Monthly Archives: January 2006
Coretta Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006
Coretta Scott King, who turned a life shattered by her husband’s assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality, has died.
She was 78.
Former Mayor Andrew Young said on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Web site that Bernice King found her mother at about 1 a.m.
Markel Hutchins, a close family friend of the Kings, told The Associated Press he spoke early this morning with Bernice King, who confirmed her mother’s passing.
Young, who was a former civil rights activist and was close to the King family, told NBC’s "Today" show: "I understand that she was asleep last night and her daughter went in to wake her up and she was not able to and so she quietly slipped away. Her spirit will remain with us just as her husband’s has."
Efforts by The Associated Press to reach the family were unsuccessful. They did not immediately return phone calls, but flags at the King Center were lowered to half-staff Tuesday morning.
King suffered a serious stroke and heart attack in 2005.
She was a supportive lieutenant to her husband, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., during the most tumultuous days of the American civil rights movement. She had married him in 1953.
After her husband’s assassination in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968, she kept his dream alive while also raising their four children.
She worked to keep his ideology of equality for all people at the forefront of the nation’s agenda. She goaded and pulled for more than a decade to have her husband’s birthday observed as a national holiday, then watched with pride in 1983 as President Reagan signed the bill into law. The first federal holiday was celebrated in 1986.
King became a symbol, in her own right, of her husband’s struggle for peace and brotherhood, presiding with a quiet, steady, stoic presence over seminars and conferences on global issues.
"I’m more determined than ever that my husband’s dream will become a reality," King said soon after his slaying, a demonstration of the strong will that lay beneath the placid calm and dignity of her character.
She was devoted to her children and considered them her first responsibility. But she also wrote a book, "My Life With Martin Luther King Jr.," and, in 1969, founded the multimillion-dollar Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
MY TWO CENTS:
Mrs. King’s death leaves an ever deepening void in American leadership. If if were not for her, our generation would not know the name Martin Luther King, Jr., let alone be celebrated.
We remember her most as Martin Luther King’s widow, but we must not forget her quiet spirit and ambitious drive for change over the last 30 years. It was her strength and determination that saw the implentation of US national holiday in honor of her husband and the civil rights movement.
THANK YOU FOR KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE…
I extend my condolences to her family and friends.
78TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE "Brokeback Mountain," Diana Ossana and James Schamus, producers "Capote," Caroline Baron, William Vince and Michael Ohoven, producers "Crash," Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman, producers "Good Night, and Good Luck," Grant Heslov, producer "Munich," Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg and Barry Mendel, producers
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Amy Adams, "Junebug" Catherine Keener, "Capote" Frances McDormand, "North Country" Rachel Weisz, "The Constant Gardener" Michelle Williams, "Brokeback Mountain"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR George Clooney, "Syriana" Matt Dillon, "Crash" Paul Giamatti, "Cinderella Man" Jake Gyllenhaal, "Brokeback Mountain" William Hurt, "A History of Violence"
BEST ACTRESS Judi Dench, "Mrs. Henderson Presents" Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica" Keira Knightley, "Pride & Prejudice" Charlize Theron, "North Country" Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line"
BEST ACTOR Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote" Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow" Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain" Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line" David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck"
BEST DIRECTOR Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain" Bennett Miller, "Capote" Paul Haggis, "Crash" George Clooney, "Good Night, and Good Luck" Steven Spielberg, "Munich"
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE "Brokeback Mountain," Gustavo Santaolalla "The Constant Gardener," Alberto Iglesias "Memoirs of a Geisha," John Williams "Munich," John Williams "Pride & Prejudice," Dario Marianelli
BEST ORIGINAL SONG "In the Deep" from "Crash," Music by Kathleen "Bird" York and Michael Becker; Lyrics by Kathleen "Bird" York "It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle & Flow," Music and Lyrics by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard "Travelin’ Thru" from "Transamerica," Music and Lyric by Dolly Parton
The eight nominations for "Brokeback Mountain" make this taboo-shattering drama the presumptive best picture favorite; the film with the most nominations almost always wins. "Brokeback" would become the first gay-themed film to take the top award. But with no film receiving double-digit nominations, this year’s pack is clustered together more tightly than usual.
The Oscars will take place March 5 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, hosted by Jon Stewart
Oscar.com Official site for the Academy Awards. Includes information on nominations, past winners, Oscar night fashion, and more
Official site of the 78th Annual Academy Awards,From the official site of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Terrence Dashon Howard today became an Academy Award-nominated American actor, notable for appearing in a succession of well-reviewed television and film roles between 2004 and 2005.
His big film break came in his role in 1995’s Mr. Holland’s Opus. He has continued landing television and movie roles and co-starred as "Greg Sparks" in the late-1990s television series Sparks with James Avery and Miguel A. Nunez Jr. Howard also appeared in Ashanti’s music video for her 2002 single "Foolish". Also in 2005, he also appeared on Mary J. Blige’s "Be Without You".
Howard has a longstanding reputation in the Black community as a solid acting talent who often portrays provocative, even frightening characters, such as Cowboy in "Dead Presidents" or the memorable Quentin in "The Best Man." Though he has recently gained popularity in films like Hustle & Flow (for which he also rapped), Crash, and Four Brothers, he stands out as a modest actor who insists on sharing the spotlight with his co-stars.
In 2005, he has received both a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for his role in Hustle & Flow.
MY TWO CENTS:
This is one of the most deserved nominations of the year.
Terrence Howard is one of those actors who seemingly can do anything. No matter what the role he intelligently chooses to play he is always phenomenally fine (Crash, Ray, Lackawanna Blues, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Four Brothers, Hart’s War, etc etc etc). In HUSTLE & FLOW writer/director Craig Brewer has finally given him a vehicle that allows him more screen time and the opportunity to create a character that burns his image on our memory indelibly.
Howard gave an Oscar-nomination worthy performance in a role that requires a certain machismo yet a soul of pain and depth.
He commands the screen with a power rarely seen.
So why DID Dave Chappelle walk away from that $50 million Comedy Central deal, and is he ever coming back to "Chappelle’s Show"?
Let’s hope Oprah is as tenacious in her questioning of the comedian when he appears on her show Friday February 2nd
“Dave Chappelle’s Stand-Up Special” will also feature the comic making comment on casting directors for porno flicks, and sharing thoughts on the way men and women argue.
Chappelle will also be seen on Bravo’s “Inside the Actors Studio” in February this season in an interview that had him so nervous that he resorted to chain-smoking through the entire exchange with host James Lipton.
The comedian stunned fans and the entertainment industry when he abruptly left during production of the third season of Chappelle’s Show. He spent two weeks in South Africa before returning home to his 65-acre farm near Yellow Springs, and then returned to standup comedy. His decision triggered reports that he had mental or drug problems, which he denied.
On May 11, news sources (most notably Entertainment Weekly) reported that Chappelle had checked himself into a psychiatric facility in South Africa. Chappelle denies this. On May 14, Time Magazine announced that one of their reporters had interviewed Chappelle in South Africa, and the comedian said no psychiatric treatments were occurring or necessary. Chappelle reportedly went to South Africa to purify himself and to do some soul searching. Chappelle has also said he was unhappy with the direction of his show.
Chappelle’s Show is on hiatus as of December 2005 while he sorts out unspecified personal issues. Recent news has located Chappelle back in the United States, at his house in Ohio, and performing impromptu shows in Los Angeles and the Cincinnati, Ohio suburb of Newport, Kentucky. On August 3rd, co-star Charlie Murphy gave an interview to TV Guide stating that he believes that Dave Chappelle is finished with Chappelle’s Show and would not be returning.
Although Chappelle may be done with filming the show, Comedy Central has recently reported that they will release the un-aired sketches of the third season of "Chappelle’s Show" into four half hour episodes in mid-2006. A season three trailer was shown on Comedy Central during their Last Laugh ’05 and then on their website. And can also be seen on the Comedy Central Website.
Comedy Central Chappelle site
Official Dave Chappelle Site
WEST WING NEWS
The cast and crew of "The West Wing" spoke during the NBC executive question and answer segment of the Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on January 22, 2006 in Pasadena, California. One of President Bartlet’s memorable lines on "The West Wing" comes to mind now that NBC has announced the award-winning series will have its finale May 14 after seven seasons: "What’s next?"
At a press conference, Executive Producer John Wells said the mid-December death of series regular John Spencer briefly led to a discussion of whether it was appropriate to continue the series without him, and whether the three filmed episodes he was featured in prominently had to be re-shot.
"The conclusion we came to was John was so wonderful in the episodes that the best homage we could make to his contribution was to let people see the last days of his work," said Wells. "We did not change or edit a single thing."
The first of the final episodes, including Spencer’s character, Leo McGarry, aired on Sunday night. He will be in two of the remaining nine episodes. Wells said it hasn’t been easy writing or performing the episode in which McGarry dies. "I think for the cast and for all the shooting company, we’re now kind of dealing with the death of a character that we loved, after having dealt with the death of a man that we loved," said Wells. "And it’s a complicated and difficult time for us."
In the series, McGarry is the former chief of staff in the Bartlet administration who became the vice president running mate of Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits). Wells said the episodes filmed before Spencer’s death took the show within five days of the election between Santos and Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda).
Research determined that a death of a vice presidential candidate so close to an election would make it too late for the presidential candidate to get a replacement on the ballot.
"In the case where it’s right up against the election, all of the people that we talked to said the wisest thing for a candidate to do would probably be to either indicate who they want to replace them or to just go silent on the issue," said Wells. "If they lose, it’s not an issue. If they’re elected, it makes the most sense to wait until the inaugural and then try to get a candidate nominated and then through Congress under the 25th Amendment."
The series, which is having a terrific creative season even though viewers have ignored it on its new Sunday night spot, gets a natural February break because of NBC’s Olympic coverage. Wells said the April 2 and April 9 episodes will deal with the election. The May 14 finale will focus on the inauguration of the new president and the Bartlet administration leaving.
And yes, Rob Lowe, who was part of the original cast, has been asked to return.
After the press conference, Wells revealed more of his plans for what happens between the Olympics and the inauguration. He feels it is a luxury to know the show is ending so he can send it out the proper way.
"We’ll have episodes at the end where we’ll follow (chief of staff) C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney) and see what is happening in her life. There is an episode about what happens to (disgraced speechwriter) Toby (Richard Schiff). We have a full episode with what is happening with Vinick and Santos, what is happening in the rest of the their lives. We will have an episode about (Santos’ campaign manager) Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) and an episode about Bartlet (Martin Sheen).
"It was going to be an episode about Bartlet and Leo. Now it will be an episode about Bartlet."
Those remaining avid "West Wing" viewers may remember that an episode set in the future revealed that C.J. and the reporter played by Timothy Busfield got married and had a child, speechwriter Will Bailey (Josh Malina) was in Congress, former assistant chief of staff Charlie Young (Dule Hill) was working in the government and there remained a distance between Toby (Schiff) and the president because of Ziegler’s involvement in a White House leak.
"We’ll play all of that out at the end of the season," said Wells. "We have to work around (Busfield’s) schedule because he’s very involved (as a producer-director) with "Without a Trace.’ We’re trying to follow through on it. We talked about it long and hard over the summer."
One thing was not addressed in the future episode: Whether Donna Moss (Janel Moloney) and her former boss, Josh, will finally realize they belong together after flirting for years.
"One of the great things is when you know the show is ending, you can actually do stuff that you probably wouldn’t do if you thought the show was continuing," said Wells. "I’ll say just that."
That paints a pretty obvious picture.
Wells was in such a talkative mood that he even revealed the two choices he has for the final scene. Both will be filmed, but the decision as to which one will be the final scene will be made in the editing room. I don’t want to spoil it, but both candidates are strong ones.
And the best choice will have a poignant and familiar ring to regular viewers of the show
Christopher Ryan Penn (October 10, 1965 – January 24, 2006) was a film actor. He was the son of noted director Leo Penn and actress Eileen Ryan, as well as the brother of actor Sean Penn and musician Michael Penn. He dated and lived with Steffiana De La Cruz from 1993 to 1999.
Penn was found dead Tuesday in his condominium near the beach in Santa Monica. Police said they discovered the 40-year-old actor’s body around 4 p.m. Santa Monica Police Lt. Frank Fabrega said there were no obvious signs of foul play. An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death.
Born in Los Angeles, Penn started acting at the age of 12 at the Loft Studio. In 1983, he made his feature film debut in Francis Ford Coppola’s youth drama Rumble Fish. In 1983 he was featured in a small role in the high school football drama All the Right Moves starring Tom Cruise, appeared in the hit dance musical Footloose in 1984, and played a villain in the Clint Eastwood western Pale Rider (1985). In 1986 he co-starred with his brother, Sean, and mother Eileen Ryan in At Close Range.
Penn was typically cast as a supporting actor, featured as a villian, a working-class lug, or in a comic role in his films. Two of his more memorable performances came in Reservoir Dogs and True Romance. In 1996 he won the best-supporting actor at the Venice Film Festival for The Funeral.
Penn was featured on Law and Order: Criminal Intent during the 2004-05 season. During that time, he was featured on the 2004 video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as the voice of Officer Eddie Pulaski and played himself on a 2005 episode of Entourage. He also appeared in The Darwin Awards which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival one day after his death.
NBC announced Sunday it was pulling the plug on the Emmy-winning political drama after seven seasons in May
The new president on The West Wing will be a real short-timer:
NBC, struggling to regain its footing after the worst season in its history, also outlined several midseason schedule changes — including the moves of popular dramas Law & Order and Las Vegas.
The West Wing announcement wasn’t much of a surprise. Although this season’s story line with a presidential campaign involving a Democrat played by Jimmy Smits and Republican portrayed by Alan Alda has been strong critically, ratings have sunk with its move to Sunday nights. The decision to cancel it was made before actor John Spencer, who played former presidential chief of staff Leo McGarry, died of a heart attack Dec. 16, said Kevin Reilly, NBC entertainment president. "There’s a point when you look at the ratings and say, it feels like it’s time," Reilly said.
The series finale will be May 14, preceded by a one-hour retrospective.
The campaign to replace the fictional Josiah Bartlet as president will be settled, NBC said
The West Wing" holds the record for most Emmys won by a series in a single season (its first) and has earned 90 total nominations to date. Other awards include a Peabody Award for Excellence in Television, five Golden Globe nominations and one Golden Globe Award for Best Drama Series, and three Television Critics Association Awards.
At the core of the current 2005-06 season is the campaign between Democratic nominee Santos (Jimmy Smits) and Republican challenger Vinick (Alan Alda) for the Presidency. President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his team find themselves leading the country with the administration’s days coming to a close.
WEST WING COCKTAIL PARTY
"Actors and producers toasted the show’s end Sunday night at a cocktail party with television critics, who championed the series from the beginning.
"We knew we had a special show and we remained as a family," said Martin Sheen, who portrayed President Josiah Bartlet. "We all knew that we weren’t going to get this kind of a chance again."
Series producers have only in the past few days decided who would win the presidential campaign that has been this season’s main story; it will be revealed in April. The contest pits a Democrat played by Jimmy Smits and a Republican portrayed by Alan Alda, and the show’s writers have fought over who should win.
"It’s been quite a brawl," said John Wells, executive producer.
Although "The West Wing" briefly considered it calling it quits after Spencer’s death, or remaking episodes featuring him that were filmed but not yet aired, Wells said they ultimately decided to use the late actor’s work.
It’s been tricky working the death into the story line; McGarry was a candidate for vice president, and producers found there was no constitutional provision for what happens when a candidate dies so close to the election.
"We’re now dealing with the death of a character we loved after having dealt with the death of a person we loved," Wells said.
Lawrence O’Donnell, a former Washington insider who is one of the show’s executive producers, said he knew the show was making a cultural impact when he found politicians who rarely watch TV were fans. He found it a better place to debate issues than real political shows on TV, he said.
Actor Bradley Whitford said he once heard from former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who was upset that nobody seemed to care when his television counterpart died.
"I actually would get lobbied by lobbyists," he said. "I thought they wanted my autograph. But they were lobbying to get their issues mentioned on the show."
Producers are negotiating the return of Rob Lowe, the early series star who left because he was upset by his diminished role, for the finale. Series creator Aaron Sorkin — responsible for the rapid-fire style of dialogue — has no plans to return.
Sheen said the show’s most positive impact on the country was, during a cynical time, to make people realize the important job that public servants perform.
"The government continues because of people who care for the country," he said."
Stockard Channing Emmy, Best Supporting Actress (2002)
Allison Janney Emmy, Best Supporting Actress (2000, 2001) Emmy, Best Actress (2002, 2004) SAG Award, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (2000, 2001)
Richard Schiff Emmy, Best Supporting Actor (2000)
Martin Sheen Golden Globe, Best Actor in a Dramatic Television Series (2001) SAG Award, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (2000, 2001)
John Spencer Emmy, Best Supporting Actor (2002)
Bradley Whitford Emmy, Best Supporting Actor (2001)
MY TWO CENTS
Thank you Aaron Sorkin and the West Wing cast (from all 7 seasons) for creating a show that brought excellence to our living rooms all of these years. Your work will be remembered and it will certainly be missed.
And NBC Since the end of the show has been announced, please make sure you do your best to live up to the standard of The West Wing at its best. Don’t overreach and go for the most showy exit. Go for the best written, most true-to-character ending you can do.
I SERVE AT THE PLEASURE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES…….