Monthly Archive: March 2010

John Belushi IS Pappy Boyington

I just added photos to our profile of Pappy Boyington, the hard-living World War II flying ace who shot down 28 Japanese planes and won the Medal of Honor.Something about the photo looked familiar. I pondered it a while, chewing on a thumbnail… and then it arrived:

Curtains for Abigail Breslin and ‘The Miracle Worker’

This offer just arrived in the Who2 editorial mailbox.  The new Broadway revival of The Miracle Worker, starring Abigail Breslin as Helen Keller, is closing after just 38 performances.  Estimated …..

Happy Birthday, Norah Jones

Pop/Jazz/Country singer Norah Jones turns 31 years old today. Happy, happy, joy, joy. In honor of her birthday, here’s a video interview from 2008 with Charlie Rose:

The People Vs. George Lucas

There’s a new documentary coming out by filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe about the complicated relationship between fans of Star Wars and its creator, George Lucas.The movie is called The People vs. George Lucas, and it’s currently making the rounds, appearing at film festivals across the U.S. The official site for the film is here (though you may find more useful information at their blog).

A photo of Mariah Carey in a low-cut black dress, with diamond necklace and a broad smile

Mariah Carey is 40 Years Old

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:727:]]Pop singer Mariah Carey is 40 years old today.

Justin Bieber PHOTOS – Street Cred Edition

Justin Bieber is the Canadian teen singer discovered on the Internet in 2009 and now appearing everywhere.  Since we added our profile of Justin Bieber, we’ve been following with interest his attempts to establish street cred with various poses and hand signals.Herewith, the Street Cred of Justin Bieber — photo edition.[[wysiwyg_imageupload:638:]]

Roger Bannister, You Four-Minute-Mile Running Stud, Happy Birthday!

Roger Bannister, the man who broke the four-minute barrier for the one-mile run — in 1954, as he was attending medical school! — turns 81 today. Here’s a nice recap of the local meet where he broke the record. And heck: it’s on YouTube:

Barack Obama Signs Historic Health Care Bill: Transcript

(Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulates President Barack Obama prior to a meeting in the Situation Room of the White House, March 22, 2010. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Birthday Twins: Pat Robertson and Stephen Sondheim?

Talk about opposites:  TV preacher Pat Robertson and Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim were born on the exact same day in 1930.  Both men turned 80 today.Stephen Sondheim was born in New York City and Pat Robertson was born in Lexington, Virginia, and that’s not much surprise in either case. Well, it’s all show business, after all.  Happy birthday, gentlemen!

Ari Quits Tiger

We mentioned in a post from March 11th that golf player Tiger Woods was paying money to former White House press spokesman Ari Fleischer for some public relations help.It didn’t last long. According to this report from Business Insider, Ari stopped giving Tiger advice on repairing his image, but so far hasn’t said why.

Sirhan Sirhan is 66 Today

Sirhan Sirhan turns 66 years old today. He’s still in jail for killing Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Below is an brief interview with Sirhan from back then (“I’m not mentally ill, but I’m not perfect,” he says):

Photo of Fess Parker and Ed Ames in frontier and Native American garb, pointing

Fess Parker Memorial Photo

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:16:]]Mr. Duffy asked for a photo of the late Fess Parker with Ed Ames as his sidekick Mingo.  Wish granted!

Alex Chilton, 1950-2010

Pop star Alex Chilton has died of an apparent heart attack, Variety reports.Chilton was a teen star with The Box Tops, who had a number one hit in 1967 with “The Letter.” He was also in the band Big Star, and later he recorded as a solo artist. A favorite among indie musicians in the 1980s, he was never a household name, but he had a loyal following. Below are two of my favorite Chilton songs, “The Letter” (of course!) and “Holocaust” (by Big Star):

Pat Nixon Desert Turkey

In honor of First Lady Pat Nixon’s birthday — she would have been 98 today, but she died in 1993 — we offer the first ever (maybe?) “Pat Nixon Desert Turkey” photo:

Tiger Woods is Returning to Golf at The Masters

Tiger Woods will golf at The Masters, he said in a statement today on his official site:”The Masters is where I won my first major, and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta.”Woods adds, “I still have a lot of work to do in my personal life.”

David Beckham’s Achilles ‘Totally Torn’

David Beckham suffered a full tear of his Achilles tendon on Sunday, according to Dr. Sakari Oraval, the Finnish surgeon who repaired the injury yesterday. Beckham is out for the World Cup:Asked whether Beckham would be able to play in the World Cup that starts on 11 June, Orava replied: “No, I don’t think so… healing takes a long time.

Jimmy Swaggart Is 75 Years Old

Before Ted Haggard and his trips to Denver, and just after Jim Bakker and his hush money to Jessica Hahn, there was the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart.

Peter Graves, Enemy of Leaf Blowers, Dead at 83

“In 1998, he joined his wife, Joan, in an effort to get Los Angeles to ban gasoline-powered leaf blowers from residential areas, testifying before the City Council, ‘We’re all victims of these machines.'”Jeepers, good for Peter Graves.

Masons and Shriners in the Comics

Of the 68,647 cartoons that appeared in The New Yorker magazine from 1925 to 2004 only two referred to Freemasonry and five referred to the Shriners. Courtesy of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and the Yukon (good sports indeed!) comes this fine page of Masonic References in the Comics.

Just a Nice Photo: The Flaming Lips

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2355:]]Wayne Coyne rides the crowd in a big plastic bubble as his band The Flaming Lips kicks off South by Southwest 2010 at the Austin Music Hall.See more nice photos »Photo: Tom Zinn / WENN 

Happy Birthday, James Taylor!

Today is the 62nd birthday of singer James Taylor.To read in detail about his early career and how he approached songwriting in those days, read this (text only) Rolling Stone interview from 1979.And here are a few videos:

Hugh Hefner’s High School Cartoons

Via this Seattle Post Intelligencer blog post about a collection of Hugh Hefner letters and cartoons from the 1940s.Before Hugh Hefner founded Playboy magazine, that is.

Tiger Woods Hires Ari Fleischer

The New York Post reports that golfer and swinger Tiger Woods has hired on former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.Tiger’s now moved to the post-scandal step of refurbishing his image, after all those gnarly headlines about cheating on his wife, model Erin Norgren, with umpteen waitresses, porn stars and unnamed third, fourth or fifth parties.

The Faces of Hand Models

Our man Mike Duffy passes along this nice slideshow of Faces Behind Famous Hands.Now you can find out what those hand models look like. Our favorite slide is the one of Pamela Moses, whose hands replaced those of Transformers star Megan Fox in a television ad for Motorola.

Did Branwell Bronte Die Standing Up?

Did Branwell Bronte really die standing up?So says Somerset Maugham.We mentioned earlier that Maugham lists Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights in his book on the 10 greatest novels of all time.  Emily was preceded in death (barely) by her older brother Branwell, and Maugham relates a curious anecdote about his death.

Oscar Wrap-Up

The LA Times blog The Envelope has it all pretty well covered.

California Sen. Roy Ashburn: ‘I’m Gay’

If the aftermath of a politician being arrested for drunk driving can be called refreshing, this story is refreshing:”I’m gay,” [Sen. Roy] Ashburn told KERN host Inga Barks in an interview this morning. “Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long.”  Ashburn made the admission even though he has a long history of voting against gay rights.  Can’t have been easy; good for him.

Crucial Oscar News About Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland says she “wasn’t on meds” at the 2010 Oscars. So take that, critics!  [[wysiwyg_imageupload:321:]]See our biography of Kathy Ireland »Photo: WENN

Best Picture Oscar: Hooray for 10 Nominees!

Whatever happens at the Oscars tonight, having 10 best picture nominees is already a huge win. It’s such a relief.  It’s SO much more fun. Adding five movies doesn’t really dilute the field, first of all.  417 movies were released in the U.S. in 2009, so with 10 total nominees we’re still above the 97th percentile.What we gain is color, unpredictability, and that all-American theme of plucky underdogs getting their shot at the big prize. 

Christopher Walken Reads Lady Gaga

Another fine performance by Christopher Walken, reading Lady GaGa’s “Poker Face” on BBC. The video is here.

The Ten Greatest Novels of All Time (1948 Edition)

I am holding in my hand (courtesy of Cincinnati’s Mercantile Library) a first edition of Great Novelists and Their Novels, in which author W. Somerset Maugham names his 10 greatest novels of all time.

James Cameron Saturday

I went in and pitched it to the studio as Romeo and Juliet on a ship: “It’s going to be this epic romance, passionate film.”  Secretly what I wanted to do was I wanted to dive to the real wreck of Titanic, and that’s why I made the movie. James Cameron tells the TED Conference about his fascination with diving and how it’s affected his career.

The Unruly Party That Turned Theodore Geisel into Dr. Seuss

It happened while Theodore Geisel was editor of the Dartmouth humor magazine, the Jack-O-Lantern:Geisel was very proud of his position as editor. But it’s a title Geisel would lose one fateful night on campus.”His senior year he decided to hold a party for all of the Jack-O-Lantern staff,” Pease recounted.

Woody Crashes the Bush Party

We’ve added a new biography of Woody Harrelson, just in time for the Oscars on Sunday night.

Here Come the Oscars

The Oscars official YouTube channel doesn’t allow you to see their many videos without going there. So go there.Some of the best ones are the meetings of the nominees with the press. You can get a feel for how different the nominees are from each other, for one thing. Here are a few links:Woody Harrelson, for example, looks a little out of place in a suit and tie, as you can see here.

St. Elsewhere’s Opening Credits

For absolutely no reason at all, here’s a video of the opening credits to the ’80s TV show St. Elsewhere (second season). Note the many familiar faces, from Ed Begley, Jr. to Denzel Washington:

Stanley Tucci Is a Good Interview

“Sometimes you do just have to go do a job to make money, and sometimes — I think — who was it? Was it Edward G. Robinson who said — you did three movies a year. One for the location, one for the money, and one for the art.”Stanley Tucci, in an interview with Dark Horizons last year.

A Valentine to Film Noir

A terrific compilation for fans of the movies (and for fans of the band Massive Attack):

The Oscars: 10 Worst Robberies

The Telegraph has compiled their 10 worst injustices in Oscar history. Stanley Kubrick, Kevin Costner, and (ugh) Forrest Gump all figure prominently. “2010’s most obvious potential injustice — will District 9 …..

Lil Wayne Dodges a Bullet

Rapper Lil Wayne was scheduled to be sentenced to prison today, but the Manhattan courthouse where he was scheduled to appear had a fire in the boiler room, so his sentencing has been postponed.

Roger Ebert’s New Voice

Movie critic Roger Ebert hasn’t been able to use his voice since he had larynx surgery in 2006. But the CereProc company has made it possible for him to “speak” with a computer voice designed to sound like Roger Ebert.According to this article from Popular Science magazine, they used samples from the hours of DVD commentary Ebert did before he lost his voice.

How Did Dr. Seuss Die?

Happy birthday to Theodore Geisel, the beloved children’s author known as Dr. Seuss. He was born on this day in 1904.We’ve had a lot of queries in the last 48 hours about his death: variations on, “How did Dr. Seuss die?” and “Doctor Seuss, how did he die?” It’s not clear if this is just standard curiosity, of if there’s a trivia contest out there and participants are on the hunt.

Just a Nice Photo: Groucho and Marilyn

Groucho Marx does his thing with Marilyn Monroe in the movie Love Happy (1950). See more photos of Groucho and Marilyn.

Was John Wayne a Draft Dodger in World War II? The Argument Continues

“Here for the first time is the first hard evidence that [John] Wayne volunteered for potentially dangerous service with the equivalent of today’s C.I.A., and the papers are not out of someone’s attic, but official government documents.”That’s the latest public defense of the World War II travails of John Wayne, courtesy of the politically conservative site Big Hollywood.

The Surgeon Who Ran Out to Cash a Check

He had a Harvard Medical School degree, a thriving practice as an orthopedic surgeon, and a nice place in the South End with a Saab parked outside. Then, in the summer of 2002, while performing complicated spinal surgery, Arndt walked out on his patient — who was lying on the operating table, anesthetized and sliced open — so he could go cash his paycheck. The Boston Globe catches up with Dr. David Arndt.

Robert Conrad for Eveready Batteries

Robert Conrad’s disputed birthday got us reminscing about his old TV commercials for Eveready batteries — the ones that briefly made a catch phrase out of “Go ahead — I dare ya!” He was the Energizer Bunny of his day.(He was also the go-to tough guy of the day, starring as World War II flyboy Pappy Boyington in the TV series Baa Baa Black Sheep — part of the setup for the ads.)

Star Wars, Napoleon, and “Reality” in the Movies

Star Wars, perhaps the most successful science-fiction film ever made, breaks dozens of laws of physics but has been enjoyed by millions. Its more recent prequels break no more and are, to those of us who grew up with the originals, heartbreakingly worse.Actor David Mitchell reflects on “reality” in the movies.Movie crews don’t much care… until they’re filming a scene about filming a scene: