The celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. takes place this year amidst political chaos. In particular, it is occurring in the middle a weeks-long government shutdown that has pitted President Donald Trump, the leader of a party that is 90 percent white, against the most diverse Congress in American history over an idea that has been derided as racist and xenophobic.
Praise for Dr. King’s legacy will emerge from this partisan rancor. Rather than invoke unity, however, such praise exposes a difficult truth: King's legacy has become as segregated as the country he tried to heal.
There are few gigs in modern TV more fraught with the potential to out yourself as a massive asshole than hosting Saturday Night Live. Pretty much every factor—the rush, the pressure, the presence of the live camera—is almost guaranteed to bring out the worst in people, whether it’s deciding to bust out their “funny” Jamaican accent for some godforsaken reason, doing whatever the hell it was Justin Bieber did to piss Bill Hader off so much, or just being all-around bad human being Steven Seagal.
Several men accused of sexual misconduct during the past year might be clamoring for their comebacks after mere months—but as far as Jane Fonda is concerned, they can keep on waiting. At an event in New York promoting a new HBO documentary about her life, Jane Fonda in Five Acts, the actress emphasized that while she does have compassion for men, she rejects the idea of letting anyone accused of sexual misconduct return to power before they’ve atoned.
Burt Reynolds, the charismatic star of such films as Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit who set out to have as much fun as possible on and off the screen — and wildly succeeded — has died. He was 82.
Reynolds, who received an Oscar nomination when he portrayed porn director Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997) and was the No. 1 box-office attraction for a five-year stretch starting in the late 1970s, died Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida, his manager, Erik Kritzer, told The Hollywood Reporter.
It is ironic that Neil Simon, who died today at 91, got his inspiration to become a comedy writer from the movies into which he constantly escaped to forget the circumstances of his poor depression-era childhood. Even though he grew up in Washington Heights, much closer to Broadway than Hollywood, it was always the movies of the likes of Chaplin , Keaton and others that stuck with him and led to one of the most sterling careers ever for a writer. Yet by far his greatest success and appreciation came as one of the most successful playwrights of all time, a record of accomplishment that included a whopping 17 Tony nominations and three wins, a Pulitizer Prize for drama, and even as the rare playwright to have a theatre named after him. “I always feel more like a writer when I’m writing a play because of the tradition of the theater … there is no tradition of the screenwriter, unless he is also the director, which makes him an auteur. So I really feel that I’m writing for posterity with plays, which have been around since the Greek times,” he once said about his career trajectory.
This probably explains why In his prime his works were often staples in the Tony Best Play category, but in movies he never got nearly that kind of recognition despite over 25 screenplays , most based on his own plays, that brought the Neil Simon magic to the masses.
"Alright, sit down, because I'm going to tell you a fabulous story," Cher said toward the start of her first of two sold-out shows at Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa over the weekend. "A true story, OK?"
She actually told a few stories during the Friday night stop of her Classic Cher tour. After descending from the ceiling, dripping in gold and wearing a larger-than-life orange wig, for a dazzling performance of her 2013 hit "Woman's World," the pop icon took a breath — and then a trip down memory lane.
Though she's been performing for more than five decades — and can do a five-minute plank at 72 years old — Cher admitted that she once felt insecure about her age. And it was all because of her Witches of Eastwick co-star Jack Nicholson and director George Miller.
Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.
In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Debra Birnbaum, talks with comedy legend Carol Burnett, who scored her 23rd Emmy nomination for “The Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special.”
Even with six Emmy Awards under her belt, Burnett is still immensely grateful at the recognition by the TV Academy, as well as audiences. “To have this happen now, it’s kind of unbelievable,” Burnett says. “I was happily surprised.”
The program, which is in contention for variety special, celebrated the 50th anniversary of “The Carol Burnett Show,” the variety series which ran from 1967 to 1978, and won 25 Emmys over the course of its run.
Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul," died Thursday in her home city of Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. Her death was confirmed by her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. She was 76.
Franklin sold more than 75 million records during her life, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. She took soul to a new level and inspired generations of singers who came after her.
His full name, Scotty Bowers, appeared in 2012 on the cover of his autobiography, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars, co-written with Lionel Friedberg and produced by literary agent David Kuhn, a former V.F. editor under Tina Brown. The book alternated chapters of Scotty’s valiant service in the Marines during World War II with chapters of his sexual exploits with his clients and close friends in the film industry. His long, startling list included, in addition to Tracy and Hepburn, Cary Grant, Tyrone Power, Rock Hudson, Charles Laughton, Raymond Burr, Vincent Price, Cole Porter, and Vivien Leigh.
Tab Hunter, a former on-screen heartthrob and gay icon, has died. He was 86.
Hunter died Sunday night in Santa Barbara after a blood clot in his leg caused cardiac arrest, Allan Glaser, Hunter’s partner for more than three decades, confirmed to Variety.
With his All-American good looks, wavy blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, and toothy smile, Hunter rose to the top ranks of Hollywood leading men in the 1950’s and early ’60’s. He appeared in the likes of “Damn Yankees” and “Battle Cry,” and had chart-topping records such as “Young Love.” But at the height of his popularity, he was dogged by rumors that he was gay, a potentially career-ending rumor during that culturally conservative era. At one point, he was “outed” by the gossip rag, Confidential.