Downton Abbey star Laura Carmichael has told of her heartbreak after travelling to Haiti this week (ends29Sep13) to meet orphans and survivors of the 2010 earthquake which ravaged the nation. The actress, who plays Lady Edith on the hit period drama, flew to the country on a charity mission organised by The Haiti Hospital Appeal, visiting a 70-bed medical centre in Cap-Haitien, which treated 11,000 patients last year (12).
Carmichael admits she was "truly humbled" after witnessing the efforts of doctors who have set up special units to help locals cope after the devastating disaster.
In a column for Britain's Sunday Mirror, she writes, "In the paediatric unit I was introduced to a fragile abandoned baby struggling for life. Bety had the life-threatening condition hydrocephalus. As she was placed in my arms, I could feel my heart beating through my chest. Despite (the doctor's) valiant efforts, this baby had a minimal chance of survival. In the U.K., hydrocephalus can usually be controlled. It was the first of many times I had to take a breath to stop the tears."
She adds, "While they will do everything in their power to save this fragile life, the medical team explain that it's common for children to die needlessly every day. The children treated at this paediatric unit at least stand a chance."
Carmichael is calling on her fans to give generously to a new initiative she is backing: "I'm now helping to launch
A Royal Birth - a campaign to provide women and babies in Haiti with safe births. Coming here has challenged me. I realise that like many others I had moved on too quickly from the devastating images of 2010. Sunday Mirror readers were incredibly generous at pledging support in the aftermath of the quake, but the country needs our help now more than ever."
Leonardo DiCaprio is heading to the White House to portray America's 28th President Woodrow Wilson in a new biopic. The Titanic actor will star in and produce a big screen adaptation of A. Scott Berg's recently released biography of Wilson, who was elected in 1912, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It is not known which aspect of Wilson's life the film will focus on, but the former governor of New Jersey and president of Princeton University was most famous for guiding the U.S. through World War I and suffering a stroke during his time in office.
He was also the last president to marry during his time at the White House. Wilson's first wife Ellen died in 1914, and he married Edith Galt in 1915.
DiCaprio is no stranger to portraying legendary Americans in film - he played eccentric tycoon Howard Hughes in 2004's The Aviator and won acclaim for his turn as longrunning FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in 2011.
Edith Piaf has been branded a liar and "an insatiable seducer" in a new biography set to document the truth behind the singer's life. The book, titled Piaf: A French Myth, which is due to be published in France later this year (13), questions many widely held beliefs about Piaf's personal life and poor upbringing.
Writer Robert Belleret revealed the information after he gained access to unpublished archives which included 110 private letters the singer wrote to a close friend.
He tells The Australian newspaper, "Piaf's duplicity was without limits. She lied profusely about her life, starting with her own birth."
He alleges Piaf, who was famous for her extravagant lifestyle, exaggerated a childhood condition by claiming she was blind between the ages of three and seven, an incident famously documented in the Oscar-winning film, La Vie En Rose.
Belleret adds, "The fact is that she was never blind; at the most she suffered from a viral infection for a few weeks."
The writer also slams Piaf's claim that she smuggled fake French identity papers into Nazi Germany and enabled 200 French prisoners to escape during World War II, adding, "My aim isn't to put Piaf on trial, but her account is pure fantasy, it allowed her to avoid punishment after the war.
"She changed the numbers. At first she said she helped 118 prisoners escape, then 147, then more than 200... But not one of them ever surfaced to thank Piaf publicly and to say she deserved a medal. And can you imagine how difficult it would have been to make so many fake identity papers?...
"Every time she meets a new lover she writes that this is the man she's always been dreaming of, but then a month or a year later he's become a rotter... She writes of having two or three lovers at the same time and when she wants to break with a lover she makes him think that he's the one who wants to end it.''
Piaf, also known as The Little Sparrow, died in 1963 aged 47 at her home in Grasse, France, after suffering from liver cancer.
Veteran British singer/songwriter Marianne Faithfull has cancelled a string of concerts after breaking her back while on vacation in the U.S. The star, who famously dated Sir Mick Jagger in her 1960s heyday, reveals she fractured her sacrum in an accident in July (13), but had still hoped to be back onstage in time for a show in Beirut, Lebanon on Saturday (17Aug13).
However, the As Tears Go By hitmaker has failed to make enough of a recovery and she's now been forced to scrap the gig.
In a letter to fans in Lebanon, she writes, "I am so sad I won't be able to sing for you on Saturday.
"I broke my back in July and hoped and prayed I would be better enough to be able to do the performance on 17th August, although it's not very long, but my recovery was going well. Alas.
"I have never been to the Lebanon (sic) though I know it through books. It looks like one of the most beautiful places in the world. I still hope to be able to come one day not too far away when I'm completely healed and have my dream to sing in Beirut come true."
Faithfull has also pulled concerts in New York and Chicago, Illinois next month (Sep13), in addition to a scheduled appearance at an upcoming Edith Piaf tribute in the Big Apple.
The 66 year old, who also has hepatitis C, has a history of ill health - in 2004 she was treated for exhaustion, while she battled breast cancer in 2006.
Harry Connick, Jr. has joined the line-up for an upcoming Edith Piaf tribute in New York. The crooner will team up with Marianne Faithfull, Duffy, Beth Ditto and Charles Aznavour for the Beacon Theatre show on 19 September (13), which will mark the 50th anniversary of Piaf's death and the American debut of France's premier music festival, Francofolies.
The singers taking part in the tribute will be backed by an orchestra featuring American and French musicians.
Top producer Norman Lear has paid a heartfelt tribute to his All In The Family star Jean Stapleton following her death on Friday (31May13). The three-time Emmy winner, best known for playing Archie Bunker's long-suffering wife Edith in hit 1970s sitcom All in the Family, passed away of natural causes at her home in New York City, aged 90.
Over the weekend (01-02Jun13) a number of stars and industry executives offered their memories of the beloved actress, with Lear stating: "Back in 1971, possibly the first time I was asked by a journalist, 'What is Jean Stapleton like?', my reflexive response was: 'She's always where she is.' I was surprised by my answer, never had the thought before and never knew it resided within me. Can I reach deeply enough inside me now to express how much that, the idea and Jean Stapleton herself has meant to me? I was at my computer when her glorious children, John and Pam, phoned me (to break the news of her death), and I told them I was working on my memoir, and reflecting on the time I was father to my personal family on Mooncrest Drive while also fathering Archie and Edith and three other families on CBS (network). And I added - so, at 90, here still is Jean Stapleton, 'always where she is,' helping me to see my own frailties and humanity yet again. No one gave more profound 'How to be a Human Being' lessons than Jean Stapleton. Goodbye Edith, darling."
Her co-star Rob Reiner, who played son-in-law Michael Stivic on the show, adds, "Jean was a brilliant comedienne with exquisite timing. Working with her was one of the greatest experiences of my life. My thoughts go out to her family."
Bette Midler took to Twitter.com to write, "Jean Stapleton, beloved as Edith in ALL IN THE FAMILY dies at 90. She was unforgettable in that role...rest in peace...", while Glee's Jane Lynch, who is currently starring on Broadway, added, "Tonight I dedicate @ANNIEonBroadway to the great JEAN STAPLETON and her gorgeous memory."
Veteran entertainer Dick Van Dyke, who sang the TV show's theme tune, added his on Twitter tribute, writing, "R.I.P. Jean Stapleton, such a sweet lady!!"
In 1971, America was introduced to a New York family whose trials, tribulations, and flaws rang all too familiar... albeit with a healthy dose of comedy: the Bunkers, the colorful characters who occupied a working-class New York household on All in the Family. Alongside curmudgeonly Archie, passionate Gloria, and wayfaring Mike, there was Edith: a golden hearted but flighty mother, played to comic perfection by Jean Stapleton. Sadly, CNN reports that 90-year-old Stapleton has passed away, as confirmed by her son.
For nearly a decade, Stapleton exemplified inimitable wit and charm as Edith Bunker, squawking amicably as her husband groused and grimaced, her daughter charged for change, and her son-in-law argued with the lot and scarfed down whatever food Edith brought to the table. Brimming with good nature amid the hostility of her family members, Edith was the heart and soul of the Bunker home and of All in the family, a character that could have easily gone by the wayside were not for the mammoth precision in Stapleton's performance.
The actress, also a veteran of stage and the big screen, is survived by children John and Pamela Putch.
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Veteran U.S. TV and stage actress Jean Stapleton has died, aged 90. The actress passed away on Friday (31May13) of natural causes at her home in New York City, according to multiple reports.
Stapleton will best be remembered as Archie Bunker's long-suffering wife Edith in hit 1970s sitcom All in the Family. She won three Emmy Awards for the role.
She also portrayed Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1982 film Eleanor, First Lady of the World and appeared in You've Got Mail, opposite Tom Hanks, and Michael, starring John Travolta.
She famously turned down the chance to take the lead in Murder, She Wrote, which became a TV hit for Angela Lansbury.
Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul arranged for every guest at his wedding to serenade his new bride by asking them to learn the words to her favourite song ahead of the couple's big day. The actor married Lauren Parsekian at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California on Sunday (26May13) in front of guests including his Breaking Bad co-star Bryan Cranston, and the nuptials included musical performances from John Mayer and Foster The People.
However, Paul made sure there was one musical moment his new wife would never forget by asking all 250 guests to join him in singing Beauty by The Shivers.
Parsekian tells People.com, "Aaron had co-ordinated with all the guests by having them join in and sing to me at the end of the song. He had emailed everyone before the wedding so people could learn it. It was probably the most emotional, overwhelmingly beautiful moment of my life."
The wedding had a Parisian theme as Paul popped the question in the French capital, and the newlyweds' first dance was to Edith Piaf's La Vie en Rose, which was the song played during his proposal.
Paul adds of the wedding, "Everything was perfect. It was pretty magical... (The best moment was) when I woke up this morning and realised it wasn't a dream."