simpsons and SNL vet Tina Fey’s 30 Rock.
Naturally, we will always remember Pardo best for his work on Saturday Night Live, but there is clearly a lot more to celebrate about the man, his indomitable career, and his unmistakable voice.
Alan Landsburg, the Emmy Award-winning mastermind behind Leonard Nimoy's hit series In Search Of... and Mickey Rooney's acclaimed TV movie Bill, has died. The 81 year old director/producer died of natural causes at his Beverly Hills home last week (14Aug14).
Landsburg also executive produced TV films The Ryan White Story and The Jayne Mansfield Story, which featured Loni Anderson as the actress and a young Arnold Schwarzenegger as her husband, Mickey Hargitay, and produced sequels Porky's II: The Next Day and Jaws 3-D.
He directed several episodes of 1960s documentary series Biography, hosted by Mike Wallace, as well as National Geographic specials and The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau adventure series.
Nominated for an Emmy five times, he won the prize as a producer on the 1970 Hallmark Hall of Fame film A Storm in Summer, which was written by The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling. Landsburg was also nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar in 1972 for Alaska Wilderness Lake.
Spandau Ballet are to return to the stage in Britain for the first time in four years when they perform at the U.K. premiere of their new movie next month (Sep14). Singer Tony Hadley and his group proved to be a big draw when they played after the film's premiere during this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and now they're planning a repeat performance at London's Royal Albert Hall.
Spandau Ballet will play a hits-packed set on 30 September (14) after the screening of their career documentary Playboys of the Western World.
The big event will be beamed to cinemas all over the U.K. and Ireland via satellite.
The group last performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983.
Veteran British rockers Status Quo are set to hit the stage for the first time without longtime member Rick Parfitt to resume their European tour as the singer/guitarist recovers from heart surgery. The group had to cancel six shows earlier this month (Aug14) when Parfitt was hospitalised in Pula, Croatia.
He returned to the U.K., where he subsequently underwent an operation to have a stent inserted to correct a problem with a graft that had become furred since it was inserted during his quadruple heart bypass in 1997.
Parfitt, 65, was due to rejoin the group and head back out on the road this week (ends15Aug14), however, he has been left with no choice but to sit out the next gig in Clumber Park in Worksop, England on Friday (15Aug14) after doctors ordered him to rest.
Freddie Edwards, son of bassist John 'Rhino' Edwards, will fill in for Parfitt for the one-off show - the first time he has missed a gig with the band since he joined in 1967.
Parfitt says, "Obviously I'm really disappointed to be missing this show but I'm pleased that Freddie will be able to step up and help the band out whilst I'm recuperating.
"I know all the Quo fans will make him welcome and I'll be back onstage soon."
Quo co-founder Francis Rossi adds, "It will certainly be strange performing without Rick, but Freddie performed with me when I did my solo tour so I know that he's got what it takes - and, of course, he's part of the Quo family."
Parfitt is expected to be fighting fit in time for the band's next scheduled concert at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, England on 23 August (14).