Veteran actor Billy Crystal saluted his late friend and fellow funnyman Robin Williams as a comedic "genius" in a touching tribute at the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Monday (25Aug14). The Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting star committed suicide at his California home on 11 August (14) and his close pal Crystal was given the task of memorialising Williams at the annual prizegiving, which salutes the best in TV.
Taking to the stage at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live at the end of the traditional In Memorium segment, which was set to the tune of Sara Bareilles singing a moving rendition of Nat King Cole classic Smile, Crystal recalled how he used to struggle to keep up with his old friend's quick wit and mountains of energy as they performed together in the early days of their careers.
Crystal said, "He made us laugh, hard... He made us laugh, big time. I spent many hours with Robin onstage. I mean, the brilliance was astounding, the relentless energy was, kind of, thrilling. I used to think if I could just put a saddle on him and stay on for eight seconds I would be OK..."
He continued, "As genius as he was onstage, he was the greatest friend you could ever imagine: supportive, protective, loving. It's very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in all of our lives.
"For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy. But while some of the brightest of our celestial bodies are actually extinct now, their energy long since cooled, but miraculously, because they float in the heavens so far away from us now, their beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever and the glow will be so bright, it will warm your heart, it will make your eyes glisten and you'll think to yourselves, 'Robin Williams, what a concept.'"
Ironically, the late funnyman honoured Jonathan Winters during the same Emmy Awards segment last year (13).
Others remembered in the In Memorium piece, prior to Crystal's heartwarming tribute to Williams, included Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lauren Bacall, Paul Walker, James Garner, Peter O'Toole, Maya Angelou, Bob Hoskins, Mickey Rooney and Harold Ramis.
"Shout out to our friend Tracy Morgan, we'll see you next year Tracy!" Primetime Emmy Awards guest presenter Jimmy Kimmel honours the comedian at Monday's (25Aug14) prizegiving as the 30 Rock star continues to recover from an horrific car crash which claimed the life of his friend James McNair and left Morgan in a critical condition in June (14). He is still undergoing physiotherapy to help him bounce back from his injuries, which included a broken leg and rib.
Hit series Breaking Bad went out with a big bang on Monday night (25Aug14) after dominating the drama categories at the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Bryan Cranston earned his fourth Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series trophy for his portrayal of chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord Walter White, while his co-stars Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn were named Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress in a Drama Series.
Creator Vince Gilligan also triumphed at the ceremony after Breaking Bad, which wrapped its fifth and final season last year (13), beat Mad Men, True Detective, Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Downton Abbey to take home the prestigious Outstanding Drama Series title. In addition, there was a writing honour for Moira Walley-Beckett for the episode Ozymandias.
Modern Family was another multiple winner - the show continued to reign over the Outstanding Comedy Series category for the fifth year in a row, while Ty Burrell walked away as the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, the first prize of the night, and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series went to Gail Mancuso for her Las Vegas episode of the show.
BBC series Sherlock landed a trio of trophies for writer Steven Moffat and its stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, while Jim Parsons (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for The Big Bang Theory), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Veep), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) and Allison Janney (Mom) scored big, too.
Singer Sara Bareilles performed a touching rendition of Nat King Cole classic Smile for the event's traditional In Memorium segment, which included nods to Philip Seymour Hoffman, Peter O'Toole, Lauren Bacall, Paul Walker, James Garner, Maya Angelou, Bob Hoskins, Mickey Rooney, Harold Ramis, Elaine Stritch and Shirley Temple, among others, before concluding with a snap of Robin Williams and a special honour from his close friend and fellow comedian, Billy Crystal.
The main list of winners at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by comedian Seth Meyers, is as follows:
Outstanding Drama Series - Breaking Bad
Outstanding Comedy Series - Modern Family
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series - Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Allison Janney, Mom
Outstanding Miniseries - Fargo
Outstanding Television Movie - The Normal Heart
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Benedict Cumberbatch for Sherlock episode His Last Vow
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie - Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Martin Freeman for Sherlock episode His Last Vow
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie - Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven
Outstanding Variety Series - The Colbert Report
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program - The Amazing Race
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Joe Morton, Scandal
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series - Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series - Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - Moira Walley-Beckett for Breaking Bad episode Ozymandias
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series - Louis C.K. for Louie episode So Did the Fat Lady
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series - Cary Joji Fukunaga, True Detective
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series - Gail Mancuso for Modern Family episode Las Vegas
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special - Sarah Silverman, Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special - Steven Moffat for Sherlock episode His Last Vow
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special - Glen Weiss, 67th Annual Tony Awards
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special - Colin Bucksey for Fargo episode Buridan's A**.
Mos Def and Samuel L. Jackson have emerged as the frontrunners to play Bobby Womack in a biopic about the soul legend, who died earlier this year (14). The Across 110th Street singer's longtime tour manager and friend Don Smalls is masterminding the movie and admits he already has a 120-page script that Womack approved before his death in June (14).
Smalls tells WENN, "There has been talk of Mos Def and Samuel L. Jackson, but we're also interested in casting an unknown.
"I think with the right producer and director, this could be a real blockbuster. The new James Brown biopic (Get On Up) is one thing, but this has the makings of becoming a classic. There's such a story to tell.
"I've got a great script and we're in the process of tweaking that as I speak."
James Spader has the new Avengers film to thank for his renewed friendship with Iron Man Robert Downey, Jr. after losing touch with his Less Than Zero co-star years ago. The Sex, Lies & Videotape star admits Downey, Jr. was among his closest friends when they were working together in the 1980s, and the Chaplin actor was so fond of Spader he and his then-girlfriend Sarah Jessica Parker named their cat, Jimmy, after him.
But their lives "drifted apart" and Spader reveals he hadn't spoken to his old friend in years when he was offered the role of villain Ultron in the new Avengers film, Age of Ultron.
He tells Playboy, "We spoke to each other just before I left for London to film Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it was like we were right back where we'd left it (friendship).
"It has been a tremendous pleasure and absolute delight to be reunited with Robert on this film."
Broadway actor James Monroe Inglehart celebrated Robin Williams' beloved role as Aladdin's Genie during Tuesday's (12Aug14) production of the hit stage adaptation by leading the audience in a touching sing-a-long. Inglehart, who recently won a Tony Award for his incarnation of the Genie in the New York show, returned to the stage after the final curtain came down at the New Amsterdam Theatre and belted out the film's Oscar-nominated song Friend Like Me in honour of the man who brought the Disney character to life onscreen.
Crowd members were encouraged to join in by using song lyrics that had been stuffed inside each copy of the show's Playbill programme.
Williams was no stranger to Broadway - he last performed on the Great White Way in 2011 in the play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.
Broadway theatre bosses will pay tribute to the tragic actor by dimming their marquee lights for one minute on Wednesday night (13Aug14).
Williams died in an apparent suicide at his California home on Monday (11Aug14), aged 63.
Disney bosses have paid a touching tribute to their Genie, Robin Williams, by painting an image of his animated Aladdin character in the stars.
The late actor's friends at the Walt Disney Company have released a photo of his magical character cleverly crafted from stars in the night sky. Disney chairman Robert Iger has also offered up a statement about Williams, which was released as the caption for the image.
It reads: "We're deeply saddened by the loss of Robin Williams, a wonderfully gifted man who touched our hearts and never failed to make us laugh. An incredible actor and a comedic genius, Robin will always be remembered for bringing some of the world's favorite characters to life, from his zany alien on ABC's Mork & Mindy to the irascible genie in Disney's Aladdin. He was a true Disney Legend, a beloved member of our family, and he will be sorely missed. We join Robin's friends and fans everywhere in mourning, and offer our thoughts and condolences to his family during this difficult time."
Meanwhile, the organisers of the annual Deauville American Film Festival in France have announced they will pay homage to Williams, who visited the event in 1988 and 1999. Calling the tragic star "an old friend", festival bosses have posted photos of the late actor at the event on Deauville's Twitter.com page. Will Ferrell, Jessica Chastain and James Cameron will he honoured with career awards at the festival, which begins on 5 September (14).
Actor James Caan and Barbra Streisand led tributes to their late pal Lauren Bacall following the actress' death on Tuesday (12Aug14). The 89-year-old movie legend died after suffering a stroke at her home in Manhattan, New York.
Caan, who worked with Bacall in 1990's Misery, shared his sorrow in a statement to Entertainment Weekly which reads, "She was a great, uplifting lady who was full of talent and fun. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her. I will miss her dearly."
Barbra Streisand, who directed Bacall in The Mirror Has Two Faces, says to Billboard.com, "What a terrible loss for us all... It was my privilege to have known her, to have acted with her, and to have directed her... And, most of all, to have had her as a wise and loving friend. She was an original. Even with all those great films we can visit again and again, she will be missed."
Alec Baldwin writes on Twitter.com, "The great Betty Bacall (her birth name) is gone. Read her first autobiography, BY MYSELF. I love that book," while KISS rocker Gene Simmons adds, "Lauren Bacall - sad. R.I.P. She was a class act. She will be missed."
Alan Cumming uploaded a picture of himself with the late actress and writes, "You are a sensation and a killer! (First thing BB ever said to me) RIP Betty you sensational killer," and Richard E. Grant adds, "Worked with Lauren 'Betty' Bacall who called herself a 'Broad'.Took no prisoners, but if she liked you, you were friends for life. Unique."
Other stars have sent their condolences via social media, including John Cusack, Stephen Merchant, Belinda Carlisle, Boy George, Dita Von Teese and Lynda Carter.
Socialite Nicky Hilton is engaged to boyfriend James Rothschild. The hotel heiress' banker beau popped the question last weekend (ends10Aug14) in Italy, according to Us Weekly.
A source tells the magazine the couple was celebrating its anniversary in the same country where they first met, while attending supermodel Petra Ecclestone and James Stunt's 2011 wedding near Rome.
The insider reveals Rothschild, who flew from his home in England to the U.S. to ask Hilton's parents for her hand in marriage before the trip, proposed during a boat trip on Lake Como, where George Clooney owns a retreat.
The source says, "It was incredibly romantic and beautiful."
Hilton and Rothschild are reportedly celebrating their engagement with a road trip through Europe.
Fashion designer Hilton, the younger sister of Paris, previously dated DreamWorks studio boss David Katzenberg for four years, and was briefly married to childhood friend and businessman Todd Andrew Meister in 2004.
Italy has become 2014's romance destination for celebrities - Kim Kardashian and Kanye West wed in Florence earlier this summer, and George Clooney will wed his fiancee Amal Alamuddin in Italy next month (Sep14), according to reports.
Getty Images/Slaven Vlasic
Tracy Morgan's attorney has rubbished reports the comedian is in good health, insisting he is "still struggling" following his major car crash earlier this year (14).
The former Saturday Night Live star was hospitalised in June (14) when the limousine he was travelling in was hit by a Wal-Mart truck, killing his good friend James McNair and leaving Morgan in a critical condition.
The funnyman entered a rehabilitation facility last month (Jul14) to recover from his injuries, which included a broken leg and rib, and he was later pictured on his feet with a walker and reportedly said, "I feel strong".
However, his attorney Benedict Morelli has slammed the reports, telling U.S. TV show Today, "He's still struggling, but he's a fighter and he's had issues before that he's fought through and he's fighting hard... The interesting thing is at the beginning, the Internet was saying that he was dead, that he had lost a leg... there were all kinds of false reports. Now it's coming out that he's doing great, none of those things are true or accurate."
Morelli is suing sued Wal-Mart bosses for being careless and negligent and claimed in the lawsuit the company should have known driver Kevin Roper had allegedly been awake for more than 24 hours. Roper has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto.