Veteran British actor John Bardon has died, aged 75. The former EastEnders star passed away on Friday (12Sep14) following a period of ill heath.
BBC bosses announced the news, writing, "Everyone at EastEnders is absolutely heartbroken to learn that John has sadly passed away. His bravery, dignity and courage in battling against the devastating effects of his stroke were admired by all who had the privilege of working with him.
"Loved by us all, John was an exceptionally talented actor whose humour, mischievousness and brilliant performances made Jim Branning one of Walford's most loveable, memorable characters and we will miss John forever."
Bardon was best known for playing Jim Branning on the hit U.K. soap between 1996 and 2011 before being written out due to ill health. During his 41-year career, he racked up more than 80 credits for roles in hit U.K. TV shows including Coronation Street, Only Fools and Horses, The Sweeney, Dad's Army, and Poirot. He also enjoyed movie roles in Disney's 1975 family film One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing and John Cleese's 1986 comedy Clockwise.
In 1988, Bardon won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in Kiss Me, Kate.
Friday's episode of EastEnders will feature a dedication to Bardon.
June Brown, who played his on-screen wife Dot in the soap opera, says, "I am so sorry that John has passed away but hope that he is now at peace after seven difficult years. I shall miss him very much as I loved him dearly. My thoughts are with his devoted wife, Enda."
Actress Imelda Staunton is to reteam with the director of her award-winning play Sweeney Todd to take on the role of burlesque artist Gypsy Rose Lee's tough mum in a new production of Gypsy. Staunton and director Jonathan Kent both won Olivier Awards for their Sweeney Todd, in which the actress played Mrs. Lovett.
In Gypsy, at the Chichester Festival Theatre in England, she'll share the stage with Kevin Whately and Sherlock star Laura Pulver, who will play the title role.
Sweeney Todd had its revival at the Chichester Festival in 2012, before transferring to the West End.
Actor Neil Patrick Harris married his long-term partner David Burtka in Italy over the weekend (06-07Sep14).
The How I Met Your Mother star confirmed the news in a post on Twitter.com on Monday (08Sep14) and shared a picture of the happy couple exchanging vows.
He added in a caption, "Guess what? David Burtka and I got married over the weekend. In Italy. Yup, we put the 'n' and 'd' in 'husband'." The actor and his partner tied the knot on Saturday (06Sep14) and wore Tom Ford tuxedos for the ceremony, which was officiated by How I Met Your Mother producer/director Pam Fryman, according to E! News. Reports suggest the couple's longtime friend Sir Elton John performed at the reception.
Harris and Burtka became parents when they welcomed twins Harper and Gideon via surrogate in October, 2010, and they announced their engagement the following year (11).
In Hollywood, it’s not uncommon for the stars to meet on set and fall in love. Usually, it’s the leading man making the leading lady swoon. But actors and actresses aren’t the only ones who wind up together. Sometimes, it’s the director who gets the girl.
Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman
Getty Images/Kevin Mazur
Prior to her marriage, Beckinsale had been in a relationship with actor Michael Sheen for 8 years. But on the set of Underworld in 2003, she fell for her then-married director, Wiseman. The following year they were married. All parties involved, except Wiseman’s first wife, have said there was no infidelity. The couple have remained friends with Sheen, who starred alongside Beckinsale in Underworld. Aside from that franchise, Wiseman has also cast Beckinsale in his film, Total Recall.
Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann
Getty Images/Rich Polk
These two met on the set of the 1996 comedy film, The Cable Guy, which Apatow was producing. Since their 1997 marriage, Apatow has cast his wife in: The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Drillbit Taylor, Funny People, and This Is 40. Not only has his spouse appeared in his films, but their two daughters, Maude and Iris, have made it into a few films as Mann’s on-screen children.
Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson
Getty Images/Jun Sato
This couple met on the set of Jovovich’s most popular film, Resident Evil, in 2002 which Anderson was the director and producer for. The two dated first then had a child in 2007, before getting married in 2009, all while continuing to work on the franchise that brought them together. Anderson isn’t the first director Jovovich has wed. In 1997 she married her The Fifth Element director, Luc Besson, but divorced him two years later.
Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg
This Texas-born actress met Spielberg when she was cast as the female lead in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, in 1984. The two married in 1991, after Spielberg’s controversial and costly divorce from his first wife, Amy Irving.
Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton
WENN/Adriana M. Barraza
The pair first connected during filming Planet of the Apes in 2001. While they’ve never actually gotten married, they’ve been a couple for the last 13 years and have 2 children together. Burton is not shy from having his partner in his films; Carter has appeared in: Big Fish, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland, and Dark Shadows.
The U.K. Attorney General has declined to appeal disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris' five-year sentence for child sex offences after receiving a slew of complaints suggesting the punishment is not enough. The Australian singer/artist, 84, was ordered to serve five years and nine months behind bars in June (14), after he was convicted of 12 indecent assault charges regarding the molestation of four young girls between 1968 and 1986, when they were aged from seven to 19.
The punishment, handed down by judge Justice Sweeney, was considered by many to be too lenient and prompted 150 people to file official complaints about the sentence with U.K. authorities.
However, Attorney General Jeremy Wright has decided against challenging the sentence in the Court of Appeals.
A representative for the Attorney General's Office reveals, "He (Wright) did not think they (appeal judges) would find it to be unduly lenient and increase it...
"The sentencing judge was bound by the maximum sentence in force at the time of the offending.
"The judge made some of the sentences consecutive to reach the total sentence, but he could not simply add up sentences on individual counts; the overall sentence had to be just and proportionate to the overall offending."
Harris, who denied the counts, was stripped of his British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) fellowship and his Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame honour following his conviction.
Actress Alison Sweeney knew it was time to quit her longtime role on U.S. soap opera Days Of Our Lives after her young son started waking up before 6am just to see his mum before she disappeared for work. The 37 year old announced in January (14) that she was bowing out as Samantha 'Sami' Brady, a character she had portrayed onscreen for the past 21 years, and she filmed her final scenes in May (14).
Sweeney, who also serves as host of U.S. reality show The Biggest Loser, has since revealed the guilt she felt over leaving her kids Ben, nine, and Megan, five, with her husband Dave for the whole day ate away at her - so she made the choice to take a step back from her career and focus on her children.
She tells People magazine, "Ben would wake up really early just so he could have breakfast with me before I went to work, and that sat with me.
"I'd like to be there for them and not feel like I have nine other things going on in my head. Committing to two full-time jobs and being a wife and mum has been challenging and exhausting. It's been weighing on me for a long time."
Her husband adds, "I was thrilled (when she first told him the news), actually ecstatic. (The kids) were jumping up and down. They don't watch Days, but knowing the character of 'Mum' will actually be taking them to school in the mornings is super cool."
Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris has been jailed for almost six years for indecently assaulting girls as young as seven. The Australian singer/artist was last month (Jun14) convicted of molesting four young girls between 1968 and 1986, when they were aged between seven and 19.
He was found guilty of 12 indecent assault charges, and a judge at London's Southwark Crown Court sentenced Harris to five years and nine months on Friday (04Jul14).
Harris, who was stripped of his British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) fellowship and his Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame honour following his conviction, will also have to pay court costs and faces compensation claims from his victims.
The judge, Mr. Justice Sweeney, told the star, "You have showed no remorse for your crimes at all. Your reputation now lies in ruins. You have been stripped of your honours but you have no one to blame but yourself."
Harris had denied the charges, telling a court the women had made up the attacks. He admitted having sexual relations with a friend of his daughter but denied she was just 13 years old when it began.
On Friday, the court also heard Harris had been charged with four counts of making indecent images after child pornography was found on a computer following a search of his home. Prosecutors decided not to pursue those charges in the light of the indecent assault convictions.
Emma Thompson is returning to the London stage for the first time in 25 years for a string of performances in a concert version of Sweeney Todd. The British actress made her New York stage debut in the role of villainous pie-maker Mrs. Lovett in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra's version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street in March (14), and now she's taking the show to the U.K. capital.
She will re-team with Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel, who performed the title role in the Big Apple concerts, and the show will make up part of the English National Opera's first ever season of musical theatre next March and April (15).
Thompson last graced the stage in London in 1989, when she appeared alongside ex-husband Sir Kenneth Branagh in Look Back In Anger, directed Dame Judi Dench.
British TV star Claire Sweeney is pregnant with her first child. The actress/TV presenter is set to become a first time mother with her ex-fiance, computer software tycoon Daniel Riley, who she separated from at the end of 2013.
Her news comes as the play she co-wrote, Sex and The Suburbs, opened in Liverpool, England on Friday (16May14).
Her agent tells Mail Online, "Claire could not be happier. To be pregnant and starring in her own show in her home town of Liverpool is all her dreams come true at once."
The actress confirmed the news on Twitter.com, writing, "Thrilled to say my show that I co wrote Sex and The Suburbs has opened to rave reviews, but the BEST news is I'm 5 months pregnant!!"
Sweeney became engaged to Riley in 2012 and they reportedly split after Christmas in 2013, although the news was only confirmed in April (14).
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
There are some actors that we love to hear sing. In fact, we've compiled a list of a few performers' voices that we can't get enough of. Then there are others that really just shouldn't be given the opportunity to sing on screen. Some of them are truly terrible and some others are just misguided, but here's our look at the worst singing performances in movies.
Pierce Brosnan, Mamma Mia!
There's a reason that they used to dub actors' singing voices in musicals (Hello, Marnie Nixon!), and Brosnan is the poster child for revisiting the practice. He looks terrific in the Mediterranean locales and linen suits of Mamma Mia!, but his singing is bad enough that it almost deserves its own separate category.
Russell Crowe, Les Miserables
It's hard to know exactly what the producers were thinking when they cast Crowe in Les Miz, beyond just that he sort of looks right for the role of Inspector Javert. He certainly doesn’t sound right. Most of the rest of the cast can legitimately sing, so tossing the Gladiator star into the mix was all the more jarring.
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
There are actually worse vocal performances in Tim Burton's film about the "Demon Barber of Fleet Street"… Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter to name two. The issue with Depp's singing is that he can't seem to figure out what to do with his accent. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not, and sometimes it morphs into a little bit of Keith Richards/Jack Sparrow.
Alec Baldwin, Rock of Ages, or...
...Tom Cruise, Rock of Ages
We tried to pick which was worse… Baldwin singing "I Can't Fight This Feeling" with Russell Brand or Cruise singing "I Want to Know What Love Is" with Malin Akerman. There was no consensus since they're both about as bad as anything you'll ever see in a movie musical. Feel free to watch them and see if you can decide... if you can make it all the way through either one.
Drew Barrymore, Music and Lyrics
We love Barrymore, really we do. She's adorable and sweet and we like having her around. It's just that her voice is a little too thin for her to be singing on camera. We thought so in Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You and we thought the same thing in her rom-com with Hugh Grant.
Michael Caine, The Muppet Christmas Carol
Okay, so it's a Muppets movie, we get it. Kermit and Miss Piggy aren't the best singers either. But both Tina Fey and Amy Adams have proven that just because you're surrounded by felt doesn't mean that you have to sing poorly. In the grand tradition of British stage actors, Caine just kind of talks his way through his singing parts. Not all traditions are good.
Cameron Diaz, My Best Friend's Wedding
Yes, the script called for her to be intentionally bad… and, by that standard, this is a dynamite performance. You know that you're in a rom-com when the crowd at a karaoke place starts going nuts for someone butchering a Dusty Springfield song.
Edward Norton, Everyone Says I Love You
This is kind of a shame, because it's clear that Norton really enjoys singing. He tosses himself into the musical performance with gusto, treating it like it's the prison cell scene from Primal Fear… which is what makes him such a good actor. It just doesn't make him a good singer. Based on Keeping the Faith and his Motorola commercial, however, it does seem like he'd be more fun at a karaoke bar than Diaz.
Adam Sandler, The Wedding Singer
Here's the mistake that a lot of people make… just because Sandler sings a lot doesn't mean that he's a good singer. We admire the fact that he likes to do it and we laughed at "The Turkey Song" and "The Hanukkah Song" on Saturday Night Live, same as everyone else… but there are limits to how much of Sandler's man-child voice that we can take. He is, however, welcome to continue serenading Barrymore once every 10 years as he did recently on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Sometimes even bad singing is sweet.