Stars including Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, and British royal Prince Charles were among the thousands of mourners who bid a final farewell to Nelson Mandela at his funeral on Sunday (15Dec13). Altogether, 4,500 guests gathered in the village of Qunu, South Africa to remember the country's former president, who passed away on 5 December (13) from a lung infection.
Mandela's family and friends congregated with global leaders and celebrities around the civil rights icon's casket during the service, which was held in a marquee in his ancestral village.
The casket was placed in front of a stage, on which 95 candles, representing each year of his life, were lit and a huge portrait of the former politician was displayed as a backdrop.
The service began with the Mandela family representative, Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima, addressing the audience, while the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, led the tributes to the man widely known by his tribal name of Madiba, describing him as a "beacon of hope".
He said, "It is the end of an extraordinary journey that began 95 years ago. It is the end of 95 glorious years, of a freedom fighter, a dedicated and humble servant of the people of South Africa. Fountain of wisdom, a pillar of strength, and a beacon of hope for all those fighting for a just and equitable world order. Your long walk to freedom has ended in a physical sense. Our own journey continues. We have to continue working to build the kind of society you worked tirelessly to construct. South Africa will continue to rise."
Mandela's granddaughter, Nandi Mandela, also paid tribute on behalf of Madiba's children and grandchildren.
She told the crowd, "(Mandela) was a true leader of the people. We are proud of his achievements and want to make him proud. We have learned some valuable lessons from him. He truly cared. He truly cared for his family and extended family."
Following the service, Mandela's casket was carried to the gravesite by military staff. He was buried as 450 members of his family and friends gathered around the site.
The burial marked the end of a week of special events for Mandela, which included a memorial service in Johannesburg, where the likes of Bono, Charlize Theron and Naomi Campbell mingled with U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Charles died of complications from lung cancer in Los Angeles on Wednesday (03Aug11).
According to TMZ.com, she was diagnosed with the condition just a few months a go.
A family member says, "Annette had recently started having difficulty breathing... and when she went to the doctor she learned that she had a cancerous tumour in her one of her lungs."
The actress landed her first role in 1968 with an appearance on U.S. TV show The High Chaparral and she later guest starred on a number of popular series, including The Bionic Woman, Patrick Duffy's The Man from Atlantis, The Mod Squad, and Magnum, P.I.
However, Charles is perhaps best known for her role as Cha Cha DiGregorio in movie musical Grease.
The anchor team of Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff are set to replace the late Peter Jennings at ABC’s World News Tonight, The Associated Press reports.
ABC News hopes Vargas, 43, and Woodruff, 44, will establish an anchor team that can measure up to the late Jennings, who had been the sole anchor for nearly 22 years until he died of lung cancer on Aug. 7.
ABC News President David Westin said, "You need more than one anchor. One person can't do all of this." He feels this new team will also attract younger viewers to a format that has one of the oldest audiences in television. "This is the right team to take us forward," Westin told AP. "My clear goal is to make sure we have the strategy for the future and not just the past."
Veteran ABC newsman Charles Gibson, co-host of Good Morning America, however, was not included in the mix, even though he, Vargas and Woodruff have been the main substitutes since Jennings announced in April that he had lung cancer. ABC decided to leave Gibson at Good Morning America and not disrupt its success as morning news programs have proven to be the most lucrative and chief area of growth for broadcast networks.
ABC also announced Monday that World News Tonight would be the first network evening newscast to broadcast live for three different time zones--Eastern, Mountain and Pacific. Vargas and Woodruff will travel frequently to the site of major news and update stories during the day on the Internet and for cell-phone users.
Vargas, a self-described Army brat who is married to singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, will also keep her job as co-anchor of the ABC newsmagazine 20/20 and will become the first chief network anchor of Hispanic heritage. Woodruff, a lawyer who turned to journalism after working in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square uprising, previously covered the Justice Department for ABC and was the weekend World News Tonight anchor.
The new team will officially start on January 3, 2006.
Hundreds of stars are expected at the British Academy Television Awards in London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane tomorrow. This year's BAFTA TV Awards, which cover news, documentary and sports programs, will be hosted Chris Tarrant, who hosts the television quiz show Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?. The event could attract criticism if the current affairs spoof Brass Eye wins either of the two major awards for which it was nominated: best comedy and best innovation. The controversial program was the subject of thousands of complaints following a show about pedophilia, the BBC reports. The Television Awards will air on Monday, April 22 at 8:30 BST.
'N Sync member Lance Bass has some competition for his paid seat on a space flight sometime in October or November. According to PageSix.com, 40-year-old mom and former space-mission planner for NASA Lori Garver is also under consideration, as is 39-year-old Polish millionaire Leszek Czarnecki. Bass, you may recall, has already begun a documentary on his preparation for the 10-day mission called Celebrity Mission: Lance Bass.
Just when you thought Tonya Harding's life couldn't possibly take any more bizarre turns, the former figure skater was cited for drunken driving early Saturday morning in Battle Ground, Wash. According to The Associated Press, Harding crashed her pickup truck into a ditch and failed a field sobriety test and breath test administered by deputies from the Clark County Sheriff's office that arrived on the scene. Neither Harding nor her passenger was hurt.
In the Biz
Paramount Pictures was granted exclusive television rights to H.G. Wells' 1938 science fiction novel The War of the Worlds by a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge, Reuters reports. As trustees of the author's estate, Wells' grandchildren had started negotiations with Hallmark to produce and distribute a television miniseries based on the novel. But Paramount asserted exclusive ownership of the TV rights based on a contract signed by H.G. Wells' son Frank in 1951. In a ruling made public Friday, Judge Ira Gammerman said Paramount has the right to televise the motion picture since it has the right to produce it.
Lisa Bonet, who played Denise Huxtable on NBC's The Cosby Show, will not be taking part in the show's upcoming reunion next month. While NBC blames her busy schedule for her absence, Bonet told People magazine that she was uncomfortable with the whole vibe of the show, saying she was offered a "take-it-or-leave-it" type of deal. Bonet also went on to say she thought the reunion project "felt disingenuous and motivated by corporate profit" and that the deal made her feel devalued and disrespected. The episode airs May 19.
It's official: The Osbournes is the biggest hit series in MTV's 21-year history. Last Tuesday's episode was watched by 6.3 million people--up from 6 million the week before--and according to Nielsen Media Research, it's bumped professional wrestling as cable television's biggest show. MTV has three more original episodes on tap before the season ends and is talking to the family about filming another season's worth of shows, the AP reports.
The two surviving members of Nirvana want Kurt Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, the AP reports. Bassist Krist Novoselik and drummer David Grohl want Love to be removed from the business partnership they formed in 1997, which Love argues should be dissolved because her judgement was significantly impaired when she signed it three years after her husband's death. A lawyer representing Novoselik and Grohl said a psychiatrist's evaluation would most likely show that Love was competent when she signed the agreement and that her competence has since deteriorated.
Always willing to embrace controversy, Grammy-winning rapper Eminem is appearing in the video for his new single "Without Me" dressed up like Osama bin Laden and spoofing the Sally Jessy Raphael Show. According to MTV.com, the song is the first single from Eminem's album The Eminem Show, which is due out June 4. The video for "Without Me" will debut in early May on an episode of MTV's Making the Video.
A new scholarship fund will be established at Park City High School in Utah in the name of actor Robert Urich. Urich, who was best known as Dan Tanna on Vega$, and his wife, Heather Menzies, were strong forces in the Utah art community, People reports, helping to raise funds for a performing arts center at the high school when Urich was alive.
Antonio Banderas received the first Anthony Quinn Award for Excellence in Cinema and the Arts Friday at the 10th annual Providence New Latin American Cinema Festival. Quinn, who was born in Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles, died last year at age 86.
Rusty Burrell, a retired sheriff's deputy who served as bailiff on The People's Court, died Monday at his home in Rosemead, Calif., after suffering from lung cancer, the AP reports. He was 76. Burell was a real-life bailiff during the high profile trials of Charles Manson and Patty Hearst, and joined Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joseph Wapner in the reality TV show The People's Court in 1981. The series ended in 1993, but the two reunited several years later to work on Animal Planet's "Judge Wapner's Animal Court.