Leah Remini Joins CBS’ ‘Kevin Can Wait’ As Series Regular

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The King of Queens reunion on Kevin Can Wait is becoming permanent. Leah Remini, who guest starred in the two-part season finale of Kevin James’ freshman comedy, is joining the cast of the CBS sitcom as a series regular for its second season.

She will reprise her role as the tough, wise-cracking undercover police woman Vanessa Cellucci when Kevin Can Wait returns in the fall.

James and Remini starred together for nine seasons on the popular CBS comedy series The King of Queens, which aired in the same time slot where Kevin Can Wait is for most of the season, Monday 8 PM.

Kevin Can Wait ranked as this past season’s No. 1 new comedy in total viewers (9.19 million) and adults 18-49 (2.1 rating).

Remini recently starred in the NBC comedy pilot What About Barb? and has been making headlines with her documentary series Scientology and the Aftermath on A&E

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Written by deadline.com

Rick Moranis And Dave Thomas To Reunite As The McKenzie Brothers

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The pair, who played beer-loving Canadian bumpkins in an imaginary talk show, will perform at a benefit concert next month alongside Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd and Eugene Levy.

Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, who played SCTV‘s and SNL‘s beer-loving McKenzie brothers during the 1980s, are reuniting for a July 18 benefit concert in Toronto.

Other Canadian comedy legends on The Second City concert bill include Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd and SCTV alums Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Martin Short and Joe Flaherty, along with the Kids in the Hall cast, including Scott Thompson.

Paul Shaffer, Dave Letterman’s former bandleader who worked with Levy, Short, Thomas and Andrea Martin in the 1972 Toronto production of Godspell, will also appear onstage in Toronto. Moranis and Thomas are set to reprise their roles as the Canadian bumpkins Bob and Doug McKenzie on an imaginary talk show, Great White North.

Their act, which was launched to mock government mandated Canadian TV content rules, was spun off into the 1983 cult comedy Strange Brew, and that year also made the late-night transition stateside to Saturday Night Live.

Short, who will host the concert, will also appear in a special guest interview with Jiminy Glick.

The proceeds of the benefit will go toward caring for Jake Thomas, Dave Thomas’ nephew, who suffered a spinal cord injury while snowmobiling in Jan. 2017 that has left him paralyzed from the waist down.

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Written by hollywoodreporter.com

Kathy Griffin ‘Devastated’ Over CNN Firing

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The 56-year-old comedian was ‘inconsolable’ after getting canned, says a pal.

Kathy Griffin is “inconsolable” after getting axed by CNN over her controversial Trump tweet, RadarOnline.com has learned.

As Radar reported, the 53-year-old fiery red head posted a photo depicting herself holding a model of President Trump’s severed head yesterday and was subsequently fired by CNN, despite her apology.

“Kathy is just absolutely devastated right now and has been crying hysterically but no one knows what to say to make her feel better right now,” a source close to Griffin told Radar.

“Kathy lives for the CNN gig and hosting NYE show is her proudest moment of the year. She just can’t believe that Anderson Cooper took sides when he has talked so much about Trump.”

As previously reported, Griffin promptly took down the disturbing photo after backlash exploded online.

But it was too late.

“Her non-celebrity friends are really worried about her right now,” the insider claimed. “But she asked her A-list pals such as Pharell Williams and Cher to tweet out support for her and they just haven’t.”

“Kathy has burned a lot of people in her life and now her haters are calling in her karma.”

Presented by The Griper – E.Cowan

She went too far and forgive us Kathy, you knew exactly what you were doing. Unfortunately for you, the line you thought you were getting close to was beyond where most thought it should be. Still…it was just a picture…get over it America

Written by radaronline.com

Happy Endings Abound In The ‘Love Actually’ Mini-Sequel

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“Love Actually” is still all around us, thanks to the mini-sequel that aired Thursday during NBC’s Red Nose Day charity special. We are now blessed with an update on most of the characters from the 2003 Christmas hit that continues to inspire obsession and vitriol around the world.

It’s happy endings (mostly) all around. The couples formed in the film ― Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) and the prime minister (Hugh Grant), Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia (Lucia Moniz), even Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Joanna (Olivia Olson) ― are still together. Mark (Andrew Lincoln) is still showing up at Juliet’s (Keira Knightley) door while Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) awaits her return, but now Mark is married to Kate Moss. Billy Mack’s (Bill Nighy) manager has died, but Billy is still recording half-baked publicity singles and giving cantankerous radio interviews. Rufus (Rowan Atkinson) is methodically packaging gifts at Walgreens, because product placement is real, and Daniel is inquiring about Sam’s life on that same waterfront bench (sans Claudia Schiffer). The happiest ending of all goes to Sarah (Laura Linney), who’s bagged a new fellow played by Patrick Dempsey.

Cast members missing from the roster: Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman (who died in 2016), Rodrigo Santoro, Kris Marshall and the rest of Colin’s crew, and Martin Freeman and Joanna Page, who played the flirty body doubles.

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Written by huffingtonpost.com

Gregg Allman Passes Away At 69

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Gregg Allman, the singer, musician and songwriter who played an essential role in the invention of Southern rock, has died at the age of 69. Allman’s rep confirmed to Rolling Stone that the artist died Saturday afternoon.

Allman “passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia,” a statement on the singer’s website read Saturday. “Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.”

“It’s too soon to properly process this,” Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts said in a statement. “I’m so glad I was able to have a couple good talks with him before he passed. In fact I was about to call him to check and see how he was when I got the call. It’s a very sad day.”

Allman’s longtime manager and close friend Michael Lehman added, “I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”

A cause of death was not immediately revealed, but Allman suffered from chronic liver issues in recent years.

Although Allman claimed the term was redundant, the singer-keyboardist helped create the first great “Southern-rock” group as co-founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band alongside his older brother, famed guitarist Duane Allman. The Allmans fused country blues with San Francisco-style extended improvisation, with their sound creating a template for countless subsequent jam bands. Gregg Allman was blessed with one of blues-rock’s great growling voices and, along with his Hammond B-3 organ playing (beholden to Booker T. Jones), had a deep emotional power. Writing in Rolling Stone, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons said that Allman’s singing and keyboard playing displayed “a dark richness, a soulfulness that added one more color to the Allmans’ rainbow.”

“I’ve tried … Words are impossible. Gui Gui forever. Chooch,” Cher wrote on Twitter. “Rest in peace Greg [sic] Allman peace and love to all the family,” Ringo Starr wrote.

As he recounted in his 2012 memoir My Cross to Bear, Allman also experienced a quintessential, and essentially tragic, rock-star trajectory that included too-sudden fame, admittedly excessive drug use, a high-profile celebrity romance, multiple marriages and a late-life liver transplant.

Gregory LeNoir Allman was born December 8th, 1947, in Nashville, Tennessee, a little more than a year after brother Duane. The boys’ father, U.S. Army Captain Willis Turner Allman, was shot to death by a drinking acquaintance shortly after the family moved to Norfolk, Virginia in 1949. As a child, Gregg saved up money from a paper route and bought a guitar that was soon appropriated by his older brother. The siblings attended Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee, before moving to Daytona Beach, Florida. Duane talked his brother into joining a racially integrated band, the House Rockers, shocking their mother. “We had to turn my mother on to the blacks,” Gregg told 16-year-old Cameron Crowe in the 1973 Rolling Stone cover story that would inspire Crowe’s 2000 film Almost Famous. He added that it “[t]ook a while, but now she’s totally liberated.” Following Allman’s death, Crowe tweeted, “Thank you Gregg Allman … for the inspiration, and for those many holy nights on stage.”

After playing in bands like the Untils, the Shufflers, the Escorts and the Y-Teens, the brothers took their band Allman Joys on the road in the summer of 1965 following Gregg’s graduation from Seabreeze High School. They often played six sets a night, seven nights a week, and eventually moved to Los Angeles – Gregg having shot himself in the foot to avoid the draft – where they recorded two forgettable albums for Liberty Records as the Hour Glass. While working as a session man in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Gregg was summoned to Jacksonville, Florida, in March 1969. There he joined Duane and the other musicians – Dickey Betts (guitar), Berry Oakley (bass), Butch Trucks (drums) and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drums) – comprising the Allman Brothers Band’s earliest incarnation.

“It was nice, round, kind of dull-ended instead of sharp,” Allman wrote of the Hammond B-3 sound, “and I thought it blended with guitar just perfect.” In addition to being the band’s main vocalist and composer of signature tunes “Whipping Post” and “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin,'” Gregg and his long blond hair also served as its visual focus. The band enjoyed meteoric success with their albums Live at the Fillmore East (1971) and Eat a Peach (1972). Between those albums, tragically, Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident, followed a year later by Oakley’s eerily similar demise.

Shortly thereafter, Gregg recorded his solo debut, 1973’s Laid Back, which offered an economical à la carte selection of blues, R&B and soul songs in contrast with the Allmans’ epic all-you-can-eat live shows. Its critical success, combined with Gregg’s marriage to pop superstar Cher in 1975 and the group’s collective appetites for narcotics, led to the Allman Brothers’ breakup after the recording of their disappointing 1975 release Win, Lose or Draw. Additionally, Allman’s bandmates shunned him for testifying to a grand jury, in exchange for immunity, regarding his “valet” and drug provider John C. “Scooter” Herring. Audience shouts of “Narc!” plagued him for years afterward.

 

Allman continued to release solo albums throughout the Seventies and Eighties. These included the live Gregg Allman Tour (1974) and Playin’ Up a Storm (1977). Two the Hard Way (1977), a duo album with Cher credited to “Allman and Woman” resembled an Ashford & Simpson-style effort. An admitted hardcore alcoholic throughout the Eighties and most of the Nineties, Allman enjoyed something of a comeback with I’m No Angel (1986) and, three years later, a reformed Allman Brothers Band. His only non-anthology solo release the following decade was Searching For Simplicity (1997). Allman was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the Allman Brothers Band in 1995 and would receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Grammys.

In 2007, Allman was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, which he attributed to a dirty tattoo needle, and he received a liver transplant. He also suffered from an atrial fibrillation and eventually switched to a gluten-free vegan diet.

T-Bone Burnett produced Low Country Blues (2011), a solid set of blues covers. Allman continued touring with the Allman Brothers until the group played its official final show at New York’s Beacon Theater on October 28th, 2014. All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman, a live album featuring performances by Allman alongside contemporaries Dr. John, Eric Church, Jackson Browne, John Hiatt, Warren Haynes and Widespread Panic, among others, was released in 2015. He released Gregg Allman Live: Back to Macon GA in 2015. A rep for Allman has confirmed that a new album, the Don Was–produced Southern Blood, will be released in September.

In 2016, Allman was forced to cancel his summer tour due to unspecified “serious health problems.” After briefly returning to the stage – Allman’s last concert was at his 2016 Laid Back Festival in Atlanta – and scheduling a winter tour, Allman again canceled the dates, citing a vocal injury.

“This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long, long, time,” Allman said in a statement after calling off his winter tour. “I’ve been on the road for 45 years because I live to play music with my friends for my fans. As much as I hate it, it’s time for me to take some real time off to heal.”

After rescheduling the dates, in March 2017, Allman’s rep announced, “It has been determined that Gregg will not be touring in 2017,” although no reason was provided for the canceled concerts. The next month, Allman denied rumors that he was in hospice care.

Allman is survived by his wife, Shannon Allman, his children, Devon, Elijah Blue, Delilah Island Kurtom and Layla Brooklyn Allman and three grandchildren.

“When it’s all said and done, I’ll go to my grave and my brother will greet me saying, ‘Nice work, little brother – you did all right,'” Allman wrote in the last lines of My Cross to Bear. “I must have said this a million times, but if I died today, I’ve had me a blast. I wouldn’t trade [my life] for nobody’s, but I don’t know if I’d do it again. If somebody offered me a second round, I think I’d have to pass on it.”

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Written by rollingstone.com

Jon Stewart’s HBO Animation Project Is Cancelled

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The series of animated shorts Jon Stewart has been developing for HBO has been canceled, The New York Times reports. The project was first announced in 2015, when Stewart signed a four-year contract with HBO after leaving The Daily Show. HBO told the Times that the problems were mostly technical:

Besides the unexpected echoes of Criswell (“future Jon Stewart projects such as these will be announced in the future!”), the news isn’t too surprising, given the way the project has mutated since Stewart arrived at HBO. Originally, he was planning to make several animated shorts per day for HBO Now. A year later, the project had become even more ambitious: now he would make short videos for HBO Now while simultaneously producing 30 minute episodes of “an animated parody of a cable news network with an Onion-like portal,” all in time to cover the election. The project depended on animation technology belonging to graphics company Otoy, designed to allow Stewart to produce animation quickly enough to comment on the news while it was still news. No one could have anticipated the way Donald Trump would warp the very fabric of space-time to increase the pace of the news cycle, but this seems like a production challenge even under a sedate, competent president.

It will be interesting to see what Stewart tries next—there’s not exactly a shortage of late night hosts with humorous takes on current events these days, and John Oliver has HBO’s Daily Show-style news slot already locked up

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Written by slate.com

Ryan & Kelly Ratings Crash!

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‘Live’ takes a fall after Seacrest becomes Ripa’s sidekick.

Just one week after his debut on Live With Kelly & Ryan, the ratings crashed a shocking 12 percent, and the show is in a free-fall.

According to TheWrap.com, Live “received a 2.2 Live + Same Day national Nielsen rating last week.”

The first week with Seacrest as her sidekick brought in the show’s top ratings in two months, earning a 2.6 Nielsen rating.

Meanwhile, as Radar previously reported, tension has been growing on the set.

“Kelly wanted someone she could boss around — and that isn’t Ryan,” an insider previously claimed.

“Kelly is certainly a big star now, but she’s learning that she’s not big enough to call the shots when it comes to who’ll be sitting beside her when the cameras roll,” a source said. “That’s got to hurt.”

Presented by The Griper – E.Cowan

It’s time….bye!

Written by radaronline.com

Steven Van Zandt Talks

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In the early days of the Reagan administration, Steve Van Zandt started writing a doo-wop song called “The City Weeps Tonight.” The goal was total authenticity, something that “could have been by the Students or the Jive Five,” and he was getting pretty close, until he got stuck on the final verse. As Van Zandt threw himself into the improbable arc of the next 36 years of his life – leaving the E Street Band to launch an activism-fueled solo career; helping to establish a pivotal cultural boycott of South Africa with “Sun City”; then falling into a post-Eighties showbiz limbo that consisted mostly of walking his dog, only to find himself, all at once, starring on The Sopranos, touring the world again with Bruce Springsteen, and becoming the world’s leading and only garage-rock evangelist – that song somehow never left his mind.

“Every couple of years,” he says, “I’d see if I could finish that last verse. I’m not kiddin’. I’d have pages and pages of words. … ‘Not yet, that’s not quite it.’ ” He laughs, offsetting the heavy-lidded sternness of a default expression you might call Resting Silvio Face. (“Steven is a kindhearted guy,” says his longtime collaborator Southside Johnny Lyon, “but he can be very intimidating, because he’s so focused.”)

Van Zandt is, for the first time in many years, focused on his lapsed solo career. In October, Van Zandt was fresh from a yearlong E Street Band tour when a friend persuaded him to play a show of his songs in London, where he had to win over an audience filled with as many “curiosity-seekers” as fans. “It was a revelation,” says Van Zandt. “The stuff held up so well. It was nice to feel that, the strength of those songs.”

Thanks in part to his proximity to Springsteen and his habit of giving away some of his best songs to other artists (Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds and, recently, Darlene Love), Van Zandt is among the most underrated songwriters of the rock era, and it’s hard not to think that even Van Zandt had started to undervalue his work. “He really is a great writer,” says Jackson Browne, who recorded and frequently performed Van Zandt’s protest song “I Am a Patriot” (also a favorite of Eddie Vedder’s), and credits him with inspiring the political bent of his own Eighties work. Browne notes that Van Zandt’s second album, Voice of America, was “more recognizably political than Born in the U.S.A.,” released a month later. “And Little Steven’s songs could not be misunderstood. It really was a huge influence on me, and Bruce became more and more political from that point on.”

At the moment, Van Zandt is in a rehearsal studio on the Far West Side of Manhattan, preparing for an upcoming Asbury Park show with a new incarnation of his backing band, the Disciples of Soul – this one 15 musicians strong, barely fitting in the room, not to mention forming a substantial collective payroll. “Still strugglin’ to achieve my lifelong goal of breaking even,” he half-jokes. (He’s particularly excited about having recruited former Youngbloods keyboardist Lowell “Banana” Levinger, charmingly assuming he’s a household name: “Did you see Banana?”)

In the past few months, that missing verse to the doo-wop song at last came to Van Zandt (“You told me you’d pray for me,” it begins, capturing the Fifties innocence he’d sought), just in time for him to record the song for Soulfire, his first solo album in 18 years. “The City Weeps Tonight” isn’t the only genre exercise on Soulfire, which is largely drawn from songs Van Zandt wrote for other artists over the years. Most prominently, there’s the first real song he ever wrote, the dead-on Drifters homage “I Don’t Want to Go Home,” which he used to introduce as an actual Drifters song in early performances. “We always have to establish our identity in some original way,” he says. “But just as challenging, or just below it, is a real genre song that holds up in that genre. I’m always proud when that happens.”

But Van Zandt has come to realize that he does have a genre all his own, a brand of soul rock once known as the Jersey Shore sound. He helped create the style – where Stax-Volt horn-section blasts collide with power chords and Motown hooks – as songwriter, producer and guitarist for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, a role he mostly maintained in the studio for a few years even after joining the E Street Band. The sound – which also creeps in and out of Springsteen’s own records – reached its apotheosis on Southside’s 1978 classic, Hearts of Stone, and on Van Zandt’s own debut, 1982’s Men Without Women. He and Springsteen both took stylistic cues from Jersey shows by Sam and Dave, of “Soul Man” fame. “I said, ‘Aha! Me and Southside will be the white Sam and Dave,’ ” says Van Zandt. “The great thing about rock & roll, in terms of identity, was it’s white guys trying to be black. And failing gloriously, right? So we took the Sam and Dave thing, but I wanted to keep the rock-guitar part of it.”

But aside from helming Southside’s 1991 comeback, Better Days, Van Zandt had mostly put that style aside, veering between various sounds – reggae, Eighties synth anthems, hard rock – on his solo albums. “I didn’t worry about consistency,” he says. “Of course, if I was someone’s manager or producer, I would never allow them to do that. That’s career suicide before it starts. You can’t have five different identities musically, OK?”

Soulfire is Van Zandt’s first album since Men Without Women to embrace his signature style. “I was thinking, ‘Who do I want to be?’ ” he says. “I’m like, ‘Who am I really?’ And the thing most identified with me, and the thing that is most unique, is that soul-meets-rock thing. So I went back to that.”

Van Zandt started his career as a frontman, covering the likes of Paul Revere and the Raiders with his high school band, the Shadows, in Middletown, New Jersey, just a bit to the east of Springsteen’s Freehold. He never had the prettiest voice in the world, but he’s a compelling vocalist: “The emotional commitment carries you along,” says Southside, always the best pure singer on the Shore scene. In a high school of 3,000 students, Van Zandt was, as he tells it, the only kid with long hair. He got thrown out of the school and his own house for it, though he eventually made his way back to both. “My father was an ex-Marine Goldwater Republican,” he says. “We were the generation gap. It was rough. My identity was an embarrassment to him. He figured ‘You’re just a gay drug-addict criminal,’ you know, whatever the worst thing was in their heads.” Steve actually wasn’t on drugs, at least until “Nazi” local cops planted weed on him and arrested him for it. “After that, I’m like, ‘Well, fuck this! If I’m gonna be punished, might as well smoke dope!’ So I started smoking dope.”

His musical success, he says, “wasn’t out of determination or courage or persistence, it was because I was a complete fuck-up at everything else. That’s true of Bruce too. That’s the one thing we had in common. When chances came, everybody took them. College, military, job, whatever. The only two left standing from New Jersey was me and him. Why? Because we were complete freaks, misfits, outcasts, that’s why! There was no place else where we fit.”

By 1983 or so, Van Zandt didn’t even feel at home in the E Street Band anymore, thanks to now-resolved tensions with Springsteen and manager Jon Landau. (In his autobiography, Springsteen writes about playing the two men off each other to yield creative sparks.) Van Zandt left, pursuing an increasingly political direction: “ ’Does the world really need a bunch of new love songs from a sideman? I don’t think so.’ And I started studying politics.”

He went to South Africa to research a song, and was shaken by the brutalities of apartheid. Van Zandt persuasively argues that the activism that followed, most publicly with the all-star “Sun City” song and album, was a significant factor in the fall of the regime. That said, he couldn’t help wondering if he had erred in leaving Springsteen’s orbit right before the Born in the U.S.A. tour thundered through stadiums. “At some point I just started to feel a little bit stupid,” Van Zandt says, smiling a bit, “when they’re all buying mansions and I’m hiding under a blanket in Soweto. But that’s how life goes, man.”

He’s convinced that labels blackballed him after the fall of apartheid. “They’re looking at me like, ‘Whoa, this guy’s a little bit dangerous,’ and they just disappeared. So I just went out into the desert, man, and just thought about stuff.”

Before they got back together for good in 1999, the E Street Band had a quick trial reunion in ’95 – and Springsteen wrote that Van Zandt more or less invited himself back into the band at that point. Van Zandt has to think hard about that account before he nods. “I think I felt like, ‘Hey, there’s gonna be an E Street Band reunion, I should be there.’ Right? I had as much to do with that success as anybody.” He smiles. “Maybe more. Some things got left out of the book. But I’ll deal with that later.”

Now, he wants to do solo work between every Springsteen tour, along with more acting and a long list of other ideas and projects. “It might be kind of late,” says Van Zandt, who turns 67 this year, “but I’m hoping for a big fourth quarter.”

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by hollywoodreporter.com

 

Roger Moore Passes Away At 89

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The Englishman also was suave as another hero, Simon Templar, in the British TV series ‘The Saint.’ “I would have loved to have played a real baddie,” he once said.

Roger Moore, the handsome Londoner who portrayed James Bond in more films than anyone else and did so with cartoonish, cheeky charm and probably for a bit too long, has died. He was 89 (born on Oct. 14, 1927).

Moore, who earlier made his reputation as a suave leading man on the television series Maverick, The Saint and The Persuaders!, died, with a message from his children shared on the actor’s official Twitter account reading: “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer.”

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer.

After George Lazenby was one and done as Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Moore took on the guise of Agent 007 in Live and Let Die (1973) and stayed for The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985), which hit theaters when he was nearly 58. He said it was his choice to leave the franchise.

His Bond was more of a charmer than a fighter, more of a stirrer than was the shaker embodied by the first Bond, Scotsman Sean Connery. Moore took on the role with a grain of salt, not to mention cigars — as part of his contract, he reportedly was given unlimited Montecristos during production.

“My personality is entirely different than previous Bonds. I’m not that cold-blooded killer type. Which is why I play it mostly for laughs,” he once said. Moore’s devilish smile and famously cocked eyebrow made his Bond a more polished, albeit less pugnacious, chap than former bodybuilder Connery’s robust warrior.

The late Amy Winehouse apparently was a fan. On her song “You Know I’m No Good” from the 2006 album Back to Black, she sings, “By the time I’m out the door, you tear men down like Roger Moore.”

“I probably just rhymed with door,” he once said. “Or she couldn’t find anything to rhyme with Connery.”

Moore played Bond more than any other actor — while bedding a total of 19 beauties, by one count — and his films earned more than $1 billion at the box office. But he considered himself to be the fourth-best 007, trailing Connery, Daniel Craig and Lazenby. And after leaving the series, he acted only sporadically.

Earlier, Moore starred for six seasons as the slick Simon Templar, who makes a living stealing from crooks, in the popular 1962-69 series The Saint, which aired in the U.K. on ITV and in the U.S. on NBC (an international hit, it sold to more than 80 countries.)

In an October 2014 interview, Moore lamented the fact that he pretty much always played the good guy.

“I wasn’t an Albert Finney or a Tom Courtenay,” he said. “I didn’t have their natural talent, I had to work quite hard at acting. My life’s been all right, but people like that get to play wonderful parts. I spent my life playing heroes because I looked like one. Practically everything I’ve been offered didn’t require much beyond looking like me. I would have loved to have played a real baddie.”

Roger George Moore was born on Oct. 14, 1927, in Stockwell, England south of the River Thames in London. An only child, he was evacuated as a teen during World War II to Worthing, Sussex in southern England while his father remained in London, serving as a police constable who sketched crime scenes.

His first job was with Publicity Pictures Production, a film company in London, which specialized in animated cartoons. He worked as a tracer and filler-in, made tea and ran errands. After he was fired, a friend suggested he could make some easy money serving as an extra on Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), then filming outside London.

He played a Roman soldier in a crowd scene in the film that starred Claude Raines and Vivien Leigh, and the experience put his life on a new course. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (with future Miss Moneypenny Lois Maxwell), and by the end of the first term, he managed to get into a West End production of The Italian Straw Hat.

Moore quickly landed more parts, including a role in another West End Theater production, The Circle of Chalk.

In 1945, Moore was drafted and entered officer training school. He was sent to Germany after winning his commission, commanding a small supply depot. During his tour of duty, he joined the Combined Services Entertainment Unit in Hamburg, doing traveling shows throughout Europe.

Upon his discharge, Moore landed a role in the musical comedy Trotti True (1949) but then experienced a long period of unemployment. During this time, he joined a repertory company, the Intimate Theatre; performed in such plays as Noel Coward’s Easy Virtue; and supported himself as a model for things like knitwear and toothpaste.

After he understudied for David Tomlinson in a West End production of The Little Hut, Moore moved to Hollywood and within days got a role on a 1953 episode of the live NBC anthology series Robert Montgomery Presents.

He played a tennis player who is the object of Elizabeth Taylor’s flirtation in the MGM drama The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), followed by parts in such films as the biopic Interrupted Melody (1955), starring Eleanor Parker and Glenn Ford; The King’s Thief (1955), with Ann Blyth and David Niven; Diane (1956) with Lana Turner; and The Miracle (1959), with Carroll Baker.

Moore’s pretty-boy looks and confident manner elicited comparisons to a young Errol Flynn, and he landed his first starring role, portraying the title knight in the U.S.-British swashbuckling TV series Ivanhoe.

He played swindler Silky Harris on the 1959-60 ABC series The Alaskans, and when James Garner quit Maverick in a breach-of-contract dispute, Moore stepped in as cousin Beauregarde “Beau” Maverick, even going so far as to wear the costumes that Garner had left behind. He would later quit the show as well.

Disillusioned with television in the U.S., Moore starred in The Sins of Rachel Cade (1961) with Angie Dickinson and returned to England to make Romulus and the Sabines (1961), an Italian film about the founding of Rome. His co-star was Italian actress Luisa Mattioli, whom he married in 1969, after his divorce from singer Dorothy Squires was finalized. They had three children together before divorcing in 1996.

British media mogul Lew Grade wanted Moore to star as Templar, the character created by author Leslie Charteris and played on the big screen by George Sanders in the 1940s (and by Val Kilmer in a 1997 film). His savoir-faire was perfect for the part, and Moore became an international celebrity.

Grade also signed him to star in the big-screen thrillers Crossplot (1969) and The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970) — he considered the latter to be his best film — and then approached him with another TV series, The Persuaders!

Moore played English nobleman Lord Brett Sinclair opposite Tony Curtis as rogue New Yorker Danny Wilde, and the mismatched pair solved crimes in exotic locations in the 1971 ITV-ABC series.

Around that time, Moore also served as the European managing director of Brut Productions, the show-business wing of Faberge cosmetic works.

Working around his 007 assignments, Moore appeared in Shout at the Devil (1976) with Lee Marvin, The Wild Geese (1978) with Richard Burton, The Sea Wolves (1980) with Gregory Peck and Niven and The Cannonball Run (1981) with Burt Reynolds.

He also starred in the 1976 NBC movie Sherlock Holmes in New York (Patrick Macnee played Dr. Watson and John Huston was Professor Moriarty).

In 1999, Moore was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, and knighthood followed in 2003. He spent the past several years doing charity work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Survivors include his wife Kristina, whom he married in 2002, and children Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian.

After to describe his version of Bond in relation to others, Moore told NPR in November 2014: “I look like a comedic lover, and Sean [Connery] in particular, and Daniel Craig now, they are killers. They look like killers. I wouldn’t like to meet Daniel Craig on a dark night if I’d said anything bad about him.

“George [Lazenby], Timothy [Dalton] and Pierce [Brosnan], we’ve been together, the four of us. But Sean, Sean really was sort of not that enamored of being confused with James Bond all the time. Sean … damn good actor, but he felt that he was only being remembered for Bond. I personally don’t give a damn. I just want to be remembered as somebody who paid his debts.”

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by hollywoodreporter.com

 

Gene Hackman Ditches Hollywood

Categories: Uncategorized

87-year-old Hollywood legend, Gene Hackman, has been missing from the big screen for more than a decade after trading acting for writing. Following iconic roles like his Oscar-winning portrayal of the undercover cop in 1971’s The French Connection and cruel sheriff Little Bill in Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Western Unforgiven,

Gene Hackman retired from movie­making. Now he’s painting and writing novels!

Moving to Santa Fe, N.M., with second wife Betsy Arakawa, Gene has five books under his belt.

Since his 2013 thriller, Pursuit, Gene’s become a real recluse — although sources have spotted him at a small town bar, drinking alone.

Is there a chance we’ll see him on screen again? “Only in reruns,” he says.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by radaronline.com

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