Veteran actor Michael Douglas is set to be honoured with a top prize for his contributions to the film industry. The Wall Street star has been unveiled as the 2015 recipient of the George Eastman Award, named after the photography innovator who founded the Eastman Kodak Company, commonly known as Kodak.
The Oscar winner will be presented with the accolade at a ceremony in New York on 14 May (15).
Previous honourees include Charlie Chaplin, Gregory Peck, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep and Richard Gere.
Justin Timberlake teamed up with comedy pal Jimmy Fallon to launch the star-studded Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary special on U.S. TV on Sunday (15Feb15). Former SNL regular Dan Aykroyd urged viewers to "stay tuned" for the three-and-a-half hour show during the red carpet pre-show, insisting, "You're never gonna see TV like this again", and he wasn't wrong.
Timberlake kicked off the proceedings by interrupting his pal Fallon's opening song-and-dance number to join him for a rap number, referencing some of the show's most famous catchphrases and skits.
The two pals closed their i with a song-and-dance number, in which they named SNL's most famous comedians.
Sir Paul McCartney and Paul Simon then teamed up during a second monologue, during which Steve Martin fought to convince the starry audience that he was the best host - over Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Rock and Miley Cyrus.
In among the medley of historical skits, dotted throughout the special, there were also updates of classic sketches, including a celebrity Jeopardy gameshow, featuring Jim Carrey as Matthew McConaughey, an updated Wayne's World, and spoof soap The Californians with Bradley Cooper as a pool boy, Kerry Washington as a doctor and Taylor Swift as a hippie actress, which ended with Cooper smooching Betty White.
Other highlights included Keith Richards introducing McCartney's rendition of Maybe I'm Amazed, Edward Norton, Melissa McCarthy and Emma Stone impersonating their favourite SNL characters, and Miley Cyrus covering Simon's 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.
The oddest moment came when rapper Kanye West performed his hit Jesus Walks while lying on the floor, beneath an illuminated white sheet. West eventually stood and sang his new song Only One.
Star guests also included Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Jerry Seinfeld, James Franco and Michael Douglas and former SNL regulars Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell and Bill Murray.
The marathon special ended with a performance from Paul Simon, but there was no 'N Sync reunion, as had been rumoured earlier in the day.
Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are among the latest Hollywood heavyweights who have joined calls for British officials to grant pardons to thousands of gay men who were prosecuted when homosexuality was illegal in the U.K. The two actors, who played lovers in Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, have signed a petition which was launched last month (Jan15) in honour of Alan Turing, the gay World War II codebreaker played by Benedict Cumberbatch in Oscar-nominated movie The Imitation Game.
The petition has been gathering speed since Cumberbatch threw his weight behind it, and other stars who have now given their backing include Jessica Alba, Ryan Reynolds, Channing Tatum and Bryan Cranston, while previous signatories include Cumberbatch's The Imitation Game co-star Keira Knightley, director Sam Taylor-Johnson, actor Matthew Goode, and moviemaker Lee Daniels.
As WENN went to press, the petition had gained more than 200,000 signatures.
British child star Mark Lester is to be the subject of a new documentary, in which he'll discuss his long friendship with Michael Jackson. The Oliver! star, who worked with the likes of Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston, Kirk Douglas, Ernest Borgnine, Rex Harrison, David Hemmings and Raquel Welch, will tackle a string of tabloid stories in the film, which will be directed by Robin Jacob.
The actor will also go into detail about his 2013 claims he could be the father of Jackson's kids after donating sperm to the King of Pop in the mid-1990s.
Jacob, who is also behind the camera for Lester's comeback movie, 1066, tells WENN, "It will cover his life from his first acting roles and the various stars he has worked with to his friendship with Michael Jackson and beyond."
In 1066, the former child star's first film since 1977, Lester will play King Harold II opposite Katia Winter, Olivia Hussey and John Altman.
Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman flew off with another seven top honours at the Broadcast Film Critics Association's 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Hollywood on Thursday (15Jan15). The movie picked up the event's first award for Best Acting Ensemble and went on to win another six accolades, including Best Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Score, while the film's star Michael Keaton added two more trophies to his collection - for Best Actor and Best Actor In A Comedy.
In his acceptance speech for the latter he noted, "Nobody is really better than anyone else, but I'll take this (award)."
The Grand Budapest Hotel, which, like Birdman, had picked up nine Oscar nominations earlier in the day, claimed three Critics Choice Awards, including Best Comedy, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design, while another Academy Awards favourite, Boyhood, scored four prizes - the top honour for Best Picture, Best Director (Richard Linklater), Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette), and Best Young Actor (Ellar Coltrane).
Other winners included Julianne Moore (Best Actress for Still Alice), J.K. Simmons (Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash), Bradley Cooper (Best Actor in an Action Movie for American Sniper), and Emily Blunt (Best Actress in an Action Movie for Edge of Tomorrow).
Chris Miller, the co-writer/director of The LEGO Movie had a very special reason to celebrate his win for Best Animated Movie, as it came just hours after the film was snubbed in the same category at the Oscar nominations.
He said, "What a rollercoaster of emotions today has been."
Meanwhile, special awards went to veteran director/producer Ron Howard, who was handed the Louis XIII Genius Award, Kevin Costner, who was feted with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Jessica Chastain, who was presented with the first ever MVP Award, celebrating her multiple roles in films throughout the year, including A Most Violent Year, Interstellar, Miss Julie, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Best Picture - Boyhood
Best Actor - Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Best Actress - Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Best Acting Ensemble - cast of Birdman
Best Director - Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Best Original Screenplay - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo (Birdman)
Best Adapted Screenplay - Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Best Supporting Actor - J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Best Supporting Actress - Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Best Young Actor/Actress - Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood)
Best Cinematography - Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)
Best Art Direction - Adam Stockhausen/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Best Editing - Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione (Birdman)
Best Costume Design - Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Best Hair and Makeup - Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Visual Effects - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Best Animated Feature - The LEGO Movie
Best Action Movie - Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Actor In An Action Movie - Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
Best Actress In An Action Movie - Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow)
Best Comedy - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Actor In A Comedy - Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Best Actress In A Comedy - Jenny Slate (Obvious Child)
Best Sci-fi/Horror Movie - Interstellar
Best Foreign Language Film - Force Majeure (Sweden)
Best Documentary Feature - Life Itself
Best Song - Glory by Common and John Legend (Selma)
Best Score - Antonio Sanchez (Birdman)
Louis XIII Genius Award - Ron Howard
Lifetime Achievement Award - Kevin Costner
MVP Award - Jessica Chastain.
Actor Michael Douglas is set to receive the $1 million (GBP625,000) Genesis Prize award from officials in Israel. The star will be feted for his efforts in promoting Jewish culture around the world by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a ceremony in Jerusalem this summer (15).
Douglas says, "I share this award with my family, who encouraged me in my exploration of the Jewish faith. I hope these teachings and values will be part of the legacy in the world that I leave for my children and those who follow."
Co-founder and chairman of the Genesis Prize Foundation, Stan Polovets, states, "The Genesis Prize Foundation is proud to honor Michael Douglas, both for his professional achievements and for his passion, for his Jewish heritage and the Jewish State.
"The Douglas family's experience of connecting with its heritage and embracing it on their own terms embodies an inclusive approach for Jews of diverse backgrounds. This is particularly important today, when the question of what it means to be Jewish has become more pressing than ever."
Ashanti's mother wanted to "vomit" after a man convicted of harassing her in 2010 began sending crude messages to her famous daughter online. Tina Douglas opened up about the "sickening" fear she experienced as a result of Devar Hurd's alleged actions in 2012, shortly after he completed a two-year sentence for bombarding Ashanti's manager mum with lewd images and notes in 2009.
She also recalled how terrified she was after learning he had reportedly violated a restraining order and followed her youngest daughter, 25-year-old Kenashia Douglas, to an event and taken a photo with her.
Visibly upset as she took the stand at Hurd's trial at New York's Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday (16Dec14), she told the jury, "I wanted to vomit. It was just sickening. Mentioning parts of her body. Saying... what he wanted to do with my daughter...
"I was very afraid, very upset that this was starting again and we had orders of protection - he was told not to come anywhere near my family and he took a picture with my youngest daughter."
Douglas was then cross-examined by Hurd, who represented himself in court and suggested Ashanti's mother was putting on a "little acting" performance.
He then demanded, "You're here because why exactly?", to which she replied, "Because you're stalking my daughter and you had an order of protection and you violated that. And I'm frightened for my family, especially Ashanti."
Hurd, 36, struggled to stay on point and had to be reprimanded numerous times by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Daniel Conviser, who threatened to put the defendant's legal adviser, Michael Fineman, in charge of his case if he did not behave.
The Baby hitmaker and her 25-year-old sister are also expected to testify against Hurd, who stands accused of felony stalking, criminal contempt and other related counts.
During his opening statements on Monday (15Dec14), Hurd claimed Ashanti did little to put a stop to his explicit messages as she could have blocked him at any time, but didn't.
Japanese movie star Ken Takakura has died, aged 83. The actor passed away at a hospital in Tokyo, Japan on 10 November (14) after a battle with lymphoma.
Takakura's death has prompted a flood of tributes on Twitter.com from fellow Japanese celebrities including Thor: The Dark World star Tadanobu Asano, who expressed his sadness in a message posted on the social networking website.
Takakura began his career in film in the 1950s and became known for his portrayal of movie tough guys, rising to international fame with a role 1970 war film Too Late the Hero with Henry Fonda and Sir Michael Caine.
He followed it up by appearing in Sydney Pollack's 1971 drama The Yakuza, playing a Japanese gangster opposite Robert Mitchum, and he went on to star with Michael Douglas in 1989 action movie Black Rain.
His other films include The Yellow Handkerchief, Poppoya and Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles.
Takakura won the best actor trophy at the Japanese version of the Academy Awards four times and was honoured for his career achievements with Japan's Order of Culture award last year (13).
Former Batman Michael Keaton is to be honoured with the Modern Master Award at the 30th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The actor, who is being hotly tipped for the Best Actor Oscar for his role in new movie Birdman, will collect the accolade at a gala on 31 January (15).
Past Modern Masters have included Ben Affleck, Christopher Nolan, Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sean Penn, Peter Jackson, George Clooney, Will Smith, Cate Blanchett and Clint Eastwood.
Announcing next year's (15) recipient, SBIFF executive director Roger Durling says, "There is no actor more befitting of the Modern Master Award than the legendary Michael Keaton. His performance in Birdman is tremendous, showing the range of decades-long experience."