Archive: Hollywood

Entries in this category going back awhile
 

Charles Manson dies 48 years after the murders that changed LA

manson-1970-wally-fong.jpg "Many people I know in Los Angeles believed the '60s ended abruptly on Aug. 9, 1969," Joan Didion wrote of the most notorious multiple murders in Los Angeles history.

Disney cancels ban on working with LA Times

Mickey-mice-disney.jpg This happened a little bit faster than I expected. Hope there's no deal involved.
arellano-taco.jpg Dodgers walk off in game 2. The obstacles to covering Hollywood. Media notes, moves and changes. Plus selected tweets.

Standing up to Harvey Weinstein

nyt-women-panel.jpg Bullet points: What you should know about the biggest story in Hollywood in years, including the names of the heroes.

The Media

the-media-back.jpg Los Angeles TV news crews await the speeches at press event inside the construction site for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum.

LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare

academy-museum-sphere.jpg Coverage of the movie mogul's professional demise, many media notes, a union surfaces at the LA Times, selected tweets and more.

Robert Osborne, 84, host on Turner Classic Movies

robert-osborne-2013-tcm.jpg Osborne's TV credits begin in 1954, but in 1977 he took up writing for the Hollywood Reporter and became the genial first host of TCM movies.

Oscars end on a surprise plot twist*

beatty-wrong-envelope.jpg After 3½ hours of mostly uneventful filler, the Oscars show needed a picker upper. It got one.

Westwood's Regent theatre to close, become restaurants

regent-theater-bldg.jpg Westwood Village, once the place where big films opened, is about to be down to just two remaining movie houses.

Richard Schickel, 84, film critic, director and author

richard-schickel-post-by-er.jpg "A giant of American film criticism," Kenneth Turan says of Schickel, the longtime Time critic, author and documentary maker.

Media notes: Nikki Finke going to Harvard, local Ellies and more

nikki-finke-399.jpg Finke has been awarded a Knight Nieman fellowship to "explore best practices in the reporting of breaking news and analysis in a 24/7 media environment."

Janice Min leaving THR, Matthew Belloni upped

janice-min-headshot-billboard.jpg The creative director and editor who brought The Hollywood Reporter back from the brink is moving to the parent company.

Tyrus Wong, legendary Disney artist, was 106

tyrus-wong-bambi.jpg Wong's artwork inspired "Bambi." He contributed to other films and was also known for his beach kites.

NYT's Michael Cieply named editor of Deadline

Michael-Cieply-zocalo.jpg Michael Cieply, the longtime anchor of New York Times Hollywood coverage in the Los Angeles bureau, is joining Deadline as the executive editor.

Variety hires last LA Times Europe correspondent

henry-chu-variety-grafic.jpg Henry Chu is the trade's new European Bureau Chief. He took the LAT buyout last fall.

Garry Shandling memorial was 'funny, sad, perfect'

garry-shandling-gq.jpg 900 or so friends gathered Sunday night at the Wilshire Ebell.

The making of 'All the President's Men'

redford-atpm.jpg Forty years before "Spotlight" reminded movie-goers what reporters actually do, ATPM was the film making college students want to study journalism.

LA Times manages to goof up the Oscars*

Thumbnail image for latimes-sign-sideview.jpg Oscar reporters had to demand access to the ceremony after corporate suits took the LAT's passes. Also: could Davan Maharaj add publisher to his title?

Journalists share in awards weekend for 'Spotlight'

spotlight-team-grab.jpg Spotlight won the Oscar for best picture and the Film Independent Spirit Award for best feature, with a standing ovation for the Boston Globe reporters.

Post's Marty Baron will attend the Oscars this year

marty-baron-esquire.jpg Journalistic objectivity be damned, he's hoping "Spotlight" wins all six Oscars it is up for.

Ex-Angeleno David Geffen is at home in NYC

DavidGeffen-name-tag.jpg "David got bored with Los Angeles a long time ago,” says Tina Brown.

Ron Rogers, 72, public relations executive

ron-rogers-ruder.jpg Rogers grew up in the Hollywood PR business and launched his own firm, The Rogers Group, in 1978.

Obama returning to LA traffic on Thursday*

sunnyland-house-lao.jpg The president has fundraisers in Hancock Park and a taping in Burbank for the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

KUSC does Oscars hype the cool classical way

John-Williams-kusc.jpg Evening host Jim Svejda does one-hour interviews with all the Oscar-nominated composers every night this week.

Locations for 'Hail, Caesar!' and 'Birth of a Nation'

boan-tree-study-bengston.jpg If you enjoy spotting LA locations in Hollywood movies, you'll like this.

'The Revenant' and 'Mad Max' lead Oscar nominations

spotlight-keaton-mcadams-oscars.jpg All the nominated actors are white and two are from Spotlight: Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo.

Lalo Alcaraz on how to make it in Hollywood*

BordertownTeam-crop-320.jpg You too can be an overnight success after 20 years, says the writer on the new Fox show "Bordertown."

Scientists who help write the movies

ant-man-wsj.jpg The Wall Street Journal features Clifford V. Johnson, the USC theoretical physicist who is also a blogger and an adviser on plausible plot twists.

Michael Hamilburg, literary agent, was 82

michael-hamilburg.jpg Michael Hamilburg was the book agent for Jim Morrison, Jackie Robinson, Vincent Bugliosi and many other writers — as well as a number of Los Angeles journalists through the years....

Frank Armitage, 91, Disney Imagineer and illustrator

frank-armitage-disney.jpeg His career included work with David Alfaro Siqueiros, illustrating for "Sleeping Beauty" and "Fantastic Voyage," and murals for Disneyland and other Disney parks.

Clinton visiting LA today for money

kermit-la-brea-closer.jpg Three stops including San Gabriel and at the Jim Henson studios on La Brea Avenue in Hollywood.

Musso & Frank to open on Sunday nights

musso-and-frank-nbcla.jpg Only five hours for supper, but it's enough time for the hard-core Musso's types to run in for a martini and a steak.

Cosby charged and arraigned in Pennsylvania, out on $1 million bail

These are the first criminal charges Cosby has faced despite complaints by more than 40 women that the actor sexually assaulted them, often after giving them drugs.

Photos: Valleywood junkyard cleans up well

upick-door.jpg All the junkyard cars are gone from U-Pick Parts and Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking in Sun Valley, after 53 years serving car owners and Hollywood.

LA and NY film critics go with 'Spotlight'

Spotlight-team-movie.jpg The movie that all your journalist friends love is this generation's "All the President's Men."

THR delivers a hit to LA Times entertainment coverage

thr-grab-11-18-15.jpg Joe Bel Bruno jumps from the LAT's Company Town team to lead breaking news coverage at the Hollywood Reporter.

Charlie Sheen confirms he is HIV positive (video)

charlie-sheen-nbc-grab.jpg The actor does not have AIDS and says he has paid "into the millions" including to insiders to keep his status quiet over four years.

Valleywood's 26 acres of wrecked cars closing for good*

Googie-Arches.jpg AAdlen Brothers Auto Wrecking, an institution in Sun Valley for 53 years, has supplied or been in a lot of movies, TV episodes and music videos.

Keith Richards sings for Merry Clayton (video)

merry-clayton-carole-king.jpg The session singer best known for "Gimme Shelter" and "20 Feet From Stardom" had both legs amputated below the knee after a freeway crash. She was honored last week at The Apollo in Harlem.

Look who's hosting 'Trailblazing Women' on TCM

TBW_About_Collage1.jpg LA Observed contributor Cari Beauchamp brings her film historian chops to a month-long series highlighting female directors back to the industry's first years.

Son of Rick Caruso wins the Republican debate

Gregory-Caruso-cnn.jpg Gregory Caruso was the unflinching young guy sitting just left of Jake Tapper and creating a lot of social media buzz.

Fine Arts to be a Laemmle theater again

fine-arts-large.jpg The Fine Arts movie house on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, dark for five years, reopens Sept. 18. Opened in 1937 as the Wilshire Regina.

Martin Milner, 83, actor and iconic TV cop

henrys-reed-malloy.jpg LAPD Chief Charlie Beck credits Milner's Pete Malloy with inspiring him to join the force.

LA's last real estate trophy?

Last_Real_Estate_Trophy_thr.jpg "This is as good as it gets," says real estate broker Jeff Hyland: 157 acres on the ridge line above Beverly Hills.

Oliver Sacks, 82, neurologist and author dies of cancer

musicophilia.jpg Sacks announced in a February Op-ed piece that he had spreading cancer and was detaching from big world concerns like the Middle East and global warming. "My generation is on the way out…"

Daniele Watts ordered to give better apology to LAPD officer

Daniele-Watts-theedge.jpg The "Django Unchained" actress and her boyfriend have until tomorrow to write an apology that actually sounds sorry.

Coming New Yorker story making TMZ nervous

harvey-levin-twitter.jpg Sources tell THR the magazine is close on an "aggressive exposé — more than a year in the works — about the unorthodox reporting tactics" of TMZ and Harvey Levin.

Portrait: 35 of the women who say Bill Cosby raped them

cosby-accusers-nymag.jpg New York Magazine got 35 of the 46 women it counts as having come forward with allegations about Bill Cosby to sit for photos. It makes an impact.

Scott Foundas jumps from film critic to film exec

scott-foundas-twitter.jpg Variety's chief film critic is moving to Amazon Studios as an acquisitions and development executive.

Norman Lear lip-synchs for his 93rd birthday (video)

norman-lear-at-93-grab.jpg As for getting old, he sings, isn't that the goal?

How did celebrating 'Clueless' become a thing?

stacey-cher-clueless.jpg A sampling of the media stories trying to find some meaning in the LA romp after 20 years.

Kim Masters: The man who saved my mom from the Holocaust

nicholas_winton-thr.jpg The Hollywood Reporter editor-at-large and host of KCRW's "The Business" writes at THR today about Nicholas Winton, who died July 1 at 106.

Video Journeys closing in Silver Lake

video-journeys-grab.jpg Customers like the deep inventory of films in stock. THR's story drops names like Kyle Chandler, Steven Soderbergh and Keanu Reeves.

LA Times sells front page masthead to 'Minions' movie*

lat-front-minions.jpg The Times breaks another advertising standards convention in bid to get movie ads back in the paper. Publisher Austin Beutner made the call.

Academy museum in Miracle Mile gets OK from the City Council

academy-museum-ball.jpg The 13-0 vote allows construction to begin soon at the former May Co. building at Wilshire and Fairfax.

Kirk Kerkorian, 98, went from dropout to billionaire

Kirk-Kerkorian.jpg He bought MGM three times, owned Las Vegas hotels and at times was the richest man in Los Angeles.

Emmys reporters can now sleep in

aduba-stamos.jpg The Emmy Award nominations will no longer be held at a ridiculous hour of the morning in Los Angeles (well, North Hollywood.)
egan-lawyer-wrap.jpg Two lawyers have paid seven-figure settlements to Hollywood executives over bogus sexual abuse lawsuits.

Obama and Clinton coming back for LA money this month

hrc-invite-619.jpg Obama heads over to Tyler Perry's place for a June 18 fundraiser, and Clinton stops in at Tobey Maguire's the next day.
jessica-alba-forbes.jpg Take that, haters. Alba really is more than a pretty face and the Internet's favorite bikini body.

Lucy Jones watches 'San Andreas' so you don't have to

san-andreas-film-grab.jpg LA's favorite earthquake expert tweets her review of the latest impossible movie disaster to destroy Los Angeles.

Anne Meara, 85*, and John Nash, 86

anne-meara-nyt.jpg Meara, the actress and comedian, died in Manhattan. Nash, the mathematician portrayed in "A Beautiful Mind," was killed with his wife Alicia in a New Jersey taxi crash.

Just one copyright per movie, 9th Circuit court rules

cindy-lee-garcia-bfield.jpg Individual actors or set designers can't copyright their small contributions to a film, as the actress argued who was tricked into appearing in "Innocence of Muslims."

'Mad Men' jerk is just as bad to BuzzFeed journalist

ferg-donnelly-buzzfeed.jpg This is what Hollywood's acceptance of sexism looks like in real life, writes BuzzFeed LA's Susan Cheng -- despite a lawyer letter trying to dissuade her.

Nikki Finke returns with Hollywood fiction site -- and photo

nikki-finke-2015.jpg Her HollywoodDementia.com will feature short stories, novellas and novel excerpts written by Hollywood insiders "like myself."

Another film critic down: Claudia Puig

claudia-puig-usat.jpg After 15 years at USA Today, she took a buyout that saw 55 staffers leave the paper last week.

Memo: Film critic Betsy Sharkey 'heading home to Texas'

besty-sharkey.jpg Friday is Sharkey's last day at the Los Angeles Times after 17 years, the last seven as film critic.

Hillary Clinton leaves LA with $3 million and a super PAC

hillary-clinton-campaign.jpg Nice one-day haul for the Democratic candidate, but she's also in the spotlight for agreeing to take money from even bigger donors.

Hillary Clinton has three LA fundraisers booked on May 7

hillary-clinton-smile.jpg Hollywood checks are the main target, of course, with an evening reception hosted by Haim Saban and Casey Wasserman.

Richard Corliss, Time film critic, was 71

richard-corliss-time.jpg Corliss wrote about film for Time for 35 years, becoming "perhaps the magazine’s most quoted writer of all time."

Stan Freberg -- satirist, ad man and more -- dies at 88

Stan-Freberg-album.jpg Stan Freberg had one of those Los Angeles careers. "The first great genius of American musical satire," says Harry Shearer.

Deadline co-editor does the mea culpa over diverse casting

empire-cast-deadline.jpg Michael Fleming says last week's story suggesting there was too much diversity in TV casting was a big mistake: "Our hearts are heavy with regret."

Paul Haggis speaks clearly on Scientology and 'Going Clear'

paul-haggis-ortega.jpg The director and ex-member writes about why hardcore Scientologists will just not see, or believe, the truth that the Alex Gibney documentary lays out for them.

Actor Marin Ireland takes on sexual harassment in the theater

Thumbnail image for marin-ireland-parallelogram8.jpg She was hit and given a black eye by actor Scott Shepherd in London, and now leads an effort to make the theater a safer place for the people who on productions.
thr-political-consultants.jpg There's been some shuffling in the lineup of political advisers to the stars and big donors. And a new candidate for the Board of Supervisors.

Clinton Global Initiative versus the other CGI

cgi-vs-cgi.jpg Bruce Feirstein, the Los Angeles-based contributor to Vanity Fair, devotes this month's investigative VF chart to a compare-and-contrast.

Sam Simon, 59, Simpsons co-creator who gave away his wealth

SamSimon-save-the-children.jpg Simon donated his fortune from "The Simpsons" to children, animals and other causes.

Director Randall Miller takes plea deal in death of Sarah Jones

sarah-jones-ampas.jpg Sentence of ten years in a Georgia jail could result in about a year of time served and a lengthy ban on work as a director. Miller will be the first director to serve time for an on-set death.

Leonard Nimoy dies at 83

leonard-nimoy-spock.jpg The actor known for playing Star Trek's Mr. Spock died of smoking at his home in Bel Air this morning.

Watching the Oscars offline: the best

mozza-oscar-statuette.jpg No Twitter, no Facebook, no live blogs or online snark. So liberating. Link to winners inside.

J.J. Abrams getting into 8th district politics in LA

jj-abrams-thr-grab.jpg The Star Wars Episode VII director and his wife are hosting a Santa Monica fundraiser for Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who is a candidate for the open City Council seat in South LA.

Fred Prouser, 63, Reuters photojournalist in LA

fred-prouser-facebook.jpg Prouser started with Reuters here on the first day of the Rodney King riots and shot close to 3,000 Hollywood red carpets before he was done.

Guardian hiring a Hollywood reporter

guardian-us-grab.jpg The Los Angeles-based entertainment reporter will "engage US readers by combining the Guardian's internationalist, online journalism with US voices and expertise."

Kamala Harris begins fundraising in Hollywood

Thumbnail image for kamala-harris-paul-chinn-sfc.jpg She has her first local campaign fundraiser for the Senate race tonight in Bel Air. Plus: Gavin Newsom forms 2018 committee.

Amy Pascal out as Sony Pictures co-chairman

amy-pascal.jpg We now know the answer to the question of whether Pascal would survive the revelations of her emails during the hacker attack on Sony Pictures.

The story behind Hollywood's yellow location signs

crew-parking.jpg In the age of smartphones, GPS and Waze, the directional signs remain a staple of Hollywood shoots.

Hollywood Reporter wins Ellie for magazine excellence

thr-cover-chris-rock.jpg THR's National Magazine Award comes in the category of special interest. Pacific Standard and Amanda Hess also win.

Producer Megan Ellison, Annapurna Pictures step up to save Vidiots

vidiots-annapurna.jpg The producer of "Zero Dark Thirty" and "American Hustle" loves her video store, I guess.

Joe Morgenstern mourns the news about Vidiots

vidiots-v-annex.jpg Feels like an impending death in the family of film lovers, says the Wall Street Journal and KCRW film critic.

LA mayor picks his favorite movie -- and it may surprise you

airplane!-poster.jpg Zocalo thought he might go for a documentary or an old black-and-white classic. Nope.

TV reporter praises Rashida Jones for her tan (video)

rashida-jones-sag-grab.jpg Maybe not everyone watching would know that Jones is biracial, but TNT's reporter and producers should have.

'Birdman,' Redmayne and Moore take home SAG awards

jksimmons-sagaftra.jpg "Birdman" also wins at the Producers' Guild and suddenly has best picture momentum for the Oscars.

'Boyhood,' 'Birdman' and six others up for best picture

patricia-arquette-nom.jpg Steve Carrell and Reese Witherspoon both got lead actor nominations for the Oscars, Patricia Arquette for supporting.

Wrecking Crew documentary coming to theaters

carol-kaye-bill-pittman.jpg New poster is here for the film about the LA talent who played on the hit records of the 1960s and 70s.

Bob Hope estate in Toluca Lake back on the market

Bob_Hope_Estate_2014.jpg This time I guess it's a bargain: just $23 million, cut $4.5 million since 2013.

Elizabeth Kaltman, Hollywood PR executive, dies at 41

elizabeth-kaltman.jpg Before moving on to Hollywood, Kaltman was a press deputy to Jim Hahn and Wendy Greuel in City Hall.

No TV station has more experience than these folks

mptf-tv-channel-kcrw.jpg At the Motion Picture and Television Fund home in Woodland Hills, retirees from Hollywood produce, write -- and star in -- their own TV shows.

Luise Rainer, first actor to win two Oscars, was 104

luise-rainer-bw.jpeg Rainer won her second Academy Award at 28 then left 1930s Hollywood in a dispute with Louis B. Mayer. Her quick rise and fall are Hollywood legend.

Amy Pascal flying into LAX is now TMZ fodder (video)

amy-pascal-lax-tmz-grab.jpg Of all the ways that Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal's life is going to change because her studio emails were hacked and distributed around the internet, this might prove to be one of the more disturbing.

The Interview: Here yesterday, gone today

gary-the-interview-board.jpg Gary Leonard observed a billboard for Sony's "The Interview" at 3rd Street and Gardner. Oops, that was yesterday.

North Korea behind Sony attacks, U.S. officials conclude

"We have found linkage to the North Korean government," according to a U.S. government source.

Sony pulls 'The Interview' from theaters

the-interview-lizzy-caplan.jpg Sony acted to drop plans for a Christmas Day release of the film starring James Franco and Seth Rogen (with a key part for Lizzy Caplan) after the nation's bigger theater chains said they weren't going to screen the movie because of hacker threats.

Wednesday news and notes: 12.17.14

sony-studio-gate.jpg Sony hacking fallout gets more serious. LAPD adopts body cameras for 7,000 officers and will reform its crime stats methods. Court-appointed panel will monitor LA jails. Dov Charney out at American Apparel. Dodgers axe Brian Wilson. Plus more.

Sony hackers reveal nasty email exchanges over Steve Jobs biopic

rudin-pascal-emails.jpg Producer Scott Rudin bashes Sony executive Amy Pascal, Angelina Jolie and other Hollywood figures in private emails that some media are covering and some aren't.

An oral history of 'Boogie Nights'

boogie-nights-grafic-grantland.jpg Grantland compiles the comments of more than a dozen figures involved in the making of Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 now-classic Los Angeles movie.

LA Film Critics like 'Boyhood' more than anything

boyhood-poster.jpg "Boyhood" on Sunday won the voting for best picture of 2014 and three other awards by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Mark Ebner revisits his 2007 warning about Bill Cosby

cosby-pull-quote-ebner.jpg The LA journalist talked to several women who told eerily similar stories about being drugged and raped -- this was back in 2007. His story went nowhere.

Mike Nichols: Director dies at 83

mike-nichols.jpg The director of "The Graduate" and so much more has won an Oscar, an Emmy, Tonys and a Grammy.

Remains of Gavin Smith found and positively identified

gavin-smith-thr.jpg Hikers found the remains of the missing Fox distribution executive in the rural high desert near Palmdale last month, according to officials. He disappeared May 1, 2012.

Actress Daniele Watts charged with lewd conduct

Thumbnail image for daniele-watts-detained.jpg Two leading civil rights activists applaud the prosecution, saying that allegations of racial profiling are not "toys" to be tossed out lightly to cover up misdeeds.

Elizabeth Peña, actress dies at 55

elizabeth-pena-variety.jpg Peña had a screen presence you remember in films like "Lone Star" and "La Bamba." She recently had been directing TV episodes, voicing for "The Incredibles" and "Justice League" cartoons, and had finished work on an action series for the El Rey Network.

'Django Unchained' actress cuffed by LAPD after refusing to show ID*

daniele-watts-detained.jpg Daniele Watts, who is black, and her white husband posted on Facebook they were rousted for being affectionate on Ventura Boulevard and deemed to be a suspected prostitute and john.

Joan Rivers, comedy legend dies at age 81

joan-rivers-e.jpg Statement from Melissa Rivers says "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers….My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh."

New views of the Academy museum in Miracle Mile

academy6AFTER-curbed.jpg The draft EIR is out and shows that Renzo Piano's giant ball remains in the plan and that a big Oscar statue may take over the old May Co.'s iconic sculpture at Wilshire and Fairfax.

Media notes for Wednesday 8.27.14

daily-news-editors.jpg Daily News leadership, a new photo of and a threat directed at Nikki Finke, Heather Havrilesky's column moves, plus more.

The Wrap does the ice bucket meme -- without water (video)*

the-wrap-ice-bucket.jpg "With California in the midst of a drought, TheWrap opted against using water, and instead just waited for some of the ice to melt." Does Sharon Waxman's hair even get wet?

Robin Williams' daughter quits social media over the trolls

zelda-robin-williams.jpg Zelda Williams has received a ton of warmth but also some ugliness.

Lauren Bacall dies at age 89

lauren-bacall-1944-wb.jpg Bacall, the New York model who became an overnight movie star at age 19 after appearing opposite Humphrey Bogart (then 44) in “To Have and Have Not,” died Tuesday of a stroke at her home in the Dakota building in Manhattan.

Conan O'Brien notifies audience about Robin Williams (video)

conan-robin-williams-death.jpg Conan O'Brien was taping his TBS show this afternoon when the news about Robin Williams reached the studio. Just before the end of the show, O'Brien informed the silent audience.
robin-williams-dies.jpg Marin County officials said the Oscar winner appeared to kill himself via asphyxia. “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings,” his wife, Susan Schneider, said.

Marlene Dietrich is the latest typewriter get for Soboroff

marlene-dietrich-typewriter.jpg Busy summer for Los Angeles collector (and police commission president) Steve Soboroff.
joe-flint-twitter.jpg Flint will be based in the LA bureau of the Journal. He covered media for the WSJ for seven years before joining the Times.

Go to jail in the old HerEx building

jail-cell-herex.jpg The Herald Examiner building downtown has not been inhabited by real newspaper reporters and editors since 1989. But some of them may feel eerily at home in the jail sets recently added to the array of location sets available for rental.

The making of 'Code Black' at County-USC

code-cbooth550.jpg Zevweb has a nice feature on how the documentary came to tell the story of the emergency room at County-USC Medical Center on the Eastside.

Paul Mazursky's table at Farmers Market (video)

mazursky-table.jpg Couple of scenes at the director's morning gathering two years ago. "Lots and lots of dick jokes," says the videographer.

Jeffrey Ressner, LA journalist was 56

jeffrey-ressner-billboard.jpg Ressner began at the LA Weekly as a messenger, moved to the Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone and US Weekly, then was a Time magazine correspondent in Los Angeles for more than 10 years. He also wrote for Politico.

Paul Mazursky, director and screenwriter was 84

paul-mazursky-baer.jpg Mazursky died Monday of cardiac arrest while at Cedars-Sinai. Writer Adam Baer has posted a nice piece about "the day Paul Mazursky changed my life."

Desert ghost town where Hollywood got fake snow

midland-bldgblog.jpg Out near Blythe in the lower desert, the abandoned industrial settlement of Midland has been empty for nearly half a century.

George Lucas chooses Chicago for new museum

chi-george-lucas-museum-los-angeles-20140611-001.jpg In spite of Mayor Eric Garcetti's push behind a social media campaign for Los Angeles, the new George Lucas museum will be built in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports.

What's going on with Nikki Finke and Deadline

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg Anne Thompson helps give some perspective to the latest back and forth between the Hollywood blogger and her former colleagues.

Olivia Munn answers 73 questions for Vogue (video)

olivia-munn-vogue-grab.jpg The actress and former senior Asian correspondent for the "Daily Show" lets a Vogue question man into her LA home. He fires questions about Los Angeles and more. She speaks some Japanese. It works.

Brad Pitt attacked on El Capitan red carpet

jolie-pitt-maleficient-carpet.jpg Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and at least some of their kids were at the premiere of the new Disney film "Maleficient" tonight at Hollywood's El Capitan theatre. A Ukranian man who has harassed other celebrities was arrested.

Unblended: A tale of two newspaper film reviews

blended-sandler-barrymore.jpg A.O. Scott in the New York Times says Adam Sandler's "Blended" is so bad it will make your child stupid. The LA Times calls it a "fun...enjoyable romp."
zimbalist-jr.jpg Great line (from 1959) about one benefit of his unusual name: "It’s kept me out of westerns. I can’t imagine a Hopalong Zimbalist.”

Dee Dee Myers to join Warner Bros. as chief flack

DeeDeeMyers-chair.jpg Myers' Clinton ties could be a factor if Hillary Clinton runs for president. Before she became the first female press secretary at the White House, Myers worked in LA City Hall.

Mickey Rooney, actor was 93

mickey-rooney-young.jpg They don't make Hollywood careers like this any more. Rooney's IMDb credits span 1926 to 2014 (340 listings), plus two Oscars and four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

James Rebhorn, actor was 65

rebhorn-showtime.jpg Rebhorn's most recent high-profile part was as Frank Mathison, the father of CIA agent Carrie Mathison in "Homeland." He also prosecuted Seinfeld and friends in the final episode of that series.

Obama screens 'Cesar Chavez' at White House

cesar-chavez-film-grab.jpg The president introduced the new Diego Luna film but didn't stay to watch — he said he'll watch on DVD soon. He also told Luna he loved "Y Tu Mama Tambien," though acknowledged it could not be screened at the White House.

Update to 'Newman dead' hoax story*

newman-dead-tmz.jpg Actor Wayne Knight did not die Sunday in upstate New York or anywhere else.

Dr. Richard Grossman, burn treatment pioneer was 81

Grossmans-with-sign.jpg Saturday obits include Hollywood voice artist Hal Douglas and production manager Abby Singer, whose name has become affixed to the penultimate shot of the day on Hollywood sets.

Bob Thomas, Hollywood reporter for AP was 92

bob-thomas-judy-garland-ap.jpg Bob Thomas began to cover Hollywood for the Associated Press in 1944, after fleeing the Fresno bureau. When he retired in 2010, Thomas held records for longest career as an entertainment reporter and most consecutive Academy Awards shows covered.

Deluxe Laboratories to close Hollywood film processing shop

deluxe-film-lab.jpg Deluxe has been a major player in the production of movies on film and in digital post-production. But film is fading away.

Mystery picture of Bogart and Bacall

bogart_bacall_unclaimed_property.jpg This undated photograph of movie stars Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart appears on the California state controller’s list of unclaimed property. Credit to Larry Harnisch for noticing.

Wow, that was a ragged Oscars show

ellen-oscars-group.jpg So many bungled lines on the Oscars — teleprompter troubles? — and set pieces that fell flat. John Travolta? Yeesh. Highlights and winners inside.

When it comes to Best Picture, watch for a slap in the face

nate-silver-abc-grab.jpg ABC analyst Nate Silver is better known for his politics and baseball stat work than his Oscar predictions, but he shared some data-driven observations about best picture winners this morning on George Stephanopoulos.

'12 Years a Slave' has a good day at Spirit awards

indie-spirit-awards-2014.jpg In the Santa Monica beach tent on Saturday, '12 Years a Slave' fashioned a near sweep of top honors at the Independent Spirit Awards. 'Twenty Feet from Stardom' snagged the documentary award.
Thumbnail image for philip-seymour-hoffman.jpg It's stunning how fast this all happened. One day, the National Enquirer was posting a bogus story that claimed David Bar Katz was the secret gay lover of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Less than three weeks later, the tabloid is paying for Katz to create the American Playwriting Foundation.

Harold Ramis, writer and director of comedy was 69

harold-ramis-ice-harvest-focus-f.jpg Let's stop for a minute to appreciate the comedy of Harold Ramis: "Caddyshack" and "Groundhog Day," "Animal House," "Ghostbusters," "Stripes" and more.

Ellen Page comes out in a pretty great speech (video)

ellen-page-hrc-grab.jpg "I'm tired of hiding," the actress said in a Las Vegas speech tonight sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. "And I'm tired of lying by omission."

Sid Caesar, comedy treasure was 91 (video)

sid-ceasar-grab.jpg Caesar's 1950s NBC program "Your Show of Shows" featured Imogene Coca and writers such as Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and Larry Gelbart. Caesar died today at home in Beverly Hills.

Shirley Temple Black, America's child movie star was 85

shirley-temple-lapl.jpg For five years during the Great Depression, Shirley Temple was the most popular movie star in America of any age. Her popularity saved 20th Century Fox. She later became an ambassador and prominent Republican.

Hollywood money will be big in the Waxman district

thr-grafic-33rd-cd.jpg CD 33 contributed millions to President Obama's election campaigns. The district hasn't been up for grabs for four decades. And it's home to the likes of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Haim Saban.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was 'far from disappointing in person'

pshoffman-david-carr-piece.jpg New York Times media writer David Carr had some things in common with Philip Seymour Hoffman: wrestling, a role to play in the movie promoting machine, and addiction.
vf-march-2014-hollywood-cover.jpg Plenty of stars show up on the cover of Vanity Fair despite Gwyneth Paltrow's ask that her friends shun the magazine. Editor Graydon Carter addresses the whole Paltrow saga in his editor's letter.

Maximilian Schell, Oscar winner was 83

m-schell-judgement.jpg Schell won his best actor Oscar for the 1961 Staley Kramer film "Judgment at Nuremberg.” He later directed “Der Rosenkavalier” for the Los Angeles Opera in 2005.

Seth Meyers signs off 'SNL' with the help of some friends (video)

poehler-meyers-snl.jpg Amy Poehler: "Seth, we are here to take you to the other side."

Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in his New York apartment

philip-seymour-hoffman.jpg The Academy Award-winning actor was discovered this morning with a syringe in his arm and a packet of what appears to be heroin, a law enforcement source told the New York Times. He was 46. More inside.

Michelle Obama fundraiser here raises $700,000 for Democrats

fremont-place-gates.jpg Barbra Streisand and Mayor Eric Garcetti were among the attendees at the Fremont Place home of "Everybody Loves Raymond" creator Phil Rosenthal.

A look at plans for the Academy movie museum on Wilshire

movie-museum-fairfax-view.jpg Architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali have unveiled plans to adapt the old May Co. department store into the motion picture museum Hollywood (and Los Angeles) have never had.
tom-sherak-oscar-wife.jpg Sherak was Mayor Eric Garcetti's designated ambassador between the film industry, City Hall and Sacremento. He died today after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Andrew Cuomo collects nearly $600,000 in Hollywood

andrew-cuomo-head.jpg For many Hollywood Democrats, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is apparently their number two choice for president in 2016, after Hillary Clinton. He was in Brentwood Thursday night for a fundraiser.

Oscar nominations

12years-oscarnom.jpg “American Hustle” tied with “Gravity” for the most overall nominations with 10. “12 Years a Slave” came in with nine. Some highlights and the full list.

KPCC hiring to expand into arts and entertainment news

scpr-sign-kpcc.jpg The position open now is for an on-air host of entertainment programing. As I understand the plan, the coverage will begin as a segment on "Take Two" then expand to a half-hour show.

While the Palisades burn, The Hollywood Reporter sizzles

thr-brusher-grab.jpg Perhaps THR should have chosen a little different wording for one of the click-bait links in its story on today's PCH brush fire in Pacific Palisades.

Dumb title, but good list of LA movies

spicoli-buzzfeed.jpg BuzzFeed calls its listicle 40 Movies That Define Los Angeles, which is a big overreach. But it's a fun list nonetheless. A couple I would have added, inside.

Drugs, diamonds and two Hollywood producers who shouldn't have

remington-chase-stefan-martirosian-illo.jpg Producers Remington Chase and Stefan Martirosian have an unusual and unsavory backstory they tried to get the LA Weekly not to publish. It didn't work.

Susan Peters (and more Hollywood stars) ride bikes *

susan-peters-acp.jpg Putting stars on bikes: good idea. I had never heard of Susan Peters and her story until the 2012 book, "Hollywood Rides a Bike: Cycling With the Stars," by Philadelphia film critic Steven Rea and my friends at Angel City Press.

Julian Myers, Hollywood publicist was 97

julian-myers-wrap.jpg Myers worked in Hollywood over at least five decades and was the publicist for, among others, Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland and Cary Grant.

Joan Fontaine, Oscar-winning actress was 96

joan-fontaine-imdb.jpg Joan Fontaine won her best actress Academy Award in 1941 for Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion" and was nominated twice more. She feuded for much of her career with sister Olivia de Havilland.

Peter O'Toole, actor who played Lawrence of Arabia was 81

otoole-1963-bbc.jpg O'Toole died Saturday in London. "Ireland, and the world, has lost one of the giants of film and theatre," said the president of Ireland in a statement.

'Gravity' and 'Her' tie for LA Film Critics award

gravity_film_still.jpg The Los Angeles Film Critics Association could not decide between "Gravity" and "Her" for best film of the year, but they gave the director award to Alfonso Cuaron for "Gravity."

'Fast & Furious 7' officially on hiatus after death of Paul Walker

paul-walker-memorial-kabc.jpg Universal says the film production in Georgia is shutting down indefinitely. The coroner also gives some details on the deaths of Walker and Roger Rodas.
smart-as-finke.jpg Jean Smart portrays Finke as a secret blogger whose true identity is unknown to her family. Good line: "Mom, you're on the Internet."

Maria Bello outs herself and her modern family

The film and TV actress takes to the New York Times Modern Love column to explain that she is involved with a woman and did not relish breaking the news to her son.

Obama meets with victims of LAX shooting*

marine-one-obama-ranchopk.jpg During a half-hour stop this evening at the Beverly Hilton before heading up the canyon to Magic Johnson's home, President Obama met with the family of Gerardo Hernandez, the TSA officer who was killed during this month's shooting at LAX. The President also met with two TSA officers who were wounded.

THR's Stephen Galloway wins entertainment journalist of the year

stephen-galloway-thr.jpg The LA Press Club handed out the prizes it calls the National Entertainment Journalism Awards last night. Here are the winners.

Finke, Waxman, Penske, Min: Battle of the Hollywood trades

pulp-friction-graphic-lamag.jpg Patrick Goldstein, the longtime Hollywood watcher for the LA Times and others, has a good feature piece in Los Angeles Magazine on the current state of the four main movie biz trades. One of the best parts is the disclosure of his professional entanglements with the players.

Best thing about next year's Oscars night probably just happened

angelina-jolie-oscar-2013.jpg "Moments like these — emotional, contemplative, complicated — are why we watch the Academy Awards, or used to," writes Mark Harris about Saturday night's Governors Awards. "It's certainly not to see a 10th-anniversary tribute to Chicago or to watch Mark Wahlberg banter awkwardly with a teddy bear."

Nikki Finke and site she started are 'parting ways'

deadline-grab-finke-out.jpg Key staffers hired by Finke will carry on Deadline.com. Finke calls it "a great day" and says she is free to start a new career at a new website.

Deadline staff starts to turn on Finke, it seems

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg Nikki Finke is "miscast as the victim in this drama," Deadline's senior actual adult, Hollywood trades veteran Michael Fleming, writes in a post on what used to be her site. He refutes several of her core claims and says "Nikki" has turned a personal feud with buyer Jay Penske into "a public spectacle."

Finke says she's locked out of Deadline.com

I guess this is what happens when you sell your website to a guy with money, then challenge him openly.

Nikki Finke signals a new future free of Penske

deadline-hwd-logo.jpg On her Twitter feed, Nikki Finke has been posting in the past hour on what sounds like the beginning of a final break from Jay Penske, the investor who bought her Deadline.com some years back.

LA Times Cairo bureau chief going Hollywood *

jeffrey-fleishman-twitter.jpg Jeffrey Fleishman is coming home to a new beat in Calendar as a senior reporter covering film, TV and the arts.

Bob Hope estate in Toluca Lake listed for $27.5 million

bob-hope-pool-people.jpg The five-acre estate on Moorpark Street where Bob and Dolores Hope first moved in 1939 is officially on the market. It's the last big intact Valleywood estate. With pictures.

Streisand, Tom Cruise take in Anne Frank preview

streisand-anne-frank-jj.jpg Cruise was the first to arrive when the Museum of Tolerance invited two dozen Hollywood VIPs to preview the upcoming Anne Frank exhibit.

FLOTUS will sub for POTUS at LA fundraiser next month

flotus-screen-grab.jpg Democrats who were disappointed they didn't get to see President Obama in Hancock Park last week will get the chance to open the checkbook for First Lady Michelle Obama.

Ray Dolby, sound pioneer was 80 (video)

ray-dolby-graphic.jpg Dolby revolutionized the recording industry with his noise-reduction system in the 1960s and transformed the way we hear movies starting in the 1970s.

Sarah Silverman's touching obituary for her beloved Duck

sarah-silverman-duck.jpg Sarah Silverman met Duck at a Van Nuys no-kill shelter 14 years ago. They became best friends.

Finke goes on the record about wanting divorce from Penske *

Thumbnail image for hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg "One of the most noble things Jay Penske could ever do would be to give me back Deadline," Nikki Finke says in an interview with the WSJ's Ben Fritz. Plus: Finke notes still no correction by Sharon Waxman.

Obama cancels next week's LA fundraiser and speech

Thumbnail image for obama-leno-grab.jpg The president was to speak at the AFL-CIO national convention here and appear at yet another Hollywood fundraiser. Discussions over Syria take precedence, apparently.

Murray Gershenz, actor and music man was 91*

tmz-gershenz.jpg Music Man Murray is the record collector who has a huge collection of vinyl kept in a building on Exposition Boulevard near La Brea. He became an actor at age 80.

Hugh Laurie's guide to the Los Angeles he loves

hugh-laurie-telegraph.jpg In a piece for the travel section of the Telegraph, actor Hugh Laurie goes against the grain of anti-LA sentiment among his fellow Brits. "I love the hippyness – better still, the collision between hip and yup – all set against the noirish, Philip Marlowe memories of my moviegoing youth."

Tiffany Theater sign will be saved Monday morning

tiffany-theater-sign-letter.jpg Two of the busiest Los Angeles communities on Facebook, Alison Martino's Vintage Los Angeles and Tommy Gelinas' San Fernando Valley Relics, are joining forces to collect and preserve the old sign from the facade of the former Tiffany Theater on Sunset Strip. They invite supporters to come out Monday and help take it down.

Elmore Leonard, crime novelist was 87

elmoreatdesk.jpg The master of the crime novel and the writer of many screenplays and books that were turned into movies died at home in Michigan after suffering a stroke. "A modern master of American genre writing," says the New York Times.

Dick Van Dyke's Jaguar goes boom on the 101 Freeway

dick-van-dyke-tweet.jpg Van Dyke was driving east on the Ventura Freeway in Calabasas today when his Jaguar started smoking. The 87-year-old pulled over and needed some help getting out before the car burst into flames. He and his wife followed with tweets.

Fact checking the Orson Welles-writes-obit tale

Thumbnail image for Orson-Welles-larb.jpg The LA Times did run an obituary right away on the passing of Jean Renoir in 1979. Then a couple of appreciations. Then Welles weighed in, says a copy editor who checked.

When Orson Welles wrote an obituary for the LA Times

Orson-Welles-larb.jpg Steve Wasserman, the former Los Angeles Times books editor, has some fun remembering his friend Orson Welles in a piece for the LA Review of Books. He tells how the Times in 1979 was about to drop the ball on the death in Beverly Hills of director Jean Renoir when Wasserman, then a deputy editor of the LAT's Sunday Opinion section, decided to somehow get in touch with Welles.

Lake Bell makes a movie about the voice-over game

lake-bell-new-york-cover.jpg The movie's funny, she's great and she lands some uncomfortable points about the male domination of movie trailer voice work. The ghost of Don LaFontaine looms over everything, even a party in Reseda.

Margaret Pellegrini, original Munchkin was 89 (video)

margaret-pellegrini-munchkin.jpg The Chinese Theatre, where "The Wizard of Oz" premiered in August 1939, will dim the lights tonight at 9 p.m. Two Munchkins are believed to survive.

Obama dined with Katzenberg in Woodland Hills

obama-leno-grab.jpg When President Obama dropped off the news radar last night in the Valley, he didn't just go to bed and watch Showtime or Evelyn Taft. (Oh wait, they are not on most TVs in Los Angeles this week.)

Michael Ansara, actor of many ethnicities was 91

ansara-eden-imdb.jpg Michael Ansara had one of those Hollywood careers that lasted a long time and is fun to examine. Because he was of Lebanese heritage (born in Syria but raised in the U.S.), he went from the drama department at Los Angeles City College into a succession of "ethnic" roles.

Eileen Brennan, Emmy winner was 80

eileen-brennan-1971-nyt.jpg Brennan, who grew up in Los Angeles, won an Obie Award for "Little Mary Sunshine" [title fixed] and was memorable in "The Last Picture Show." But it's her role as Capt. Doreen Lewis in "Private Benjamin" that many will remember most.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs elected president of Oscars academy

cheryl-boone-isaacs-grab.jpg The veteran Hollywood marketing executive is the academy's first black president and the third woman to hold the post, after Bette Davis and Fay Kanin.

Naming rights to Pantages Theatre are in play

pantages-inside.jpg For the first time in 83 years, one of Los Angeles' "rarest naming rights assets" is available. All media references to the Theatre will carry your brand name, the pitch promises investors.

Art Ginsburg, deli owner was 78 *

art-ginsburg-fb.jpg Art Ginsburg was the proprietor of Art's Deli in Studio City, which has been a politics, community and Valleywood hangout for decades. The deli will be closed Friday.

Bullwinkle statue moved off Sunset Strip perch *

bullwinkle-sunset.jpg Bullwinkle held Rocky the flying squirrel in his hand outside the former home of Jay Ward Productions — right across Sunset Boulevard from the Chateau Marmont — since 1961. The statue has been removed for repairs by DreamWorks.

Dennis Farina, cop turned actor was 69

dennis-farina.jpg Dennis Farina was a police officer and detective in Chicago for 18 years before he turned full-time to acting — playing mostly, but not solely, cops or gangsters.
navajo-auditions.jpg A casting call for Navajo speakers who could voice the key parts brought out people like Marvin Yellowhair, 54, who calls himself a “born Darth Vader." The 34-year-old mom selected to play Princess Leia had never seen "Star Wars," but decided to channel her own mother's sarcasm in the part. Star Wars in Navajo debuts this week.

Cirque du Soleil acrobat, 31, dies in stage fall in Las Vegas

sarah-guiyard.jpg Sarah Guyard-Guillot, a mother of two who had spent more than 22 years as an acrobatic performer, became the first reported on-stage fatality in the 30-year history of Cirque du Soleil. She fell an estimated 50 feet during the final battle scene in Saturday night's Ka show at the MGM Grand. The show has gone dark until further notice.

Open letter to 'the worst wax museum in America'

worst-wax-museum-vice.jpg "Dear Hollywood Wax Museum," says a story in Vice. "I recently visited your Los Angeles location and was exceptionally disappointed with what I saw...It was all of your waxworks. They look like something from the nightmares of a person who has been blind since birth and has no real concept of what human beings look like."
richard-matheson.jpg Richard Matheson wrote "I Am Legend," which was turned into films three times, and also wrote 16 episodes of the original "Twilight Zone" television series for Rod Serling. He was the screenwriter as well for "Duel," Steven Spielberg's 1971 TV movie debut.

James Gandolfini on 'Inside the Actors Studio' (video)

gandolfini-vulture.jpg From 2004. "He is, as Tony Soprano might put it, a made man in the actor's studio," James Lipton said in his introduction.

James Gandolfini, Emmy-winning actor was 51

james-gandolfini-died.jpg The star of HBO's "The Sopranos" has died in Italy of a heart attack or a stroke.

Ex-LAT editor Sallie Hofmeister signs on with Sitrick

sallie-hofmeister-sitrick.jpg Hofmeister is the latest former entertainment editor and reporter at the Los Angeles Times to try her hand at crisis PR with Sitrick And Company. She was at the LAT for 17 years, first as a business reporter covering media and Hollywood. She later became editor of the Business section, then the assistant managing editor overseeing coverage of entertainment.

Deadline adds Lisa De Moraes, formerly of the Washington Post

Nikki Finke certainly doesn't sound fired. Today she announced the hiring of new television columnist Lisa De Moraes, who spent about 15 years covering TV at the Washington Post.

Harry Lewis, Hamburger Hamlet founder was 93

hamlet-menu.jpg Lewis was an actor who played gangster “Toots” Bass in the Humphrey Bogart classic "Key Largo," then went on to open a number of restaurants that became Hollywood hangouts. Lewis and his wife, Marilyn, opened the first Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset Strip in 1950.

Universal Studios theme park offers $299 VIP ticket

universal-backlot-flackage.jpg For their $299, guests get valet parking, breakfast sequestered away from the crowds in a luxury lounge, special access to the studio back lot, unlimited line-skipping, a tour guide and lunch. Plus lovely free gifts.

NYT's Carr on Finke and Waxman

Thumbnail image for hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg David Carr emailed Nikki Finke, took 15 minutes of verbal abuse, then tried to get to the truth of her future with Deadline. Last week's story in The Wrap, says Carr, "did not turn out to be true. [Sharon] Waxman, perhaps driven by wish fulfillment, wrote beyond the facts at hand." Waxman disagrees.

Leonard Maltin remembers Esther Williams

photoplay-esther-williams.jpg Esther Williams, the swimming star of MGM's Technicolor musicals in the 1940s and 50s, died Thursday morning at home in Beverly Hills at age 91. "Esther’s movies were sheer escapism and didn’t pretend to be anything more," says Maltin
pussy-riot-doc.jpg The filmmakers "make spectacular use of Russian’s invasive paparazzi-style media freedoms on behalf of their movie, and create of a girl group that might not be the best band in the world, but is certainly the bravest." Trailer inside.

Finke won't discuss status, disses Waxman *

finke-deadline-graphic.jpg Finke posts a response in which she neither confirms nor denies that she has been "fired" from her own Deadline Hollywood by owner Jay Penske, as Sharon Waxman reported Sunday at The Wrap. "I am not going to discuss my Deadline Hollywood contract or my relationship with my boss Jay Penske," says Finke. "Why? Because I don’t have to."
hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg The Wrap reports that Jay Penske has fired Finke. Penske's flack says it's not true. But the truth is less black and white...there is a contract negotiation involved...and Finke has reportedly been telling people she is looking to get out.

How Jeffrey Katzenberg became the Democrats' bell cow

Katzenberg_illo-mj.jpg A long piece called Access Hollywood in the current Mother Jones examines Jeffrey Katzenberg as the latest deep-pockets kingmaker in American politics. The story starts with Katzenberg being wooed by Paul Begala and three other Democratic operatives in a private dining room in Beverly Hills. He goes on to give or raise $30 million for President Obama's reelection.

Bill Hader leaving 'SNL' for LA

hader-californians.jpg Hader is the next "Saturday Night Live" cast member to leave. He wants to do movies and TV in Los Angeles. We'll say this — he knows his way around the city (video.)

Angelina Jolie discloses preventive double mastectomy

angelina-jolie-screenshot.jpg The actress and director chose the preventive procedures after learning that she carries a defective gene, BRCA1, and that her doctors estimated an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. The procedures began in February and were completed with breast reconstruction in April.

Ray Harryhausen, special effects pioneer was 92 *

Ray-Harryhausen-cyclops.jpg In an era before CGI, Harryhausen used clay monsters and mythical creatures to bring life to live-action adventure films like 'Clash of the Titans,' 'Valley of the Gwangi' and 'Jason and the Argonauts. He was one of the sci-fi club members who patronized Clifton's with Ray Bradbury in the 1930s.

Photo: Rob and Laura Petrie, 1963

dvd-mtm-shorpy.jpg Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, as Rob and Laura Petrie, in front of a studio audience during filming of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in 1963. Jerry Paris can be seen directing the episode.

The Wrap loses its publisher to rival Finke and Penske

Stacey-Farish-crop.jpg Stacey Farish, publisher of The Wrap since November of 2011, has jumped to Deadline's print magazine, Awardsline. She also becomes vice president of PMC Entertainment. Score one for Nikki Finke.

Alan Zweibel on that Ebert review

roger-ebert-memoriam.jpg In last week's New Yorker, screenwriter Alan Zweibel graciously described the awful feeling of having Roger Ebert say of a movie he wrote, "North," that "I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it." He also describes what occurred when they ran into each other years later in a Chicago men's room.

Jonathan Winters, comedy legend was 87

jonathan-winters-variety.jpg Jonathan Winters had one of those long, varied entertainment industry careers after working New York comedy clubs and moving to early television in the 1950s. "One of the great comedians of the 20th century," the LA Times says.

Annette Funicello, most popular original Mousketeer was 70

annette-funicello-bc.jpg America's 1950s darling was discovered by Walt Disney in a dance recital at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank. After the original "Mickey Mouse Club" on ABC, she became popular again as a teen idol and in the mid-1960s "Beach" movies with Frankie Avalon. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she long ago lost the ability to walk or talk. Last year, Canada's CTV aired a superb report on Funicello and MS. Videos and links inside.

More changes at The Wrap: Lisa Fung departs, Sneider in *

lisa-fung-wrap.jpg Executive editor Lisa Fung is the second former Los Angeles Times hand to leave the editing ranks of The Wrap in the past month. Also, Jeff Sneider of Variety re-joins The Wrap as a film reporter.

Oscars move to March for 2014, MTV video awards go to Brooklyn

mtv-vma-move.jpg Next year's Oscar awards will be held on March 2, moving later in the year to avoid conflicts with the Winter Olympics from Russia. The show will then move back to February (Feb. 22 to be exact) for 2015.

Check out the rarely seen Million Dollar Theatre on Broadway

million-dollar-balcony-seat.jpg Before he shifted his sights to Hollywood, early motion picture impresario Sid Grauman built his first movie palace on Broadway at 3rd Street, beside the Grand Central Market and across the street from the Bradbury Building. The former Grauman's is now the Million Dollar, and I wandered around inside recently. It's open for tours this Saturday , but that night's showing of "Blade Runner" on the big screen is sold out. Pics inside.

Variety adds Scott Foundas as chief film critic

scott-foundas-variety.jpg The last daily issue of Variety hits mailboxes Tuesday — be sure and grab a copy to save if you are into that. For the next generation Variety, the news today is that Scott Foundas joins the trade as chief film critic. He will stay in New York.

Cary Grant's signature from Earl Carroll Theatre

earl_carroll_cary_grant01.jpg A slab of concrete that is billed as bearing the signature of old-timey movie star Cary Grant from the wall of the legendary 1940s Hollywood nightspot is up for sale on eBay. Bidding starts at $5,000 — so it better be real.

Reporters agree infotainment is here to stay, even in politics

Michael-Cieply-Charles-Latibeaudiere-Aaron-Brown-Joe-Mathews-zocalo.jpg Last night's Zócalo Public Square panel took up the question of what celebrity-driven news and websites like TMZ are doing to news reporting. And oddly enough there was a top producer from TMZ on the panel.

Variety, Deadline to sit together in West LA

variety-sign-300.jpg The Deadline.com team broke the news last night that parent company PMC is moving Variety out of its Miracle Mile office tower, and the Deadliners out of wherever they sit, and throwing them together in a building on Santa Monica Boulevard beside the 405 freeway. Nikki Finke and the Variety staffers she regularly insults together?

Kristen Stewart a woman of few words in 'On the Road' clip

kristen-stewart-hedlund-road.jpg The push for "On the Road" is ramping up with nationwide release in theaters and video on demand set for March 22. In this clip, Kristen Stewart takes a break from making out with Garrett Hedlund to listen to him whisper at her.

Jacob Bernstein on mother Nora Ephron's final weeks

Nora-Ephron-New-Book.jpg When the writer Nora Ephron died last June of acute myeloid leukemia, a disease she had been fighting for years, many in the media and literary worlds were surprised. She had not made her illness a big part of her public life.

New deputy at The Wrap used to be harsh critic of the site *

joseph_kapsch.jpg Fifteen months ago, the new deputy managing editor of The Wrap dismissed the site as "a small blog" filled with "opinion, agenda and fantasy" and "hardly a beacon of journalistic excellence." Editor Sharon Waxman was similarly dissed. All is forgiven, apparently.

Tina Fey says MacFarlane was fine as Oscars host

tina-fey-amy-poehler.jpg Tina Fey cuts Seth MacFarlane some major slack for disappointing many viewers of Sunday's Oscars show, telling Anne Thompson of IndieWire that "It's the hardest job there is. It's a tough room. Seth did great."

Finke quietly drops her claim that the boss 'lied to me'

deadline-hwd-bug.jpg Nikki Finke's post this morning at Deadline on the changes at Variety almost dripped ice water, especially when she flat-out accused the boss she shares with Variety, Jay Penske, of lying to her. Never mind: sometime during the day, the phrase "Penske lied to me" disappeared.

Claudia Eller: Leaving LAT 'most difficult decision' *

claudia_eller-variety.jpg Nice farewell note to the Los Angeles Times newsroom from Claudia Eller, the entertainment news editor and veteran of the Hollywood scoop wars who was announced today as one of three new co-editors who will run Variety. She opens with praise for her current editor, John Corrigan, and confirms the Times counter-offered.

Variety drops daily paper and pay wall, names 3 co-editors *

variety-sign-300.jpg The other shoe fell today in the evolution of Hollywood trade Variety under new owner Jay Penske. One of the new co-editors is Claudia Eller, a 20-year veteran of movie coverage at the LA Times. Nikki Finke says Penske lied to her.

Oscar ratings are up despite the reviews

affleck-oscars-2013.jpg Most (but by no means all) of the reviews for last night's Oscars show and host Seth MacFarlane have not been favorable. But the early ratings for the TV show are up about four percent over last year's show hosted Billy Crystal — and much younger. And that's entirely logical, says Richard Rushfield at BuzzFeed.

'Argo,' Jennifer Lawrence make their points at the Oscars

jennifer-lawrence-oscar-gra.jpg The film academy voted the best picture Oscar to "Argo" and by extension to director Ben Affleck, who gave the final speech of the night and was emotional about the win. Jennifer Lawrence won the best actress Oscar for "Silver Linings Playbook," and at 22 is now a bona fide Hollywood star, if she wasn't before. Daniel Day-Lewis won his third best acting Oscar, for "Lincoln" — no actor has ever won more Oscars in the lead actor category. Complete list inside.

In LA, the Oscars are a local event

oscars-cookies-thyme-jg.jpg The media who parachute into Hollywood for the Oscars don't always get that, for the locals, the Academy Awards are something of a community event. It's not just that traffic sucks in Hollywood and officials shut down the Hollywood and Highland subway station. The week of the Oscars provides work, diversion and more.

Jimmy Kimmel's 11 best movies I never saw

kimmel-daily-beast.jpg Of "Fight Club," Kimmel writes for the Daily Beast that "I’m sure this is a great movie, but it seems like a lot of the people who really, really love it are dickheads." Same for the Terminator franchise.

For the Oscars: George Hurrell photos of Hollywood stars

norma-shearer-hurrell.jpg "George Hurrell was one of the most important American photographers of the 1930s, but you won’t find his work in many history books," according to The Atlantic. He gave Hollywood glamour.

Hollywood's Greuel checkbooks kicking into gear

dreamtrio-skg.jpg Spielberg, Katzenberg and Geffen lead the way with $150,000. Boxer will headline fundraiser at Haim Saban's Feb. 20. Plus: Will Ferrell video for Garcetti and more campaign notes.

'Argo' and Affleck win again at BAFTAs

affleck-baftas-argo.jpg "Argo" won the top prize for best film and Ben Affleck was named best director at Sunday's British Academy Film Awards. It's on to the Oscars now. Click inside for full list of winners.

Garcetti plays his cool guy card at Hollywood fundraiser

garcetti-moby-evry.jpg In the race for mayor of Los Angeles, Councilman Eric Garcetti doesn't have a record of accomplishment that stands out among the others, or better connections, or more popular positions, or much more money. One advantage, though, with some voters is his image as a blogger, bike rider, composer, chef and performer — like at last night's appearance alongside Moby.

Andy Spahn letter urges $15,000 donations to help Greuel

andy-spahn-mug.jpg The political adviser for Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and other Hollywood figures signed a letter to industry activists asking for contributions of $15,000 to an independent expenditure committee that plans to air commercials pushing Wendy Greuel for mayor.

Trailer for 'The Wrecking Crew' (video)

wreckingcrewlogo.jpg Here's the trailer for Danny Tedesco's 2008 documentary on the famed Hollywood session musicians dubbed The Wrecking Crew, screening on Saturday night at the Saban Theatre followed by a Q-A with musicians from the era.

Hollywood all divided over race for mayor

greuel_vs_garcetti-THR.jpg Both Greuel and Garcetti have bases in Hollywood. The race is pitting mogul against mogul, agent against agent, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Salma Hayek: 'So this guy, Eric Garcetti...'

salma-for-eric-garcetti.jpg Salma Hayek endorses Eric Garcetti for mayor: "He has the heart of a hero. He's romantic..." She also cites that he plays piano, gardens, cooks and speaks Spanish and French as well as English. Watch the video.

LAT adds to 'Company Town' staff

DanielMiller.jpg The LA Times hires Daniel Miller from the Hollywood Reporter, per today's memo to the staff from the assistant managing editor for entertainment coverage.

'Argo' and Jennifer Lawrence closing in on the prize

Tonight at the Screen Actors Guild awards, "Argo" delivered another warning that, yes, it well could take the best picture Oscar next month. Lawrence bested Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts.

Fake books for the movie industry

faux-library-valleywood.jpg Vose Street in North Hollywood is a workaday LA industrial street under the final approach path for jets landing at Bob Hope Airport. Valleywood shops and services, the Doc Johnson factory for rubber sex toys, and a mysterious driveway marked Faux Library.

Inside Billy Wilder's Wilshire Boulevard co-op

wilder-apt-curbed.jpg Billy and Audrey Wilder lived for decades in the Wilshire Terrace co-op building in the Platinum Mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard between Westwood and Beverly Hills. The apartment is on the market for $1.049 million, with monthly homeowner dues of $2,812, says Curbed LA.

BuzzFeed bureau adds Adam Vary to cover film

hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg The Los Angeles bureau of BuzzFeed continues to ramp up. Today Richard Rushfield et al are announcing the hire of Adam Vary as senior film reporter. He comes from the...

Film culture’s obsession with the LA architecture of John Lautner

sheats-goldstein-house-dani.jpg In the new issue of VQR, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Los Angeles journalist Adam Baer (with photographer Elizabeth Daniels) explores his own and Hollywood's draw to LA architecture, especially the modern works of Lautner.

In Hollywood, China's censors increasingly call the shots

iron-man-3.jpg Hollywood studios are playing ball to ensure access to the billions of dollars that await films that become hits in the world's most populous country. A story in the New York Times says the cooperation includes letting China's censors vet scripts, visit sets here in the U.S. and give suggestions on other creative decisions.

Latest Natalie Wood autopsy reading still inconclusive

Thumbnail image for natalie-wood-wagner.jpg The LA Coroner's office relooked at the death of Natalie Wood last year and changed the cause of her 1981 death in the water off Catalina Island from accidental to undetermined. That's still where it stands, meaning that sheriff's homicide detectives carry the case as open.

Did Jodie Foster come out on the Golden Globes telecast?

jodie-foster-globes-abc.jpg Well, yes. Foster acknowledges "one of the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life...Cydney Bernard," and says this isn't really coming out because "I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago." The media are unclear how to play it.

Harry Carey Jr. remembered as the last Hollywood cowboy

Thumbnail image for harry-carey-jr-rifleman.jpg Director Peter Bogdanovich wrote a short tribute for Saturday's memorial for the actor Harry Carey, Jr., who had been the last surviving member of director John Ford's company of western actors. "A solid professional, but also a brilliantly deadpan, hilarious raconteur of the days of the giants in pictures."

Grauman's Chinese sells naming rights, but will anyone honor it? *

super-heroes-graumans.jpg I suspect Angelenos will still call it Grauman's Chinese. TCL Chinese Theatre just doesn't have that certain something.

Affleck, Bigelow, Bond and Cotillard snubbed by Oscars

jessica-chastain-zero.jpg Lincoln" received the most Oscar nominations this morning with 12, and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" did surprisingly well. Get full list inside.

Charlie Sheen now sort-of apologizes for Villaraigosa remarks

Thumbnail image for sheen-mavillaraigosa.jpg Sheen didn't say whether his comments about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa partying with him in Baja for two hours and being able to "drink with the best of 'em" were untrue — but late this afternoon Sheen did apologize "if any of my words have been misconstrued.”

Sheen alleges Villaraigosa lied about their time in Baja

Thumbnail image for sheen-mavillaraigosa.jpg Actor Charlie Sheen tells TMZ that his photograph with an arm around Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was taken in Sheen's suite at the new Hotel El Ganzo near Cabo San Lucas. He also says that this was not just a brief photo encounter as Villaraigosa suggested under questioning Sunday by NBC 4's Conan Nolan on "News Conference."

Confirmed: '64 Beatles photo is from LA

Thumbnail image for beatles-color-beck-telegrap.jpg Last night I asked if a color candid photograph of the Beatles chatting with fans outdoors could have been from the private party held in August 1964 in the Beverly Hills backyard of Alan Livingston, then the president of Capitol Records. By this morning, LA Observed readers had provided the answer.

BuzzFeed goes vertical in Hollywood

The fast-growing social web site BuzzFeed today launched an entertainment section. "Most exciting announcement of my career," LA bureau chief Richard Rushfield says on Facebook.

'Gangster Squad' gets the LAT wrapper treatment - with a twist

gangster-squad-grab.jpg The fake stories and byline on the latest front page wrap around the Sunday LA Times are actually real, just old. 'Gangster Squad' grew out of a Times series, and the screenwriter is a former LAPD homicide detective.

Documenting where in LA the Three Stooges filmed

la-brea-stooges.jpg What is it about non-Angelenos becoming so obsessed with old filming locations that they spend years tracking down obscure shots and facts — then write books about their discoveries that become chronicles of LA history? When you grow up in Los Angeles, you get used to seeing familiar sights in the background of movies and TV shows. You just stop thinking about it.

Harry Carey, Jr., character actor for John Ford was 91

harry-carey-jr-rifleman.jpg The son of cowboy star Harry Carey was born on his father's ranch near Saugus and went on to ride horses in the westerns directed by pal John Ford and act in many other films and TV shows. Through Ford, Carey also was part of an exclusive San Fernando Valley club of Hollywood men that's now mostly forgotten.

Jack Klugman, last of the 12 angry men was 90

klugman-marshall-grab.jpg Actor Jack Klugman began on television in 1950 and became known as a character actor ( in "Twilight Zone" and many other series) until he broke through as the co-star of "The Odd Couple" from 1970-75 and the star of "Quincy M.E." from 1976-83. One of his most enduring roles, though, was as Juror #5 in the jury room in the Oscar-nominated 1957 film "Twelve Angry Men."

Seen one Chastain, seen them all?

brandy-chastain-ladn.jpg The Daily News headline writer had a brain freeze (happens to all of us) and wrote that soccer player Brandy Chastain stars in "Zero Dark Thirty," not SAG and Golden Globe-nominated actor Jessica Chastain. "So after Bin Laden is killed she takes off her shirt?," Bob Timmermann quips.

'Zero Dark Thirty' team isn't talking about romantic breakup

boal-bigelow.jpg After winning Oscars for "The Hurt Locker," director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal became "entertainment’s hottest couple who wouldn’t say they were a couple since Jay-Z and Beyoncé." Now it's complicated, says BuzzFeed.

Rebekah del Rio announces final concert due to brain tumor

rebekah-del-rio-grab.jpg She will perform "Llorando," from the David Lynch film "Mulholland Drive," perhaps one last time on Sunday in Downtown LA. The brain surgery is expected to damage her voice.

'Amour' wins best picture of 2012 from LA Film Critics

amour-poster.png "The Master" is the runner-up, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association also taps the 'Master' director and actors.

Traffic jam in Toluca Lake: Bob Hope yard sale

bob-hope-sale-entrance.jpg There's wasn't much to buy or even see, but that didn't stop the crowds from converging Saturday at the corner estate where Bob and Dolores Hope lived from 1939 on. Photos inside include the Hopes' nativity scene that is displayed this Christmas for the final time.

Look, Barbra Streisand plays a 30-something

streisand-no-wrinkles.jpg The Trader Joe's on Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles was awash Tuesday in billboards promoting "The Guilt Trip." And not a wrinkle in sight.

Hope compound in Toluca Lake coming on the market *

bob-hope-estate-google.jpg The 1.3-acre estate on Moorpark Street, built for Bob and Dolores Hope in 1939, has never changed hands. We're calling it the most celebrity-infused property left in the San Fernando Valley.

Gray whales would have been PG-13, we guess

cotillard-rust-and-bone.jpg "Rust and Bone” is rated R: Sex, fighting, killer whales and parental neglect.

Actor Larry Hagman, 81, reported to have died

larry-hagman-amezcua.jpg The Dallas Morning News says that the longtime actor died this afternoon of cancer complications in a Dallas hospital. He was reportedly in town to film episodes of the TNT remake of the hit TV show "Dallas," in which Hagman played star J.R. Ewing.

Hollywood Reporter digs into its role in the blacklist

bernstein-grant-thr-mann.jpg The story fingers the late THR owner Billy Wilkerson, starting in 1946, as the force behind the industry's high-level collusion to exclude leftists real and suspected from working. The package includes an apology from a son of Wilkerson.

David Geffen episode of 'American Masters' tonight

geffen-grab-pbs.jpg The producers call it a rare, "unflinching portrait." I suspect there's some flinching. Video: Geffen in love with Cher in 1973.

THR cleans up at National Entertainment Journalism awards

thr-cover-conan.jpg The Hollywood Reporter won six first-place awards at tonight's National Entertainment Journalism Awards put on at the Biltmore by the Los Angeles Press Club. Kim Masters of THR (and KCRW's "The Business") won entertainment journalist of the year, and THR also won for best entertainment publication and best website.

Penske begins layoffs at Variety

variety-sign-300.jpg The first round of reductions at Variety under new owner Jay Penske was announced in a 1:40 p.m., unbylined post at sister site Deadline.com. A "Dear Team" memo from Jay Penske says "without a doubt, this is a challenging day." No editors or reporters got the axe.

Mike Fleming's father died in Hurricane Sandy

Deadline.com editor Mike Fleming returns to the site two weeks after his dad was injured at home during the storm in New York. Fleming says he's grateful for the support of his colleagues at the website.

Magic Castle signs with CAA, could become a movie

magic-castle-thr.jpg The venerable Magic Castle private club above Franklin Avenue in Hollywood is the basis of a feature film being developed by producer Ted Field and his company, Radar Pictures.

Finke takes a shot at Press Club's entertainment awards

janice-min-thr-nyt.jpg Could the Press Club's plan to honor Janice Min for revamping the Hollywood Reporter be a factor? Finke says the club "seems more interested in collecting entry fees and selling gala tables...than in rewarding high standards of journalism or conducting a competition with integrity."

Slideshow: Fresh paint for the Hollywood sign

hollywood-sign-paint-kpcc.jpg KPCC's website has posted a nice gallery of photos from the maintenance work on the iconic Hollywood sign. Nothing like a new coat of paint to freshen up a place.

BuzzFeed expands into Hollywood in a big way

rushfield-fb-profile.jpg A new Los Angeles bureau, meaning mostly Hollywood apparently, will be run by Richard Rushfield and include chief correspondent Kate Aurthur. Both are veterans of Hollywood coverage and of the LA Times, among other places.

Penske warns The Wrap not to poach from Deadline

the-warp-sign.jpg "Please be advised that PMC employees, including but not limited to Nikki Finke, Mike Fleming, Pete Hammond and Nellie Andreeva, are under long term employment contracts," says the lawyer letter.

Press Club scores Robert Redford

When the Los Angeles Press Club gives its first Visionary Award to Jane Fonda in November, she will be introduced by Robert Redford. The pair starred together in "The Chase," "Barefoot in the Park" and "The Electric Horseman."

Afternoon media notes

gogos-buzzfeed-markey.jpg More on sale of Variety, Sunday magazine next for Register, books from Roman Polanski's sex victim way back then and on LA's hardcore music scene, some media job notes and Dean Singleton speaks. Plus more.

Mike Fleming seeks to reassure his colleagues at Variety

variety-sign-300.jpg In reporting that his employer has now acquired his former journalism home at Variety, Deadline film editor Michael Fleming took a moment for some personal words. Plus: The Wrap claims Finke 'having a major tantrum.'

LA Times restaffs its Hero Complex beat

In the wake of Hero Complex blogger Geoff Boucher's departure from the paper, the LA Times has re-hired Chris Lee and moved Gina McIntyre over to be the lead writer and editor on the Hero Complex blog.
Catherine Davis, the Los Feliz woman bludgeoned to death last week by an emotionally disturbed actor, was the mother of the Los Angeles author-journalist Margaret Leslie Davis, and had a large family of friends in Hollywood who had stayed at her "writers villa" through the years.

Schwarzenegger's image rehab tour hits a bump

arnold-on-60minutes.jpg Arnold Schwarzenegger, who recently paid $20 million for a think tank at USC, gets a segment on "60 Minutes" tonight to give just enough mea culpa on the whole cheated-on-Maria thing to sound like it was a blip. But at the Daily Beast, Ann Louise Bardach says the chronology given to CBS' Lesley Stahl and in Arnold's new memoir is anything but true

Nikki Finke's Deadline calls a time out

variety-sign-300.jpg Amid talk that the owner of Deadline.com is on the verge of buying Variety, Nikki Finke announced on Deadline.com that her staff will be too busy next week on some unstated business to post breaking news nuggets.

Time travel: Paul Newman and the Mulholland Drive bridge *

harper-mulholland-bridge-fa.jpg "Harper" starring Paul Newman aired tonight on Turner Classic Movies. Here's a screen grab circa-1966 of the Mulholland Drive bridge in Sepulveda Pass, spanning what was then called by everybody the San Diego Freeway.

Speaking of the bomb squad and dubious media promotions...

clocks-from-bet.jpg In 2006, an LA Times and Paramount promotion for "Mission: Impossible III" went awry. They settled with the federal government for $75,000.

Geoff Boucher joins Entertainment Weekly

geoff-boucher-fb.jpg Boucher, who left the Los Angeles Times earlier this month after clashing with his editor, posted the memo from Entertainment Weekly managing editor Jess Cagle on Facebook.

Lance LeGault, actor was 75

lance-legault-bhcourier.jpg.jpg Character actor Lance LeGault worked in Hollywood for 50 years. You know his face and his deep voice, as in the following video.

Geoff Boucher exits the LA Times after all

geoff-boucher-fb.jpg Following a blow-up with editors last month, high-level discussions and a Florida vacation could not keep the Calendar writer and Hero Complex blogger around. His exit has staffers and outside observers both talking about editor Davan Maharaj's choice of assistant managing editor over arts and entertainment.

Joel Silver's purchase of old Venice post office is official

venice-post-office-old.jpg The producer of the “Matrix,” “Lethal Weapon” and “Sherlock Holmes” series of films was officially welcomed to Venice by press release quoting Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilman Bil Rosendahl. Silver is moving his production company, Silver Pictures, into the former post office on Windward Circle built in 1939 during the Works Progress Administration.

Reagan tapped FBI to spy on his family

cover-rosenfeld-subversives.jpg Seth Rosenfeld's book "Subversives: The F.B.I.’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power” looks at how Ronald Reagan, both as a liberal turned anti-Communist crusader in Hollywood then as candidate and governor, helped the FBI and made use of his relationship with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to get information not available to others. Some of that assistance involved his children, daughter Maureen and son Michael.

Documentary producer Brian Gerber found dead on Angeles Crest

Gerber, 41, had left a suicide note. His crashed car was found this morning off Angeles Crest Highway.

Patrick Goldstein's final Big Picture column for LA Times *

Patrick Goldstein doesn't explain the end of his film column, but he seems to be defending how he went about it. The piece begins "When I began writing this column...

Natalie Wood's death certificate drops the term 'accidental'

AP got a look today at the Los Angeles County coroner's revised death certificate, which now says that actress Natalie Wood died in the waters off Catalina Island in 1981 due to "drowning and other undetermined factors." The certificate used to attribute the cause of death to "accidental drowning."

Redford discusses new Sundance cinemas on WWLA

sundance-sunset-cinemas-logo.jpg Robert Redford will guest on tonight's "Which Way, L.A.?" at 7 p.m. on KCRW to chat with Warren Olney about the Sundance Sunset Cinema.

On Catalina buffalo, Ernest Borgnine and her dad the actor

larb-western-wedding.jpg Julie Cline, the Senior Nonfiction Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books, writes at the review today about her father's LA life and travels on the edges of the Hollywood movie machine. Her father lives on a boat in San Pedro, "a retired builder, general contractor, and salesman of everything from used cars to room additions." He's not really an actor, but he showed up in a film shot last year.

Phyllis Diller, entertainer was 95 (with video)

p-diller-imdb.jpg Comic Phyllis Diller lived a good long time and had a long career. Many female comedians say she paved the way. She died this morning at her Los Angeles home, her manager Milt Suchin confirmed. Watch her with Groucho Marx on "You Bet Your Life," inside.

Molly Ringwald on writing fiction as an actor

molly-ringwald-thumb-nyt.jpg The appeal of diving into a character has always been the back story: everything that my character has been through up to the point when the audience first encounters her, says the actress-novelist.

Director Tony Scott jumps from Vincent Thomas Bridge *

tony-scott-touchstone.jpg A man observed jumping from the high bridge that connects San Pedro to Terminal Island was dentified as Tony Scott, 68, the British film director known for such films as "Top Gun," "Days of Thunder," "Beverly Hills Cop II" and "The Taking of Pelham 123." A suicide note was found. He is the brother of Ridley Scott.

Cinerama Dome to celebrate with original movies

cinerama-dome-lapl.jpg When the Cinerama Dome opened on Sunset Boulevard in 1963, it was the first new movie house built in Hollywood in three decades. Now part of Arclight Hollywood, the dome in late September will begin a week of classic Cinerama films, including the comedy that opened the place: "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." Also on the bill are "How the West Was Won," "2001: A Space Odyssey" and assorted shorts.

Mayim Bialik hurt in Hollywood car crash

Mayim-Bialik-with-Cara-Santa-Maria.jpg The actress has tweeted that she won't lose any fingers, despite a breathless report by TMZ from expert bystanders.

Twitter suspends Nikki Finke accounts — both of them

The anonymous Twitter spoof account that poses as Deadline.com's Nikki Finke currently rings up suspended if you try to visit. And for whatever reason, the real Finke account is also suspended as of now.

Pellicano bail denied after emotional appeal by Anita Busch

Busch, the former Los Angeles Times reporter who was threatened over a story by Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano and his cronies, appeared frail and frightened-looking in court today, says The Wrap.

Judith Crist, film critic was 90

Judith Crist was the critic for many years on the "Today" show and in print at TV Guide and elsewhere. She had two long stints at TV Guide &mdash the first before they fired her in favor of computerized summaries of films, the second after a deluge of reader complaints forced the editors to ask her back.

Marvin Hamlisch, composer was 68

Hamlisch collapsed and died in Los Angeles on Monday. He has won three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize. He had been scheduled to return in September as conductor of the Pasadena Symphony and Pops.

Natalie Portman, Millepied marry in Big Sur

Portman and Benjamin Millepied managed to keep it secret until after the fact, so good on them.

Gavin Polone dares Nikki Finke to go after him

Thumbnail image for hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg Rather than be just another Hollywood type who complains about the unprofessionalism and blackmail of the Deadline founder, the ex-agent and producer dares Finke to prove her clout.

LA Times adds three more entertainment reporters

These will be stationed in Business, and include yet another body devoted to coverage of entertainment industry awards and another covering TV, plus the return of a slot based in New York.

Lupe Ontiveros, veteran actress was 69

lupe-ontiveros-400.jpg Ontiveros, a versatile actress from El Paso who came to Hollywood and once estimated she had a played a maid 150 times on stage or screen, died Thursday night of cancer in Whittier. She's being remembered as a Mexican American symbol and as an activist, as well as for her acting. "It is with deep sadness yet much pride that we reflect upon a woman whose immense contributions opened the door for Latinos and touched so many through her artistic talent," Mayor Villaraigosa said in a statement.

Hollywood passings: Chad Everett, Sherman Hemsley

Between them, Everett and Hemsley appeared on screen in many hours of episodic television. And for many, Everett played it just right during the scene of Betty's audition in David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive."

Frank Pierson, Hollywood leader was 87

frank-pierson-obit.jpg Frank Pierson served as president of both the Writers Guild, West, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences. He rose in Hollywood as a screenwriter and director. He got his start on the TV series' "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Naked City" and "Route 66." He won the original screenplay Oscar in 1976 for "Dog Day Afternoon."

Tom Cruise PSA for Scientology surfaces *

Video of Cruise talking the Scientology talk is included in a Daily Beast story by a defector from the Church of Scientology's elite and odd Sea Org unit. The story compares the many similarities between church founder L. Ron Hubbard and the lead character in the upcoming film "The Master."

Universal expansion plan drops residential

nbc-universal-plan.jpg NBCUniversal has killed a controversial proposal to build 3,000 homes on its property at Universal City. Instead the expansion will feature a new hotel and more room for the movie and TV studios and the theme park.

William Asher, prolific TV director-producer was 90

Asher directed 100 episodes of "I Love Lucy," brought the Gidget character to television, directed the popular series of 1960s beach movies starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, and produced the "Bewitched" TV series that starred his then-wife, Elizabeth Montgomery.

Willis Edwards, LA civil rights leader was 66

willis-edwards-sentinel.jpg Willis Edwards, part of the Robert F. Kennedy for president campaign in Los Angeles in 1968 and later a key member of the Tom Bradley adminsitration at City Hall, died today of cancer. He was the longtime president of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch of the NAACP.

Richard D. Zanuck, Hollywood producer with lineage was 77

richard-zanuck.jpg Richard D. Zanuck, the son of 20th Century Fox legend Daryl F. Zanuck who grew up to produce "Jaws" and other major Hollywood films, died of a heart attack Friday in Los Angeles. He was 77.

Give cash for Woody Allen to make his next movie in Israel

noa-tishby-woodyallen.jpg The Jewish Journal, noting that Woody Allen has made movies in London, Paris and now Rome because he gets financial help from those places, is organizing a campaign to collect enough money to convince Allen to shoot in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

Ernest Borgnine, actor was 95

ernest-borgnine-imdb.jpg How's this for an acting career? Raise a glass to Ernest Borgnine, who died about 1:30 this afternoon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Andy Griffith, actor was 86

andy-griffith-obit.jpg Griffith died Tuesday morning back home in Manteo, North Carolina. He received a Tony acting nomination for "No Time for Sergeants" on Broadway in 1955, before going into movies and on TV with "The Andy Griffith Show" in 1960.

Kirk Honeycutt launches film review site

honeycutt-hollywood-grab.jpg Kirk Honeycutt won't stop reviewing films just because he was laid off in November as chief film critic at the Hollywood Reporter. In addition to teaching a graduate course at Chapman University, he also is posting reviews at Honeycutt's Hollywood.

Nora Ephron, writer and director was 71

Nora-Ephron-New-Book.jpg Ephron grew up in Beverly Hills, made a name for herself as a journalist in New York, got into screenwriting via collaboration with then-husband Carl Bernstein on a version of "All the President's Men," and grew into what People magazine calls today "one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood as the creative force behind such blockbusters as 'You've Got Mail,' 'Sleepless in Seattle' and 'When Harry Met Sally.'"

Another ex-LA Times editor joins The Wrap

JonThurberHeadshot.jpg Jon Thurber, who left the Los Angeles Times recently after 40 years or so in the newsroom, is joining The Wrap as a senior editor. He will be reunited there with Lisa Fung, the executive editor. They were colleagues in the Calendar section at the Times for some years.
ochoa-donnelly-slake.jpg Business editor John Corrigan gets the AME slot for arts and entertainment, while Ochoa — the former LA Weekly editor who is married to Jonathan Gold — becomes Arts and Entertainment Editor reporting to Corrigan. TV critic Mary McNamara also gets a new title.

Anita Busch opposes bail for Pellicano

anita-busch-thr-2012.jpg It was ten years ago today that Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch found a dead fish on her car. There was a rose in the fish's mouth and a note that said: "Stop." She took it as a warning about her reporting — and she was right. Her life now is all about exposing corruption, she tells the Hollywood Reporter.

Andrew Sarris, film critic was 83

Andrew Sarris, the former film critic for the Village Voice and the New York Observer who died Wednesday morning, taught American moviegoers to obsess about directors.

Young Hollywood to stage fundraiser for Obama

celebs_obama_instagram_a_l.jpg Some of the young Hollywood hotties who met privately with President Obama on his last visit to Beverly Hills are combining on a June 29 fundraiser for the president's campaign, the Hollywood Reporter says. Jared Leto chairs, but the participants include the not-so-young such as David Fincher and Peter Frampton. Details and names inside.

Subtract another film critic from the club

Stephanie Zacharek will be laid off as chief critic at Movieline on July 13. The news, reported earlier by Matt Singer at IndieWire, has set off fresh concern about the future viability of film criticism as an actual career, or even as a job.

Who wants to lick Padma Lakshmi's spoon?

padma-lakshmi-lickthespoon.jpg So far in this Emmy campaign season, writes Variety's Jon Weisman, "it would be hard to top this Padma Lakshmi/Bravo page for most distinctive 'For Your Consideration' ad." See her ad bigger

Inside a Barbra Streisand party in Malibu

clinton-streisand.jpg Here's what happens at the Malibu party at Streisand's home to raise money for the new Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Martin Short emcees. Lisa Ling introduces Bill Clinton. Streisand sings, and so on. Guest list and more

Obama had breakfast with 'young stars' this morning

celebs_obama_instagram_a_l.jpg Before leaving Beverly Hills this morning, President Barack Obama met privately at his hotel "with two dozen of Hollywood’s hottest young stars, urging them to involve themselves in his re-election campaign." Plus a pool report from View Park.

Obama headlines two parties in Beverly Hills tonight

obamawave.jpg President Obama began the fundraising day on Wednesday by flying to San Francisco (with Giants legend Willie Mays on board Air Force One and at his side) then on down to Los Angeles. He appeared tonight at the LGBT Leadership Council gala at the Beverly Wilshire, where Ellen DeGeneres and "Glee" star Darren Criss provided the entertainment, then at a more private dinner a little ways away in Beverly Hills hosted by "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy and his fiance David Miller.

LAO behind the scenes: Grauman's Chinese

Take a look backstage, in Sid Grauman's private VIP box and around the gorgeous auditorium of Hollywood's (and probably the world's) best-known movie palace. Public tours by the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation continue on Sunday morning.

Claudia Laffranchi, Swiss journalist in LA was 49

claudia-laffranchi.jpg Claudia Laffranchi was part of the colony of overseas journalists who cover Hollywood for global media outlets and participate in related events. She was, for instance, the host and master of ceremonies of the Locarno Film Festival’s screenings. Laffranchi was found dead Tuesday in her Los Angeles-area apartment.

Signs point to Burbank Airport for Obama

BobsBigBoy-burbank.jpg If I were a betting man, or a Valley commuter hoping to avoid tonight's presidential motorcade traffic snarl, I would avoid the route between Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and Studio City as the clock approaches 7 p.m.

Video: Sam Rubin on Dick Clark's memorial service

sam-rubin-screen-crop.jpgSam Rubin at KTLA Channel 5 says the private memorial service for Dick Clark yesterday in Malibu was amazing. "I found the whole thing so very moving, so heartfelt, that I asked the family if I could talk about it after the fact on TV. I did so on KTLA this morning."

Scarlett Johansson gets a star and Garcetti was there

scarlett-garcetti-vertical.jpg Councilman Eric Garcetti has given the people what they want before by posting to Facebook his inside-the-rope cellphone pics of celebrities receiving stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in his district. Today he caught a good view of the cameras watching actress Scarlett Johansson watch them.

Hollywood Reporter gets political

hollywood_reporter_political_issue.jpg The Hollywood Reporter includes in its May 4 issue a 20-page special report on politics that "examines the complicated relationship between Hollywood and politics." It leads with a profile by contributing editor Tina Daunt of Obama fundraisers and power couple Ted Sarandos, the chief of content for Netflix, and Nicole Avant, the president's former ambassador to The Bahamas. "Sarandos is the man everyone in Hollywood wants a meeting with," says the trade. Included is what THR is calling "a guide to 20 of the biggest political players in Hollywood, including George Clooney, J.J. Abrams, Haim Saban and Ron Meyer."
Joe-Eszterhas-on-tv.jpg Sharon Waxman of The Wrap has now read the script that Joe Eszterhas turned in for the Mel Gibson production of a film about the Jewish hero Judah Maccabee. It's very bloody, but true to the story.

Publicist Michael Sands dies after choking on sample at Gelson's

The Hollywood publicist choked on a meat sample at the Gelson's in Century City on March 24 and died after two weeks in the hospital, The Wrap reports.

Moving day at KCET

kcet-studios-sunset.jpg Today's the day that television station KCET has to be out of its historic former movie studio on Sunset Boulevard. Everyone has been told to vacate by 3 p.m., I'm told. The new home is in Burbank in a media building adjacent to NBC.
The basic news headline is that Warner Brothers has passed on the script that long-time screenwriter Joe Eszterhas delivered for Mel Gibson's attempt to make a movie based on Jewish...

KPFK staff warned to stop downloading (old) pirated movies

Somebody at the KPFK studios on Cahuenga Boulevard downloaded via BitTorrent a copy of "A Beautiful Mind." NBC Universal complained to the internet provider, and you can read the email to the staff that resulted.

Demolition underway of Pickford Building at The Lot

pickford-building-demo.jpg The site should be cleared by the end of today. Check out the photo.

Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' - the three-minute re-cut

Jeff Desom's time-lapse video uses only the actual footage from Alfred Hitchcock's classic "Rear Window," set to "Hungarian Dance No. 5" by Brahms.

Film academy acquires Bison Archives photographs

jesse+lasky+truck+bison.jpg Marc Wanamaker's collection of more than 70,000 photographs covering the history of movies and studios has found a home at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Music Man Murray, the trailer

Richard Parks' documentary film about epic Los Angeles record collector Murray Gershenz, who's pushing 90, debuts on The Documentary Channel on April 21 and will also be on NPR's All Songs Considered website.

'Madonnas of Echo Park' heads to HBO

madonnas_echopark+cover.jpg HBO is developing a drama series based on "The Madonnas Of Echo Park," the novel by Brando Skyhorse.

Romney coming to town for Tuesday night funder

mitt-romney-shakes.jpg Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney has a $2,500-a-person fundraiser scheduled Tuesday night at the Century Plaza.

Only three+ mistakes in NYT gallery on 'Hollywood'

malaika-sarfati-nyt.jpg A reader emails to point out a few errors in the web slide show that goes with a photo essay by Lise Sarfati on women in Hollywood, in Sunday's New...

A recent history of the Hollywood trades

David Poland of Movie City News takes off from the news that Variety is for sale to put in a bit of jaded perspective the four media outlets he says function as the closest thing Hollywood has to trade publications.

Live from the Hollywood sign

hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg Check out Veronique de Turenne's photographs from inside the gate at the Hollywood sign.

Variety announces it is up for sale

"I have every confidence that under new ownership, Variety will continue to thrive, innovate and provide fantastic insight into the sector," says Variety President Neil Stiles.

Hollywood sign can stay on Kings goalie's mask

Bernier-mask-hwdsign.jpg Jonathan Bernier can keep playing without paying royalties to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Michael Lynton gets bigger role at Sony

Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton is getting oversight of the rest of Sony's U.S. entertainment units except for video games.

The issues with IMDb go beyond age *

The Amazon-owned Internet Movie Database is secretive, annoying to the Hollywood people it tracks and the data can be wrong.

Katzenberg to the rescue for Obama Super PAC

Plus: who from Los Angeles was invited to attend dine at the White House tonight with Britian's Prime Minister David Cameron.

Video: 'The biggest international motion picture of all time'

"Casa de mi Padre," starring Gael-Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez "and introducing Will Ferrell"

Radio Recorders, historic sound studio burns in Hollywood *

hollywood-fire.jpg Tonight's fire at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Orange Avenue wasn't just in another storefront. It's the former location of Radio Recorders, a legendary sound studio.

She's a one-woman Wrecking Crew

carol-kaye-smithsonian.jpg Carol Kaye played bass guitar on many hit songs of the 1960s and 70s. She came out of Long Beach, played in LA jazz clubs and broke into session work in Hollywood with an invitation to play on a Sam Cooke recording.

Daily News runs with our 'Sherman Way' story

sherman+way+movie+collage.jpg The plan, if the movie actually gets made, is to set it at the Canoga Park end of Sherman Way.

Lohan to be on Jimmy Fallon tonight

lohan+fallon.jpg In advance of her hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend, Los Angeles County probationer Lindsay Lohan will sit at the desk tonight with Jimmy Fallon.

Dujardin brings home his Oscar statuette

Video: Jean Dujardin arrives at Charles de Gaulle with his best actor Oscar for "The Artist," em português.

Now comes Sherman Way, the movie

sherman+way+movie+collage.jpg Film, music and pop culture references to the San Fernando Valley never get old.

'The Artist' schools Hollywood (with pleasure)

dujardin-oscars.jpg The mostly silent French film that was the only big 2011 movie to be filmed entirely in Los Angeles cleaned up tonight at the Oscars.

Seth Rogen works just fine as host of the Spirit Awards

seth+rogen+screen+grab.jpg He reached his irreverent peak remarking that Brett Ratner, deposed as Oscars producer after offensive remarks about gays, might have been a better choice for the more-forgiving Grammys.

Making the case for a musical soundtrack Oscar

LA-based writer Adam Baer argues in a piece for The Atlantic that the film academy should follow the lead of the Grammys and begin to honor the music of movie soundtracks.

Congratulations to Marlene Stewart, costume designer

Stewart was honored last night with an award for career achievement in film at the Costume Designers Guild Awards. So we reprise her LA Observed video on "Fashioning Fashion" at LACMA.

Beware Westwood: Obama is coming through this afternoon *

obama-piolin.jpg President Obama is scheduled to land at LAX about 4 p.m. After that traffic could suck for awhile in the corridor from Brentwood to Beverly Hills.

Reagan's Rosebud lived at the end of a dirt road in Canoga Park

reagan+brewer.jpg Roy Brewer is a despised historical figure by many in Hollywood, but not by Ronald Reagan researcher John Meroney.

Grammys and BAFTAs hand out hardware on Sunday night

adele+grammys.jpg The Grammys handled the death of Whitney Houston by having host LL Cool J follow opening act Bruce Springsteen with some words of tribute and a prayer "for our fallen sister," and Jennifer Hudson sang "I Will Always Love You."

Universal City deletes Buddy Holly, Muddy Waters and Patsy Cline *

muddy-waters-drive.jpg Fifteen or so years since Universal Music Group left for Santa Monica, the honchos at Universal City are taking down the signs on various streets and driveways that honor music legends.

Lincoln Heights jail reopens to filming

lincoln-heights-jail-bars.jpg One of the most-filmed locations in Los Angeles has been closed to filmmakers since May 2010.

The LA media guys behind lost Ed Wood TV pilot

duke_confused_stage.jpg The restored "Final Curtain" screened to an appreciative audience last month at Slamdance, where the two men got to talk about Wood.

Hollywood gets a visit from Pelosi

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi entertained Hollywood political players last night with her plans for regaining a Democratic majority in November. Plus: Obama's biggest Hollywood bundlers.

Vanity Fair's Hollywood cover posted

vanity-fair-hollywood-cover-2012.jpg Yes, once again it's young and mostly white actresses, fronted by Rooney Mara, Mia Wasikowska. Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain.

Million Dollar Theater projection booth

night-visions-million-dolla.jpg Iris Schneider was with projectionist Tom Ruff for tonight's showing of Kubrick's "Paths of Glory."

Obama fundraising 'packages' for Hollywood get creative

obamajam-creshts-1011.jpg The Obama Victory Fund is sending out an invitation to upcoming Obama reelection events offering local high rollers some options on how to get past their upset at the president's stance on SOPA and PIPA.

Actor finds you can go home again

mueller+stahl+spiegel.jpg Armin Mueller-Stahl, the German actor who has settled in Pacific Palisades, recently returned to his birthplace in East Prussia to receive honorary citizenship. Oh, but it's so much more complicated than that.

Ron Grover jumps to Reuters *

The longtime Business Week correspondent in Hollywood is leaving Bloomberg BusinessWeek to be the Los Angeles bureau chief for Reuters.

'The Descendants' music coming to South Bay

descendants-soundtrack.jpg The Southern California Slack Key Festival on Sunday at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center will feature some of the top Hawaiian musicians whose work made it into Alexander Payne's...

Is Hollywood boycotting Obama for turning against SOPA?

universal-studios-gate-clos.jpg Clearly, top Hollywood executives feel burned that President Obama has stopped backing their very controversial pet measures to fight content piracy. But enough to drop their support? Two views from Hollywood websites.

This day in L.A. history: Carole Lombard killed

gable-lombard-home-postcard.jpg Good on Cheryll Devall of KPCC for working up a radio piece on today's 70th anniversary of the day that Hollywood comic actress Carole Lombard died in a plane crash. Famously married to Clark Gable, Lombard was honored by FDR as the first American woman to die in the line of duty during World War II.

'The Artist', 'The Descendants' and 'Downton Abbey' get globes

the-artist-pan-1.jpg Check out some of the locations from "The Artist" that have played roles in silent films by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and others.

'The Artist' wins Critics' Choice award for best picture

the-artist-100.jpg George Clooney and Viola Davis grabbed the best actor wins, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer the supporting actor wins.

No new conclusion in Natalie Wood death

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After taking another look at the 1981 drowning of actress Natalie Wood, sheriff's detectives see no reason to alter the original finding: accidental death.

City Council votes to require condoms on porn actors

The 13-1 preliminary vote today would remove to need to spend $4 million to $5 million on a ballot measure — by adopting the measure's provisions.

The Wrap grabs executive editor from the L.A. Times

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The Wrap just announced it has created the position of Executive Editor and filled it with Lisa Fung, most recently the online editor for arts and entertainment at the Los Angeles Times website.

Finke calls out Variety over time stamp allegation

Read Nikki Finke's note to Variety executives, including this line: "When is Variety going to stop stealing Deadline's scoops without any credit?"

An addendum to fake Christmas snow in the Valley

bedford-falls-snowball-life.jpg
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Last week's post about Life magazine's newly available trove of unpublished on-set photos from the film shoot for "It's a Wonderful Life" brought a nice email pointer to a story by Michael Fessier.
 
Previously on LA Observed:
Valley of 'It's a Wonderful Life'
When Encino became Bedford Falls

What's the Rose Parade without Mack Sennett?

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If Occupy LA members sneak a little civil disobedience into today's Rose Parade, they won't be the first to exploit Pasadena's big day. Sennett got there first.

Valley of 'It's a Wonderful Life'

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Life magazine has posted online a gallery of unpublished photos from the Encino set of the 1946 holiday classic starring Jimmy Stewart.

Turan: Fincher didn't get Lisbeth Salander

lisbeth-craig-bath.jpg Adding David Fincher to "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" story "has proved counterproductive," says the L.A. Times reviewer. A.O. Scott is more enthusiastic in the NYT.

'The Descendants' is #1 for L.A. Film Critics Association

The L.A. Film Critics Association is tweeting out the news from their annual vote.

Harry Morgan, actor was 96

harry-morgan-webb.jpg Wow, just take a look at Harry Morgan's career.

Samuel French to close Valley store, keep Hollywood

samuel-frencyh-studio-city.jpg This isn't a total dose of bad bookstore news, just a demi-dose for people in Valleywood.
dragon-tattoo-uncensored.jpg In exchange for a special early viewing of David Fincher's "Girl With a Dragon Tattoo," David Denby and other members of the New York Film Critics Circle agreed to embargo any reviews.

Friday desk clearing

Media and politics notes, plus a Hollywood obituary and more.

Deadline.com website infected (or something) *

attack-page.jpg Nikki Finke's Hollywood news site has been slapped with Google's dreaded (and often overheated) "attack site" designation.

Cinefamily adds showings of 'Melancholia'

It seems people want to see the new Lars von Trier film with Kirsten Dunst.

City curtails location shooting for the holidays

batman-downtown.jpg Citywide "holiday filming restrictions" limit filming activity, street closures and lane closures between Nov. 21 and January 2.

What does Hollywood want for its political dollars?

Motivations behind political campaign donations by Hollywood figures are more complex than they might seem, Variety's Ted Johnson writes.

Fundraiser season in L.A. *

bermandinnercrop.jpg Rep. Howard Berman looks like the big winner on the dollar side.

Free tickets: Darrell Hammond and Fred Willard

Fred-Willard.jpg Coming up on Nov. 17 from Live Talks Los Angeles: Darrell Hammond talks about his upcoming memoir, "God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked: Tales of Stand-Up, Saturday Night...

Laemmle drops Sunset 5, but Sundance will take over

sunset-5-logo.jpg The Sunset 5 theaters at Sunset and Crescent Heights were once the cat's meow, but as newer theaters got bigger and better theirs got smaller and rattier — and with time the whole shopping complex became tattered.

Subdued opening night at the Geffen

gil-cates-ucla.jpg On Wednesday night, the Geffen Playhouse run began for "Next Fall," handpicked for the schedule by producing director Gil Cates.

Jon Stewart's heartfelt tribute to Gil Cates

You knew you were in show business when you sat in Gil Cates' office, Stewart says in introducing the moment of Zen at the conclusion of last night's Daily Show.

Gil Cates, producer-director was 77 *

gil-cates-ucla.jpg Gilbert Cates, the stage, film and TV producer and director and the producing director of the Geffen Playhouse, has died at age 77.

KTLA anchor explains his idea for a screenplay *

FrankBuckley.jpg Frank Buckley of Channel 5 says his idea for an international thriller called "Portofino" is being made by JC Chandor, the director of "Margin Call."

THR loses couple of web staffers

Patrick Kevin Day, the deputy editor of The Hollywood Reporter's website, is leaving after just two months to return to the Los Angeles Times as a senior web producer. A...

Return of the NC-17 rating

shame-scene.jpg "Shame," the upcoming film with Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, will be the 11th movie released with an NC-17 rating by a major studio or division.

Fashionization of Lisbeth Salander

rooney-mara-cover-story-01_153245359716.jpg_article_singleimage.jpg First the American actress who is portraying Swedish book and film heroine Lisbeth Salander graces the cover of this month's American Vogue. Now H&M unveils a line of clothing based...

Obama met secretly with Hollywood leaders at hotel

Before leaving the Beverly Wilshire this morning, President Obama had a meeting with "some of the entertainment industry's high-level executives, as well as talent representatives with access to the industry's top stars and musical acts," THR says.

Barbara Kent, last silent film actress was 103

Barbara Kent, a 1925 graduate of Hollywood High School, is being called the last living actress to have achieved stardom in silent films.

Sitrick firm hurting, The Wrap says *

Plunging earnings and a stream of executive defections "have set tongues wagging."

Video: Robert Redford in Westwood Village in 1965

Robert Redford romps on the roof and inside the Village movie theatre in Westwood in a 1965 clip shot by actor Roddy McDowall.

What becomes of Johnie's in LACMA deal?

johnies_coffee_shop-martin.jpg For a lot of us, the future (or potential fate) of Johnie's Coffee Shop was one of the first questions to come to mind after the news broke that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would buy the former May Company across the street for a film museum.

Clintons honor Edie Wasserman

Former president Bill Clinton was the final speaker at Friday evening's memorial service for Edie Wasserman at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

Sue Mengers, super-agent turned maven was possibly 78

Mengers' death was announced by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, who posted this afternoon on his blog that she died last night "at her home, a short walk from the Beverly Hills Hotel, and surrounded by three of her close friends, Ali MacGraw, Joanna Poitier, and Boaty Boatwright."

Clintons will be busy in L.A. this weekend

clinton-crop-thr.jpg Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton are around this weekend to celebrate the former president's 65th birthday and raise money for the William J. Clinton Foundation.

Left coast writers splash in the Atlantic

atlantic-nov2011.jpg Pretty good month for Los Angeles in the print and web pages of the Atlantic, leading with Kate Bolick's cover story on what's happening to marriage now that men are on the decline.

Obama adds second L.A. fundraiser on upcoming trip

President Obama will be the featured guest at a second Hancock Park-area fundraiser on Oct. 24, this one at the home of producer James Lassiter.

Rocket Video's manager mourns loss of the store

In a piece titled My Store Just Died, Jeffrey Miller writes at Zócalo Public Square about being manager of "the last great independent video rental store in the city of Los Angeles."

BlackBerries working again, or so they say

As of 1:43 p.m., Blackberries in L.A. are texting and beeping again. But it was tense there for awhile.

Broadway's United Artists sold, may become hotel

ua-broadway-brighamyen.jpg The landmarked United Artists Theater at the south end of Downtown's Broadway movie palace district has been sold to Greenfield Partners, a national hotel developer and real estate investment company.

Steve Jobs' 2005 commencement speech at Stanford

On life and death, among other topics.

Steve Jobs, inventor was 56

woz-jobs-1976.jpg Steve Jobs died today in Palo Alto of complications from pancreatic cancer.

Academy, LACMA agree to plan film museum on Wilshire

mayco-ansel-lapl.jpg The historic landmark former May Company department store at Wilshire and Fairfax could become the major movie museum that L.A. lacks under a memo of understanding agreed to tonight between the boards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Candaele brothers discuss 'Moneyball'

Q: Did you really take batting practice naked when you were with the Astros?

Free tix: John Lithgow, Jeff Jarvis

LA Observed readers can take their pick of events next week through Live Talks Los Angeles.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives shout out to KPFK

joseph-gordon-levitt.jpg Appearing Wednesday on "Fresh Air" on to promote his new movie, "50-50," Joseph Gordon-Levitt interrupted host Terry Gross's introduction to ask "can i just have a gratuitous kiss-ass moment?"

Fincher talks about Lisbeth as the hype cranks up

dragon-tattoo-uncensored.jpg Empire magazine puts Rooney Mara below Daniel Craig on the cover.

Obama in for the night

So far the timing of the president's moves across the Westside seems to be smooth and on schedule.

Mindy Kaling's guide to women in the movies

mindykaling.jpg For some reason, because a Hollywood writer wrote it, the New Yorker labels the humor piece in the current magazine an "L.A. Postcard."

Extended DVD of Swedish 'Girl' trilogy coming

lisbeth-salander.jpg The boxed set to be released here will add two hours of additional footage not seen in the Swedish theatrical films made from the late Steig Larsson's best-selling novels.

Obama visit: not much on the entertainment list

Rapper and singer-songwriter B.o.B., Adam 12 and the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will provide the entertainment at House of Blues.

Paramount unveils major redo of its Hollywood lot

paramount-studio34.jpg Paramount Pictures said today it will seek city approval for a 25-year makeover and expansion of the 56-acre studio lot on Melrose Avenue, the last of the big studios actually located in Hollywood.

Finke, from vacation, accuses The Wrap of misusing moguls' names *

Finke says she's gone until October, then blasts rival Sharon Waxman.

Dolores Hope dies at 102 *

The widow of comedian Bob Hope died this morning.

Daunt gets a Hollywood job for her birthday

daunt-mug-thr.jpg To go with her first story this week in the print Hollywood Reporter, former City Hall reporter Tina Daunt has also joined the staff as the trade's contributing editor for politics.

Hollywood Reporter deletes code grabbed from Finke's site

The Wrap saucily offers to let THR use its website code.

Finke threat actually turns into lawsuit against Hollywood Reporter

Federal suit by Penske Media Corporation alleges copyright infringement and more.

Hollywood obits: Cliff Robertson, Charles Dubin

Robertson, an Oscar-winning actor whose credits span "Picnic" (1955) and "Spider-Man 3" (2007), died Saturday on Long Island at age 88.

Lynn Newcomb Jr., local skiing legend was 91

Newcomb installed the first ski lift in Southern California, at Mt. Waterman.

Batman invades Downtown

batman-dr-street.jpg Gotham City goons tried to stop Jeff Schultz from getting a shot of this weekend location shoot for "The Dark Knight Rises."

Berman v. Sherman divides Hollywood

Many in Hollywood (and especially in Valleywood) wish the looming primary fight between the two Democrats would just go away.

Porn studios shut down after HIV+ report

Several adult film studios suspended production Monday after the Free Speech Coaltion, an industry group, reported that a performer may have tested positive for HIV.

Spielberg, Katzenberg & Geffen pitch for Berman

bermandinnercrop.jpg Rep. Howard Berman may face reelection in a new (if still Democratic) district, and a likely opponent from his own party in Rep. Brad Sherman. But his Hollywood friends are still with him.

Villaraigosa statement on Edie Wasserman

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa goes with the end-of-an-era theme.

Edie Wasserman, philanthropist was 95

Edie Wasserman was called the first lady of Hollywood and with her late husband, the studio powerhouse Lew Wasserman, was a major donor to local institutions. She died today in...

KCET partners with Eyetronics on new shows

KCET is announcing today a new partnership with Dominique Bigle, CEO of Eyetronics Media and Studios, to produce and air new local programs that will then be packaged domestically and globally.

LAT in dispute with photog David Strick over copyright

Longtime Hollywood photographer David Strick is suing the Times and Tribune for using his photos 500 times.

The Go-Go's get their star in Hollywood

go-gos-get-star.jpg Twenty-nine years after they frolicked on La Cienega and in the Beverly Hills fountain for the "Our Lips Are Sealed" video below, the Go-Go's showed up in Hollywood today...

Beverly Hills cops blow up screenwriter's laptop, script

Police investigating a reported suspicious package at a talent agency office on Rodeo Drive found — and blew up — a briefcase.

Pellicano speaks without saying much

Imprisoned former Hollywood troubleshooter Anthony Pellicano said during his first prison interview — with Daily Beast writer Christine Pelisek for Newsweek magazine — that he knew enough about Arnold Schwarzenegger to prevent him from becoming governor. No details offered.

Lucille Ball dances the hula

Before Lucy, before Desi, before she ran Desilu Studios and before even television, Ball was a showgirl and a blonde bombshell.

We have our Fanny Brice

lauren-ambrose-imdb.jpg Lauren Ambrose will play the role of Fanny in the Los Angeles production of "Funny Girl" set to open at the Ahmanson Theatre in January.

Jerry Lewis dumped from telethon

Actor Jerry Lewis said in May that he was retiring from the muscular dystrophy telethon he had hosted since 1966, but that he hoped to make an appearance on this year's show.

NFL star Bubba Smith found dead in L.A. home

No official word on cause of death, but police believe it was natural causes.

Faye Dunaway's rent-stabilization problem

Dunaway is supposed to be living in NY, but she seems to be spending most of her time in West Hollywood.

Stuff you find under houses in L.A.

Jacob Lassen works as a commercial actor sometimes, and crawls under houses the rest of the time.

A conversation on the Hollywood sign and L.A.

leo-braudy-hollywood-cover.jpg Professor and author Leo Braudy will be the special guest, and I'll be the not-so-special interviewer and moderator, this Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Central Library in Downtown. It's for the ALOUD series.

Deadline intros Facebook game in cahoots with Paramount

Nikki Finke watchers are having a fun time with this morning's news that she's flacking a Hollywood-themed Facebook game with Paramount Digital Entertainment.

Ronni Chasen case closed, gun was stolen from a cop

ronnie-chasen.jpg The Wrap is reporting that the Beverly Hills police have completed the investigation into the Nov. 16 murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen. The gun was stolen from a police officer in the Valley.

Last call for the old LACMA film series

l-avventura-poster.jpg Debra Levine at Arts Meme urges movie fans to take in the final run of films curated by Ian Birnie at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Oldest film sighting of the 1st Street bridge?

In "Berth Marks," Laurel and Hardy (and Hal Roach) show off the bridge and the old Santa Fe rail station that was beside the river.

Sherwood Schwartz, creator of 'Gilligan's Island' was 94

Television writer and producer created Gilligan and "The Brady Bunch," TV sitcom milestones from the 1960s that remain popular in syndication.

Emmy nomination ads are on L.A. buses

The question, Patrick Goldstein asks, is why?

Couple of notable hires for The Wrap

the-warp-sign.jpg The Wrap is bringing in Fred Schruers as a senior writer and Lucas Shaw, a recent Columbia grad, as media writer.

Rob Long on writing, 'Cheers'

rob-long-100.jpg Nice interview by The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf with Rob Long, the Emmy-winning writer on "Cheers" who lives in Venice, does his weekly Martini Shot column for KCRW and continues to write for TV.

Conan's street isn't just a joke

raymer-street-sign-dn.jpg Not everyone's happy, but Councilman Krekorian is willing to play along.

Look who's invited to join the motion picture academy

wes-studi-400.jpg I can't remember the last time I mentioned Beyonce, Wes Studi, Nastassja Kinski, Rooney Mara and Bradley Cooper in the same sentence. They are among the 178 actors, other artists and executives on today's list of newly invited members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Wrap calls on THR to stop 'stealing' scoops

Sharon Waxman of The Wrap calls out The Hollywood Reporter under Janice Min for lifting scoops and calling them "exclusives."

Elvis Mitchell on LACMA film: Expand, not redefine

elvis-mitchell-120.jpg Mitchell tells IndieWire's Dana Harris that in his new role as curator for the Film Independent/Los Angeles County Museum of Art film series, "The first thing I want to do is not alienate people who have been coming to LACMA to see movies.

Conan really wants that street named for him

west-raymer-conan.jpg Conan O'Brien has sweetened, so to speak, his request for the city of Los Angeles to rename a segment of West Raymer Street beside the train tracks in Van Nuys....

Elvis Mitchell to run LACMA film program

Anne Thompson notes that Mitchell lands on his feet again, but she suggests the museum be aware of issues with his "skills as an administrator/manager/organizer."

Finke makes the day interesting (again)

lynne-segall.jpg In the small world of the Hollywood trades, Tuesday began with the former L.A. Times advertising exec Lynne Segall quitting MMC to become publisher and senior VP of The Hollywood Reporter. Then Nikki Finke posted a 1,300 word screed against Segall.

Laura Ziskin, producer and activist was 61

Ziskin died at home tonight after a long and public battle with breast cancer.

Early 405: 'Sex and the Single Girl'

In the 1964 comedy Sex and the Single Girl, Tony Curtis (a womanizing tabloid reporter) and Natalie Wood (who plays Helen Gurley Brown) gallivant around Los Angeles — including on the new 405 freeway and its Mulholland Drive bridge.

Andrew Gold, L.A. musician was 59

Andrew Gold, who died Friday at home in Encino, had serious roots in the Los Angeles music scene. His father, Ernest Gold, won an Oscar for his score on the...

Friday desk clearing

Mayor names new DOT head, stadium suspect stays in custody, Greuel on TV, James Arness dies and more.

Lowry: Pictures not getting smaller, the journalism is

Variety columnist Brian Lowry has a bad reaction to Sunday's Calendar story in the L.A. Times about the current cycle of action heroes in films being more impressively muscled than in previous rounds.

Trailer posted for 'Girl with a Dragon Tattoo' *

Marketing slogan: "The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas." Tag line: "She's coming." Watch the video.

Holiday weekend reads

janice-min-thr-nyt.jpg Janice Min's THR makeover, Farrah Fawcett's death, Sheriff Baca's special recruit, how L.A. County cities fit together plus some quotables.

Weekend obits

Gil Scott-Heron, Jeff Conaway, Margo Dydek, Irene Gilbert, Don Kubly, Dana Brand, Tom West.

Conan wants an L.A. street named after him

Inspired by Oprah Winfrey's street in Chicago, Conan O'Brien calls on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to get it done. Video.

John Cassavetes drives Mulholland, 1965

In a clip taken from the 1968 documentary "Cineaste de notre temps," the actor and filmmaker cruises through the Hollywood Hills in a convertible — with the Beach Boys singing "California Girls" on the radio — and complains there aren't enough people in L.A.

Martin Singer, man in the news

“We’re one of the few firms that sue; we don’t just send a letter,” Singer says in a NYT mini-profile of Hollywood's guard dog to the stars.

Arnold paid $65,000 for fling's house — last year

TMZ posts the documents showing that Gov. Schwarzenegger paid the down payment on Mildred Baena's house in Bakersfield.

Barbara Stuart, actress in six decades was 81

STUART-obit-nyt.jpg Stuart worked in episodic television during almost the entire run of the genre, starting with "I Led Three Lives" in 1954 and concluding with the Showtime series "Huff" in 2006.
A snippet from the press conference in Cannes where the director of "Melancholia" admits that Hitler "was not one of the good guys," but someone he understands and sympathizes with.

Stieg Larsson and Scandinavian crime fiction at UCLA

lisbeth-salander.jpg Lisbeth Salander is all over the agenda for a two-day symposium in Royce Hall on the late Larsson's works and the larger genre.

Schwarzenegger admits love child...with household staffer *

At least there was no groping, eh?

Roseanne: fame's a bitch and so am I

roseanne-nymag.jpg Roseanne Barr writes a piece in New York magazine that covers a lot of ground from Charlie Sheen to the cruel illusions of fame to the treatment of women in Hollywood.

Musicians local 47 starts Internet radio station

Professional Musicians Local 47 says its programming, which they call Pro Music 47 Radio, is the first "geared solely to promoting union musicians."

Schwarzenegger, Shriver announce they are separated

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver released a statement tonight saying they are living apart "while we work on the future of our relationship."

Arthur Laurents, playwright-director was believed to be 93

Laurents wrote the books for "West Side Story" and "Gypsy" and the screenplay (from his own novel) for "The Way We Were."

'Glee' and NY's Bloomberg needle Villaraigosa

glee-nyc-wsj.jpg A "Glee" producer and New York mayor Bloomberg have a little fun at the L.A. mayor's expense.

Elvis Mitchell and Movieline break up after a short affair

Mitchell joined in January and now is out. Nikki Finke and Anne Thompson report different reasons.

Madelyn Pugh Davis, 'I Love Lucy' writer was 90

Davis and her writing partner Bob Carroll Jr. were writing for Lucille Ball on radio when they collaborated on a TV pilot. The rest was television history. Also: Kevin Jarre.

A bit more detail on Thursday's Obamajam

President Obama is scheduled to land at LAX at about 2:45 P.M. Thursday. He then has to get to the Sony lot for a 4:30 fund-raising appearance, then up to Tavern in Brentwood for dinner and another fundraiser.

Tina Fey and Steve Martin fill the Nokia Theatre

fey-martin-ltla.jpg There were something like 5,000 people at the Nokia on Tuesday night to watch Tina Fey and Steve Martin mix and match wits.

Get ready for the return of Obamajam on Thursday *

Marilyn_Davenport-ocweekly.jpg President Obama will visit the Sony lot in Culver City and Tavern in Brentwood to meet with Hollywood donors.

She knows a good book when she sees one *

wendie_malick.jpg Asked which one book she would recommend to President Obama, actress Wendie Malick offered one we like here at LA Observed too.

Arthur Marx, TV writer was 89

groucho-arthur-marx-nyt.jpg The son of Grouch Marx, he's known mostly for two books on his dad, sitcom work and the unauthorized and unflattering biography of Bob Hope.

Paramount latest studio to try 'The Martian Chronicles'

The-Martian-Chronicles-cover.jpg Paramount said today it has optioned the movie rights to Ray Bradbury's classic 1950 short story collection.

Sealed report makes for interesting Hollywood reading

A federal bankruptcy court judge unsealed an "explosive" 400-page court report on the affairs of film executive David Bergstein and his associate Ronald Tutor — then resealed the report. While it was available, the media got a look.

Another exit from LAT's entertainment staff

John Lippman, editor of the Company Town report, is moving his family to New Hampshire to work at a small newspaper that isn't on the web in a town that's not obsessed with Hollywood.

'Bill Cunningham New York' breaks out a bit

bill-cunningham-new-york.jpg The best documentary I've seen this year, on the octogenarian New York Times street photographer who rides his bike around Manhattan, has escaped the Nuart ghetto.

Sidney Lumet, 'quintessential NY filmmaker' was 86

sidney-lumet-200x150.jpg Sidney Lumet debuted in 1957 with "12 Angry Men," directed "Dog Day Afternoon," "Serpico" and "Network" later in his career, and was nominated four times for Oscars.

Dawn Hudson to run the Oscars group

dawn_hudson.jpg Dawn Hudson, who has run Film Independent since 1991, will take over as CEO of the academy.
Entertainment blogger Nikki Finke may be on medical leave, but a post she put up — then took down — has prompted renewed talk of "Crazy Nikki" and "Hollywood’s leading internet terrorist."

Whose ethics do you prefer: Charlie Sheen's or Tina Fey's?

tina-fey-nbc.jpg While Sheen risks the livelihood of everyone at his show, Tina Fey lists as her greatest achievement "providing 200 people with a nice place to work."

Charlie Sheen's fail: how bad was it?

The mainstream media sent real critics to the Charlie Sheen tour's opening night in Detroit, for whatever reason. It didn't take their experience to know it went very, very badly. But better tonight in Chicago.

'Mad Men' returns in 2012, and not before

AMC announced that the show's fifth season will happen, but the sixth is up in the air. Creator Matt Weiner's status also remains unclear.

Wendie Malick to star as 'Wild Horse Annie'

velma-johnston.jpg Good news for LA Observed contributor Deanne Stillman, whose book, "Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West," will be the basis for a Hallmark Channel movie on mustang activist Velma Johnston.

Deadline hires from USA Today

David Lieberman, senior media reporter at USA Today, will join Deadline.com as Executive Editor on April 11.

Liz Taylor, uncredited, in 'Jane Eyre'

A young Elizabeth Taylor plays Helen Burns in this 1943 rendition of "Jane Eyre," and shows up in the first scene (and others) in this YouTube clip.
liz-taylor-1945-gilmore-lifecom.jpg Life.com posts unpublished photos of Elizabeth Taylor, the magazine's favorite movie star.

Elizabeth Taylor, movie star was 79

liz-taylor-young.jpg Taylor died early today of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She entered the hospital six weeks ago. Taylor won two best actress Oscars, for "Who's Afraid of Virginia...
Nikki Finke alleges at Deadline Hollywood that The Hollywood Reporter "deleted embarrassing information about Summit Entertainment principals from a financial story about the studio's refinancing in order to 'horse-trade' it for the cover story interview with Jodie Foster that appears in this week's print edition.

Palin's semi-secret weapon in Hollywood

Rebecca Mansour, who lives in Hollywood and got an MFA from American Film Institute, is in Sarah Palin's inner circle as message crafter and social media defender.

Reporter posts AOL 'request' to be nicer to movie *

jake-alexia.jpg File this in the corner of your mind where you're a least a little concerned about editorial standards at the new AOL.

Shrinks who help screenwriters get past mental block

new-yorker-hwd-shrinks.jpg Dana Goodyear has a good piece in this week's New Yorker on therapist Barry Michels and psychiatrist Phil Stutz, whose niche is helping Hollywood creative types.

McConaughey, Connelly go for a ride in L.A.

As part of the publicity onslaught for "The Lincoln Lawyer," the new movie from Michael Connelly's mystery of the same name, the author and lead actor Matthew McConaughey chat for a Times reporter while parked in an SUV on Connelly's old street above Laurel Canyon.

'Rango' as watery homage to 'Chinatown'

rango-0591.jpg The animated movie is set in the fictional town of Dirt. There's a character, a desert tortoise named Mayor, who dreams of imported water turning Dirt into a green paradise.

Variety names its TV editor

Andrew Wallenstein moves from paidContent to be television editor at Variety.

A conversation with Tarantino's collaborator

Sally_Menke-kcrw.jpg KCRW's Elvis Mitchell has re-edited and posted a conversation with the late Sally Menke.

Academy blocks Portman question about anti-Semitism

portman-backstage-wrap.jpg After she picked up her Oscar last night and went backstage to meet the media, Natalie Portman was asked by a reporter why she wasn't wearing Dior — she's a...

'Two and a Half Men' crew will be paid by Warner Bros

More than 100 employees of the hit TV show shut down after star Charlie Sheen's recent outburst will get full paychecks for the season's final four unproduced episodes.

The Wrap uses Bert Fields to respond to Finke *

Fields dismisses cease and desist letter and says that Nikki Finke and company have engaged in trade libel and unfair competition.

Jane Russell, movie sex symbol was 89

jane-russell-hurrell-1941.jpg Jane Russell is probably best known as the busty actress whose cleavage Howard Hughes exploited so flagrantly in "The Outlaw." Her life story, though, runs through several other prominent Los Angeles threads.

Natalie, Colin and 'King's Speech' get it done

All those predictions that Natalie Portman and Colin Firth would win the top acting Oscars and "The King's Speech" would win best picture — they were right.

Backstage at the Oscars with Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn

grace-kelly-aubrey-hepburn-.jpg Life magazine has posted a nice online gallery of photos from Oscars past, including this one with Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn backstage at the 1956 ceremony at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

Mayor charms visiting Oscars reporter

mav-russell-thr-party.jpg Melena Ryzik, lead writer for the New York Times' Carpetbagger awards blog, hit town this week and attended the Hollywood Reporter Oscars party on Thursday night at the mayor's residence...

'Black Swan' takes a bunch of Spirit awards

portman-winner2.jpg Kind of a ragged show on IFC tonight from the Film Independent Spirit Awards — lots of gaps and fumbles. The actors also seemed fairly miserable about the chilly temperature in the tent on Santa Monica Beach.

Academy pulls Deadline's credential over Finke's leaks

Nikki Finke says that the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences this morning pulled her film editor Mike Fleming's backstage press credential to cover Sunday's Oscars, citing Deadline's reporting of spoilers about the show.

David Poland goes nuclear on Finke *

Reacting apparently to Nikki Finke posting details of Sunday's Oscar telecast, Hollywood blogger David Poland has posted a "Crazy Nikki" rant that's aggressive even for him — and also says that motion picture academy president Tom Sherak should be fired "if he continues to feed her any information."

Salma Hayek gives up L.A. for Paris

hayek-paris-kitchen-nyt.jpg She tells the New York Times fashion magazine that she's now a French housewife who cooks every night, but there's also the designer clothes and front-row seats at the fashion shows.

Finke gets the Oscars' show rundown

There are spoilers galore in Nikki Finke's report on what will be in the Oscars show on Sunday, so tread carefully if that matters to you.

Finke story on the Today Show? *

An NBC source says that "Today" will do a pre-Oscars piece about (or with?) Deadline's Nikki Finke in the 7:30 a.m. half-hour on Friday's show.

No interview with Aaron Sorkin for 'Hollywood Jew'

Danielle Berrin, who writes the Hollywood Jew column for the Jewish Journal, recounts her failed attempt to get an interview with Aaron Sorkin about the women in "The Social Network" — and his reaction to the column she did finally write.

It could be really, really cold* for the Oscars

Storm that's coming could bring snow to areas that rarely see it.

Your Oscar presenters for this weekend

oscar-presenters-2011.jpg Javier Bardem, Helen Mirren and Matthew McConaughey have been newly added to the list of Oscar presenters at Sunday's ceremony. Mo’Nique and Christoph Waltz, winners last year and thus invited...

Finke unloads on The Wrap with post, lawyer letter *

Deadline's Nikki Finke has publicly called out The Wrap for taking her content, and reports that a "cease-and-desist" letter was sent from her corporate overseer to Sharon Waxman and her board of directors

Simpsons pick out the L.A. hot spots

simpsons-la-tour.jpg On a recent episode of "The Simpsons," Bart Simpson's list of "must-see attractions" for Los Angeles included Cerritos Auto Square, Keyes on Van Nuys, "The Valley," LAX lot C, the...

Why 'King's Speech' wins Oscar and 'Black Swan' doesn't

kings-speech-colin-firth.jpg It's all about academy voters' second and third choices for Best Picture. 'Social Network,' maybe.

NYT declares Craig's an instant institution

The new West Hollywood restaurant by Craig Susser, former manager at Dan Tana's, got the feature treatment in the New York Times over the weekend.

Last Remaining Seats hits the big 25

SafetyLast.jpg This year's 25th run of Last Remaining Seats in the Broadway Historic Theatre District will open at the Orpheum with "Rear Window," the Alfred Hitchcock classic starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, and end there with Harold Lloyd in "Safety Last."

How J.C. Penney gamed the Google rankings

nyt-google-illo.jpg Great New York Times story this weekend looking deep into the phenomenon that saw J.C. Penney turn up as the #1 result on a variety of Google keyword searches: from dresses and bedding to Samsonite carry on luggage — ahead of Samsonite itself.

Global health a hot Hollywood ticket

chernin-party-pic.jpg Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Michael Milken and a bunch of Hollywood types came out to the home of Peter Chernin Thursday night for a discussion of discuss global health issues.

Variety wants you, to intern

Variety has openings for paid spring and summer interns.

Sad state of the art house theaters

I'm just catching up with this from last week's LA Weekly.

The Daily either does or doesn't run photo of Nikki Finke *

She says it's not her, and The Daily doesn't sound all that convinced, but they run it anyway.

Jane Fonda draws a crowd at the Ahmanson

33-Variations-Photo-11.jpg Jane Fonda blogged on Tuesday that tonight's opening performance of "33 Variations" at the Ahmanson Theatre would be attended by Cher, Colin Farrell, Angelica Huston, Chelsea Handler, Rosanna Arquette, Carla Gugino, Christian Slater, Peter Fonda, John Glover, Ben Vereen, Lindsay Lohan "and many other friends and family." She was right.

L.A. movie trailer: 'The Lincoln Lawyer'

The movie version of Michael Connelly's 20xx bestseller stars Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller, an L.A. defense attorney who eschews an office and operates out of the back of his Lincoln Continental.

Costumes from 'True Grit,' other Oscar nominees

true-grit-fidm.jpg Judy Graeme at Native Intelligence got a preview this afternoon of the new exhibition of costumes from the past year's Hollywood movies that opens Tuesday at FIDM.

Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue hits newstands

VF-march2011-hollywood-issue.jpg Men are included among the young bodies that Vanity Fair hopes will boost magazine sales this year. Here's who they put on the cover.

'King's Speech,' Firth & Portman win again at SAG

firth-kingsspeech.jpg "The Kings Speech" picked up the Screen Actors Guild's equivalent of the best picture Oscar tonight. Colin Firth and Natalie Portman picked up the top actor awards.

Weekend reads

Jane Fonda's third act, multi-racial America, The Dude in London and more.

From Majestic Theatre to majestic Rockies

MDR Logo 3.jpg Robert Bucksbaum, the Majestic Crest Theatre savior who got out of the cinema biz last year, sent an email to his former patrons today saying he now owns a guest ranch in Colorado. And you're invited.

LA Observed on KCRW: On location in Los Angeles

In tonight's KCRW column: location filming, "Somewhere" and Buster Keaton.

Case closed on Ronni Chasen murder, BH police chief says

Beverly Hills Police Chief David Snowden told the Hollywood Reporter that the final ballistics report confirms that Harold Martin Smith gunned down publicist Ronni Chasen on Nov. 16.

Hollywood journo describes path to the Peace Corps

Angelina Jolie is to blame, says Sean Smith, the Entertainment Weekly bureau chief in L.A. who quit last week to serve in the Peace Corps.

'Public breakdown' in the Golden Globes' dirty secret

L.A. Times columnist Patrick Goldstein says Ricky Gervais and Robert De Niro made show business history by getting down and dirty on Sunday's Golden Globes telecast.

Inside the L.A. Film Critics' dinner

There were no TV cameras and few reporters at Saturday night's Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards dinner. That's the way VP Tim Grierson likes it.

'Social Network' wins at Globes, Douglas gets ovation

Michael+Douglas+Globes.jpg "The Social Network" won four Golden Globes tonight, ending with the award for best drama — surpassing "The King's Speech," which had the most nominations coming in to the night.

Schwarzenegger says being governor cost him $200 million

But he says it was worth it, despite the toll on his family.

From the Hollywood beat to the Peace Corps in Africa

Sean Smith is leaving as Los Angeles bureau chief of Entertainment Weekly to serve overseas in the Peace Corps.

Mila Kunis on dancing: no mas

mila-kunis-w.jpg "Before Black Swan, I had never danced in my life, and I will never dance again."

Ex-publicist sues, calls Golden Globes org corrupt

Michael Russell says his employer of 17 years, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and its awards are tainted by fraud and corrupt practices.

Elvis Mitchell gets a consolation gig

elvis-mitchell-sartorialist.jpg Elvis Mitchell, the longtime print film writer and critic who hosts "The Treatment" on KCRW, has signed on as co-chief film critic (with ex-Salon critic Stephanie Zacharek ) for the expanding Movieline.

Selling the new Lisbeth Salander

lisbeth-salander-gun.jpg The new W unveils the first official look at American actress Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, the kick-ass heroine of the Swedish trilogy by the late Stieg Larsson.

Schwarzenegger makes flurry of last-day appointments

Among the new state officials of various kinds are Susan Kennedy, Schwarzenegger's chief of staff, his press secretary and Kimberly Belshé, his cabinet secretary for health and human services.

In love with the Chateau Marmont

chateau-marmont-angeleno-crop.jpg Nice piece in the new Angeleno magazine on past residents (and current staffers) on what they like about the Chateau Marmont hotel.

Natalie Portman doesn't dance, she acts

Now the Hullabaloo Dancers — they dance.

Rainy day notes

Neighborhood councils, Hollywood, City Hall politics and more.

Hollywood farmers market deal to be detailed

KCRW says that on tonight's "Which Way, L.A.?," City Council President Eric Garcetti and "Good Food" host Evan Kleiman will discuss details of a deal struck today between the Hollywood Farmer's Market and the LA Film School.

Who turns NYT staffers into fanboys and girls?

sofia.coppola.jpg Sofia Coppola, that's who.

Finke: Speier hasn't parted ways

Screen shot 2010-12-13 at 10.20.06 PM.jpg Michael Speier is no longer Nikki Finke's managing editor at Deadline, just three months after he hired on to much Finkeian fanfare. But he hasn't completely left either, she emails.

Weekend media shorts

Michael Speier departs Deadline.com and other media notes.

'The Social Network' is L.A. Film Critics' choice

SocialNetwork.jpg "The Social Network" was voted best picture today by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. "Carlos" was runner-up.

One thumb way down on 'The Tourist'

Sam Rubin of KTLA takes to Twitter to say how much he dislikes the new Angelina Jolie vehicle.

IndieWire grabs new editor in chief from Variety

Dana Harris has been at Variety for nearly 11 years.

Suicide gun now does appear to match Chasen gun *

Andrew Blankstein at the L.A. Times has a law enforcement source who says, not for attribution, that the gun Harold Smith used to kill himself in Hollywood appears to match the gun used to kill publicist Ronni Chasen.

Blogging 101 at the L.A. Times: the memo *

Sallie Hofmeister, assistant managing editor for arts and entertainment coverage at the Los Angeles Times, says in an email sent a few hours ago that she wants her Company Town entertainment bloggers to be more "surprising or interesting."

Latest on dead suspect in Ronni Chasen murder

One resident at the dicey Hollywood apartment building where "Harold" shot himself last night says he had bragged about killing Ronni Chasen.

Suspect in Chasen murder killed himself as police closed in

The L.A. Times is reporting that "a man described as a suspect in the slaying of veteran Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen fatally shot himself at a Hollywood apartment house Wednesday evening as Beverly Hills police were serving a search warrant there."

Goldstein and Rainey team up on a bigger Picture *

LAT film columnist and Big Picture blogger Patrick Goldstein announced last night that he will be expanding his portfolio and adding James Rainey as a co-blogger.

Local law blogs get recognized

thr-grab.jpg The editors of the American Bar Association's ABA Journal have put up their annual list of top 100 legal blogs, including several SoCal gems.

James Franco, Anne Hathaway may host Oscars *

franco-hathaway-deadline.jpg Nikki Finke says the pair of actors have been asked to host the Academy Awards telecast and both have tentatively agreed.

Leslie Nielsen, actor was 84

Leslie-Nielsen.jpg The Canadian actor who had a long dramatic career before he was cast in "Airplane!" and as LAPD Lt. Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun movies died near his home in Fort Lauderdale.

Natalie Portman talks about 'Black Swan'

David Poland at Movie City News talks with Natalie Portman at length about "Black Swan," her new movie.

Hollywood buries Ronni Chasen

ronnie-chasen.jpg Close to a thousand mourners overflowed the chapel at Hillside Sunday, crowding onto a patio to pay their respects to slain publicist Ronni Chasen.

Police working on theory that Chasen killing was planned

The Hollywood Reporter is going with a story that the working theory is that the attack on Ronni Chasen was planned in advance and not the result of road rage or a carjacking gone awry.

Not much new in murder of Ronni Chasen

ronnie-chasen.jpg Nobody has been able to advance the story much on this morning's killing of publicist Ronni Chasen, while Hollywood reacts. Services are Sunday.

Publicist Ronni Chasen is the driver shot in Beverly Hills

Longtime Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, 64, was found dead of five gunshot wounds about 12:30 a.m. today in her Mercedes-Benz E-350, which had crashed into a light pole on Whittier Drive just south of Sunset Boulevard.

LA Observed goes to the museum

In the video, LA Observed's Judy Graeme goes through LACMA's exhibit on fashions of the 1700's and 1800's with Marlene Stewart, a costume designer on films such as "Ali," "The Doors" and "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian."

Christina Aguilera draws a crowd

aguilera-star-garcetti.jpg The singer got her star today on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. City Council President Eric Garcetti uploaded the mobile photo to his Facebook page.

Dino De Laurentiis, producer was 91

De Laurentiis died Wednesday at home in Beverly Hills. Not many Hollywood producers have this range of credits, both hits and flops.

Jessica Alba ticks off every writer in Hollywood

jessica-alba-elle-dec2010.jpg Actress Jessica Alba, the cover babe in December's Elle, is quoted saying that "good actors, never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with,...

Wolinsky pushed out at Variety

Leo Wolinskly, the former Los Angeles Times executive editor who joined Daily Variety as editor late last last year, has been let go.

Media and Hollywood group ankles Yamashiro

yamashiro-front.jpg After 11 years, the monthly gathering of media and Hollywood types started by TV writer Scott Kaufer, blogger Mickey Kaus and journalist-author Steve Oney is leaving Yamashiro.

Backstory: Tyrus Wong

TMPGL_LAO_12Tyrus.jpg This week's photo by Gary Leonard, as writer Rip Rense rightly suggests via email, might benefit from some background on Tyrus Wong.

Ebert: Lisbeth Salander must continue

lisbeth-salander.jpg "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest," the third and ostensibly final film with Noomi Rapace playing the part of Swedish hacker-punk-heroine Lisbeth Salander, opens Friday to the approval of Roger Ebert.

Back to the beach for the Spirit Awards

No actual knowledge of what happened, but I'll assume L.A. Live lured Film Independent's last Spirit Awards Downtown with a special deal — then didn't offer it again for next...

Free tickets: Michael Caine *

caine-jacket.jpg LA Observed helps to sponsor the Live Talks Los Angeles series of conversations around town, and producer Ted Habte-Gabr is offering tickets to LAO readers who want to take in Thursday night's session between actor Michael Caine and Sharon Waxman of The Wrap.

See the 'Glee' photos people are supposedly upset about

glee13_628.jpg So, people are bothered that actors who unconvincingly play high school kids pose for a sexy photo spread in a glossy fashion magazine for men?

L.A. Times adds two film writers

Rebecca Keegan and Nicole Sperling are joining the L.A. Times movie staff, writing for print and online. Read the memo.

Two porn houses shut down after male actor tests HIV +

Wicked Pictures and Vivid Entertainment stopped production after a performer identified by one industry source as a male who does gay and straight films tested positive for HIV.

LAT markets against bloggers *

Screen-shot-2010-10-07-at-3.23.47-PM.png This house ad for the Los Angeles Times awards season coverage is unintentionally funny, given that there are bloggers in this city with more experience and higher standards than some...

Ari Emanuel a loser in White House shift?

ari-emanuel-wrap.jpg The departure of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to run for mayor of Chicago is not good news for his brother Ari, says Sharon Waxman at The Wrap.

Coming and going at IndieWire

Anne Thompson becomes editor-at-large, Todd McCarthy ankles for the Hollywood Reporter.

Stephen J. Cannell, writer-producer was 69

Cannell wrote best-selling novels and for TV shows like "Adam-12" and "Mission Impossible," then went on to produce series such as ""The Rockford Files," "The A-Team" and "21 Jump Street." He died Thursday at home in Pasadena from complications associated with melanoma.

Comic-Con staying in San Diego

The giant comics-plus convention will announce Friday it's remaining in San Dego for at least five years.

Tony Curtis, actor was 85

tony-curtis-imdb.jpg Tony Curtis starred opposite Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon in "Some Like it Hot" — which the American Film Institute named the best comedy of the 20th century.— and got an Oscar nomination for "The Defiant Ones."

Art Gilmore, Hollywood narrator was 98 *

Art Gilmore narrated hundreds of movie trailers, television episodes and radio shows. He also worked back in the day as a news announcer at KFWB and KNX.

Arthur Penn, director was 88

Arthur Penn, the director of "Bonnie and Clyde," The Miracle Worker" and "Alice's Restaurant," died Tuesday in New York a day after turning 88.

Sally Menke, film editor was 56

The body of a hiker reported missing yesterday in Griffith Park has been located at the bottom of a ravine. Law-enforcement sources say it's Sally Menke, Quentin Tarantino's editor on...

HBO's 'Teenage Paparazzo' debuts

teenage-pap-hbo.jpg The film is hosted by actor Adrian Grenier, who it's said became interested when he noticed Autsin Visschedyk, then 14, taking pictures in a pack of Hollywood paparazzi.

Clip from 'The Social Network'

The David Fincher movie based on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg opens the New York Film Festival tonight.

Wall Street Journal names new L.A. bureau chief

Rob Guth, the Wall Street Journal's tech reporter based in San Francisco, is coming south to be Los Angeles bureau chief. Read the memo.

Afternoon media notes

Catching up with some stuff that's been piling up.

Weekend obits: James Bacon, Roderick Mann and more

Bacon and Mann both made their names interviewing movie stars and other Hollywood celebrities.

Speier, formerly of The Wrap and Variety, joins Deadline

After Michael Speier was laid off last year as executive editor of Daily Variety, he served a stint as news editor for Sharon Waxman at The Wrap. Now he's joining Waxman's arch-rival Nikki Finke in the new position of managing editor at Deadline.

Next L.A. Times ad stunt for 'Law and Order: Los Angeles'

The next shock for Times readers could be an upcoming ad campaign for "Law and Order: Los Angeles" that Variety says again blurs the line between editorial and advertising, similar to previous ads in the Times for "Southland" and the King Kong attraction at Universal Studios.

The Hollywood Reporter to go weekly & glossy

thr-mag-cover.jpg Janice Min's Hollywood Reporter will switch to a weekly magazine next next month, the New York Times says. "A mix of analytical and feature articles and photo spreads, will be...

Elvis Mitchell to co-host Ebert's new 'At the Movies'

mitchell-lemire.jpg Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz will co-produce a new version of "At the Movies" for PBS, with KCRW's Elvis Mitchell and Christy Lemire of Associated Press as the main critics.

Majestic Crest to keep showing movies

Robert Bucksbaum, who recently announced he is giving up the Majestic Crest theatre in Westwood, says in his final email to customers that a chain will be taking over and continuing to show movies.

Noomi Rapace talks about moving on

reakout Swedish actress Noomi Rapace sat down in Venice with Anne Thompson to talk about her new movie projects, her recent introductory trip to Hollywood and leaving behind the role of Lisbeth Salander.

Waxman: Schism at Min's THR

Janice Min's arrival at the Hollywood Reporter has left the trade's previous staffers feeling shut out, Sharon Waxman says.

New film and politics blog from Kelly Candaele

clooney-the-american.jpg Writer, filmmaker and Los Angeles political figure Kelly Candaele has launched Politics and Films to write about feature films and documentaries from a political perspective.

Michael Douglas calls his cancer stage IV, 'intense'

Appearing tonight on David Letterman's show, actor Michael Douglas said his throat cancer has advanced to stage IV, the most advanced form using that rating system.

How the Emmys opening number came together

For some (OK, me) the highlight of the Emmy awards broadcast was Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Lea Michele and a bunch of other actors — even the heavyset guy from "Lost" — running through the Nokia Theater in an homage to "Glee.

Villaraigosa sightings at the Emmys *

The mayor of Los Angeles should go to the Emmys, but given Antonio Villaraigosa's recent controversy over freebies the question will be asked this time: was he gifted, did he perform some vaguely official function, or both?

Waxman flacks her conference at Finke's expense

In her column at The Wrap, editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman invites arch-rival on the web Nikki Finke to come speak at the Wrap's first entertainment industry leadership conference.

She will eat lunch in this town again

noomi-rapace-toh.jpg Amid all the talk about the American actress who will replace her as Lisbeth Salander in the remake of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," the real thing is in town this week launching a Hollywood career.

Obama pool reports: 'Let's just hang out'

From the Beverly Hilton to Hancock Park and back they go, compliments of the feed by Jonathan Weisman of the Wall Street Journal to the White House press corps.

Um, another Lisbeth post after all *

rooney-mara.jpg I was wrong: there's still life in the Lisbeth Salander topic. American actress Rooney Mara has been tapped to play the heroine of Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy in the English-language version of "The Girl with the DragonTattoo."

Sam Rubin goes 'Hollywood, Uncensored'

KTLA entertainment anchor Sam Rubin is executive producing and hosting a new weekly talk show for Reelzchannel they're calling "Hollywood Uncensored With Sam Rubin" and billing as "'The McLaughlin Group' meets 'Real Time With Bill Maher' with a Hollywood spin.

David L. Wolper, producer of 'Roots' was 82

Wolper also produced "L.A. Confidential" and the children's classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," as well as the opening and closing ceremonies at the 1984 Olympic Games in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Stieg Larsson's girlfriend on Lisbeth Salander

Before we leave the subject of Lisbeth Salander, this video from ABC's Nightline: author Stieg Larsson's girlfriend talks about how the character came to be introduced in "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

Roger Ebert's paean to 'Lost in Translation'

bill-murray-scarlett.jpg In his Great Movies series for the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert says there are basically two kinds of people when it comes to the 2003 film "Lost in Translation." Those who get the subtle relationship of empathy and loneliness between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, and those who "want to know what it's about."

Finding an American Lisbeth *

lisbeth-salander.jpg Noomi Rapace is so perfect as sulky, brilliant hacker-heroine Lisbeth Salander that it seems like a waste to spend any time trying to cast the part for the English-language version of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

An odd Downtown connection to the day

inception-wilshire.jpg In the afternoon I parked on Wilshire, between Grand and Hope — so it was easy to spot that block in "Inception" a few hours later.

Majestic Crest theatre in Westwood sold

Email about one of the city's cinema treasure from owner Roebert Bucksbaum, who saved the theatre from closing once and has been trying to sell it since 2008.

He's got a nude body for radio

MQschmidtLEAD.jpg "Off-Ramp" this weekend talks to Michael Q Schmidt, 57 years old and about 300 pounds, who has made his career as an actor and nude model.

Pondering the age gap on 'Inception'

Patrick Goldstein admits he was left confused by "Inception," though he liked the film, and he devotes a post at The Big Picture to why the older people are, the more they hated "Inception."

Lea Michele not hurt in crash she wasn't in

lea-michele-thr.jpg This Hollywood Reporter story with a "Glee" tie-in isn't a spoof, but it could be. Commenters at the THR site are brutal.

Old Spice has been good for Isaiah Mustafa

old-spice-mustafa.jpg You Tube sensation and ex-NFL player Isaiah Mustafa talks to the Hollywood Reporter about the stardom of sorts that has come his way since he pitched Old Spice in the year's biggest online marketing coup not perpetrated by Apple.

James Gammon, character actor and stage stalwart was 70

james-gammon-imdb.jpg Gammon's first television credits were in the 1960s in westerns such as "The Wild, Wild West," "Bonanza" and "Gunsmoke" — though he also showed up on "Batman," "Charlie's Angels" and...

Memo: Movie editor hired at L.A. Times

Julie Makinen, who left the Los Angeles Times awhile back to live in Hong Kong as deputy business editor of the Asian edition of the International Herald Tribune, is returning as movie editor on the LAT entertainment desk.

OK, one more Mel Gibson video edit

The trailer for "What Women Want," with new dialogue from Mad Mel. Er, allegedly from Mel Gibson.

Mad Mel owns the rights to 'Fahrenheit 451'

Ray Bradury says Mel Gibson is too busy with "that Russian girl" right now to move ahead with a film remake of his classic book.

Mel Gibson goes on another rant

Radar Online has posted a longer audio clip of Mel Gibson berating girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva over the phone

So how 'Despicable' is the Calendar section today?

Well, if you mean the movie, it's way "Despicable." An ad for the new movie "Despicable Me" covers the top and bottom of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section —...

And the all-time record for Emmy noms goes to...

hector-ramirez-emmys-variety.jpg Nice little real Hollywood story on longtime camera operator Hector Ramirez, whose five Emmy nominations this morning gives him the career record.

Friday's L.A. Times could be more interesting than most *

For two reasons I'll be opening my Los Angeles Times early tomorrow.

LAT sells page to Hollywood again *

latimessidebyside.jpg This time the full-page ad designed to fool readers for a few seconds is a mock version of the LAT Extra section — using the real nameplate and date but...

PR stunt o' the week: In the Heights flash mob at Citywalk

I caught In the Heights last night at the Pantages and saw what all the fuss is about, both for the 2008 Tony winner for best musical and the fans'...

L.A. blogs get some kudos from Time

boingboinglogo.jpg Time magazine's online team rated a bunch of blogs again this year, and for the Los Angeles-based blogosphere the results are mixed.

Young Hollywood femmes cover a bust for Vanity Fair

VF-hwd-cover2010.jpg The March cover that featured Kristen Stewart, Amanda Seyfried, Carey Mulligan, Anna Kendrick and a bunch of other young, thin, white actresses has been the worst selling of the year so far for Vanity Fair.

'Airplane!' at 30 taken seriously, surely

27airplane-span-articleLarge.jpg When they shot "Airplane!" on the Universal backlot, it's unlikely that the Zucker brothers (Jerry and David) and Jim Abrahams expected the spoof would be analyzed and immortalized in the New York Times thirty years later. But here we are.

The Wrap relaunches its look

amanda-bynes-140.jpg The Wrap has now been around long enough to reach that point in every website's life where it had to start over with a new design and back-end infrastructure.

Now Scarlett wins a Tony award

scarlett-tony.jpg "Memphis” won the Tony Award for best musical on Sunday night, “Red” won for best play, and Hollywood actors Catherine Zeta-Jones, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis and Scarlett Johansson all won in their categories.

Stephen Rivers dies of cancer at 55*

steven-rivers.jpg Longtime political activist and Hollywood public relations strategist Stephen Rivers died Monday after a long battle with cancer.

Joseph Strick, filmmaker was 86

Joseph Strick brought James Joyce's "Ulysses" to the big screen, won an Oscar for his documentary on My Lai veterans, made noteworthy documentaries on L.A.'s Muscle Beach in 1948 and an L.A. divorcee's life in 1960, and also commissioned a Santa Monica Canyon home that is the only North American residence by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.

Kim Masters to join Min at The Hollywood Reporter *

kim-masters-mug.jpg The first press release has come in from Janice Min's new Hollywood Reporter.

Ten years on Dennis Hopper bio -- and still no book

Richard Stayton, now the editor-in-chief of Written By, was working at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner in 1985 when he met and first wrote about Dennis Hopper.

L.A. Times Hollywood writer jumps to Hollywood

Rachel Abramowitz is leaving to to work on "Outlaw Country," a new FX show she wrote with her husband.

Finke is on 'medical leave,' her site says

The underlings at Deadline Hollywood finally explained this morning the whereabouts of their missing leader.

Dennis Hopper, actor, director & artist was 74

dennis-hopper-bwclose.jpg Dennis Hopper died this morning at home in Venice, likely from complications of advanced prostate cancer.

Gary Coleman, actor was 42

gary-coleman.jpg Coleman, the child star of the hit sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," died at a hospital in Provo, Utah after suffering a brain hemorrhage at home earlier this week.
hurt-locker-box.jpg Voltage Pictures' complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. doesn't name anybody, but incorporates 5,000 people it says illegally downloaded the Oscar-winning film "The Hurt Locker."

Advertising shakeup at L.A. Times

The Los Angeles Times Media Group on Thursday announced that it "restructured" the entertainment division of its advertising department, naming three new vice presidents. The most interesting part was buried...

(500) Days of Fatal Attraction, plus where's Nikki Finke?

"(500) Days of Summer" re-envisioned as a thriller.

Last Remaining Seats opens with a hit

how-to-succeed.jpg he Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway was packed last night for the opening film of the 24th year of Last Remaining Seats.

Janice Min gets top job at Hollywood Reporter *

Former Us Weekly editor Janice Min has been named the editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, says Huffington Post media editor Danny Shea on Twitter.

Bunker Hill and Downtown in 1961: 'The Exiles'

Kent Mackenzie's 1961 film about Native Americans living in Downtown Los Angeles premiered that year at the Venice Film Festival but was not released commercially. It screens Wednesday at The Hammer.

Brittany Murphy's husband found dead at home

An LAFD crew answering a 911 call pronounced screenwriter Simon Monjack dead at his home in the Hollywood Hills.

Nikki Finke looking for 'Tilda' payday from HBO

HBO is trying to make a deal with "litigious showbiz blogger Nikki Finke" to be a consultant on its new show "Tilda," which is pretty clearly based on Finke.

'Iron Cross' lawsuit against Variety tossed

Remember the lawsuit that alleged Variety violated a deal by running a critical review of "Iron Cross' while the film's producers were buying ads in the trade paper? A judge said no way, on First amendment grounds.

They like her, they really like her

scarlett-nyt.jpg Both drama critics of the New York Times, Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood, say that Scarlett Johansson deserves a Tony award for her Broadway debut in the revival of Arthur Miller’s “View From the Bridge.”

Lena Horne, singer was 92

Lena Horne was the first black performer signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio — MGM, for whom she appeared in “Panama Hattie” in 1942 — and by the end of World War II was being called the country's top black entertainer.

Legally speaking, schmuck is OK

an LA Observed reader sent me to this Yale Law Review article from 1993 in which Alex Kozinski, the U.S. 9th Circuit judge, and Eugene Volokh, the UCLA scholar and law blogger, do a thorough briefing on Yiddishisms in the law.

New 'Twilight' entry to debut at L.A. Film Festival

twilight-eclipse.jpg Bella will enjoy her next kiss in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" at the Los Angeles Film Festival, which opens June 17 in its new downtown location at L.A. Live. See the full schedule.

Rabbi Hier blesses title of new Steve Carell movie

carrell-rudd-dinnerforschmucks.jpg The summer film's title, “Dinner for Schmucks,” gets a thorough analysis by Michael Cieply in the New York Times.

In the magazines: Kobe as we haven't seen him

kobe-latmag-may2010.jpg The L.A. Times Magazine has an online array of photos from yesterday's fashion spread that accompanies a Q&A with Kobe Bryant. They call it White Hot.

Lynn Redgrave, actress was 67

lynn-redgrave-people.jpg Redgrave died last night after a lengthy fight against breast cancer.

Peter Lopez, music lawyer was 60

Lopez, a name partner at Century City's Kleinberg Lopez Lange Cuddy & Klein, has represented Michael Jackson and members of the Eagles, and had been a producer on "Selena." He...

Forget saving the Hollywood sign *

hollywohot.jpg Instead of preserving the Hollywood sign in its static condition as a legally condoned supergraphic, why not embrace its inner hotel potential?

Todd McCarthy joins IndieWire

todd-mccarthy-mug.jpg Less than two months after losing his longtime gig as chief film critic at Variety, Todd McCarthy has signed on with IndieWire to do film commentary on a blog they are calling Todd McCarthy's Deep Focus.

'End of Hollywood as we know it'

Marty Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, argues that piracy, digital technology and the expectation of consumers that Internet content is free makes this "not a happy time to be an entertainment industry executive."

Al Franken coming to L.A. for money

al-franken.jpg Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota is having a fundraiser Friday night at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip that's calling on his Saturday Night Live days.

The Wrap announces new funding

The venture capital firm co-founded by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has, along with other investors, put another $2 million into The Wrap, the site says in a news release.

In re Finke v The Wrap, I guess we'll know soon *

They can't both be right. I suppose we'll find out pretty soon which one is BSing.

Press Club's National Entertainment Awards

Former LA Weekly film critic Scott Foundas won two awards, including print critic of the year, and KABC 7’s George Pennacchio also won a pair at the at the Los Angeles Press Club’s third annual National Entertainment Awards tonight.

TV MoJoe a no go

Sharon Waxman sends word that while Joe Adalian is leaving as television editor of The Wrap, the TV blog he brought with him is staying.

Script for 'Tilda' should be called 'Nikki'

Matthew Belloni of The Hollywood Reporter finally got to read the script for a potential HBO series about a "no-holds-barred show biz blogger." His main question going in was answered: it's definitely based on Nikki Finke.

TV MoJoe leaves The Wrap for Vulture *

Joe Adalian just joined the Wrap last June, but he's taking his address book and his TV MoJoe blog (originally started at TV Week) to New York Magazine's entertainment site Vulture.

Sitrick sued by employees *

Crisis PR meister Mike Sitrick has been sued in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by a former employee (on behalf of them all) who says the boss at Sitrick and Company manipulated the ESOP to deprive current and former employees of millions of dollars

Myrna Loy statue returning to Venice High

myrna-loy.jpg Myrna Loy crossed over from the silents to carve out a career as the witty, urbane type in 1930s Hollywood fare. She attended the Westlake School for Girls, but for decades a statue said to be based on her stood outside Venice High School. Venice alumni raised the money to restore the sculpture, and on Saturday a restored sculpture will be re-dedicated.

Hollywood bankruptcy case turns...interesting

Judge seizes control in rare move after David Bergstein, who runs Capitol, ThinkFilm and related entities, was described in court as overseeing "the Enron of the entertainment world."

Westwood Village movie house gems saved

westwood_village_theater.jpg The Bruin and the older Village (the one with the Fox sign on the tower) are being taken over by Regency Theatres.

Deadline.com hires again, expands into TV

The show business news franchise anchored by Nikki Finke's Deadline | Hollywood has hired Nellie Andreeva, television editor of The Hollywood Reporter since 2004, to become TV editor.

Now everyone will want a house in the deal

Variety columnist Brian Lowry must have been amused by Nikki Finke's claim that the new owners of The Hollywood Reporter included a $1 million home in Malibu as part of an offer to get her to come on as editor in chief (with a salary of $450,000.) From Lowry's BLTv blog.

Variety threatens studios over online casting scoops

Variety Editor Tim Gray has been telling studio PR types that if they give casting scoops to the online competition, the paper won't run their big announcement stories in print. Plus: Nikki Finke for sale again?

Jim Marshall, rock photographer was 74

grace-slick-joplin-marshall.jpg Marshall had the inside access and the eye to shoot some of the most iconic images of rock and roll musicians

Variety looking to hire in New York

kingsthings-tweet.jpg Variety is "in search of a full-time NY-based reporter to cover finance and entertainment," Variety.com editor Chris Krewson posts on his Twitter feed.

Fess Parker, actor and winery owner was 85

Fess Parker's first credit was in the 1950 film "Harvey," but he became widely known as Disney's Davy Crockett later that decade and as Daniel Boone. More recently Parker has...

Pacific Palisades loses its last video store

palisades-blockbuster.jpg With the local Blockbuster closing, Tabloid Baby blogs that the community at the far end of Sunset Boulevard from Downtown — home to Hollywood heavies such as Steven Spielberg, Kate Hudson "and until yesterday, Peter Graves" — will be without a bricks-and-mortar video outlet.

Is the end near for Hollywood trades?

The New York Times sets up a piece examining the future of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter by saying the "feisty tradition of entertainment trade reporting and criticism...has been so severely tested in recent weeks that some wonder whether the entire era is drawing to a close."

Peter Graves, actor was 83

peter-graves-bw.jpg Graves was found dead Sunday at home in Pacific Palisades.

LA Observed on KCRW: Whale of a story

Today's LA Observed piece during "All Things Considered" on KCRW talks about the L.A. story of this week that had a little of everything. That would be Jennifer Steinhauer's New...

Merlin Olsen, ex-Rams star and actor was 69 *

merlin-olsen-card.jpg When the Rams were a big deal in Los Angeles, Olsen anchored their Fearsome Foursome defensive line. He went on to be longtime color commentator for NBC’s pro football and Rose Bowl telecasts, and a television actor on “Little House on the Prairie” and in his own series, “Father Murphy.”

Steve Erickson's nominated reviews

steve-erickson-lamag.jpg Los Angeles magazine arts critic Steve Erickson's nomination for an American Society of Magazine Editors award is for three reviews he wrote last year.

The Hot Blog turns 5,000

bigelow-video-dp30.png David Poland's Hollywood blog debuted Sept. 5, 2004 and with this entry today has reached 5,000 posts — with more than 140,000 amassed comments. In post number 4,999, he observes and elaborates that Hollywood killed Corey Haim.

Media swarm The Hump over whale meat

hump-nyt.jpg It's been amusing watching today's Twitter traffic from reporters who showed up at The Hump, the exotic food restaurant in Santa Monica fingered in this morning's New York Times for serving outlawed whale meat.

Variety sued by 'Iron Cross' producers

The producers contend that a negative review violated the terms of a $400,000 deal with the trade to promote the movie for Oscar consideration.

How's this for a juicy Oscar jewelry heist

Jose Pepe Fanjul, said to be one of the world's richest men, and his wife Emilia reportedly were cleaned out of millions of dollars worth of jewelry on Friday at the Four Seasons hotel — by a man in a tuxedo who chatted them up in the elevator then came to their room.

Actually, Variety restructures across the newsroom

Today's moves turn out to be about much more than dropping the chief film and theater critics, who have been asked to write as freelancers. Variety is restructuring its newsroom,...

Variety loses Ebert

His tweet: "Variety fires Todd McCarthy & I cancel my subscription. He was my reason 2 read the paper. RIP, schmucks"

Variety drops two reviewers, goes freelance *

Two of the trade's most prominent writers, film reviewer Todd McCarthy and theater critic David Rooney, have been cut as cost-saving measures. Reviews will be done by freelancers.

Story behind that weird Oscars moment *

roger-ross-williams-oscar.jpg The Chic Leak blog has some backstory on the woman who popped up to commandeered the microphone from documentary short winner Roger Ross Williams.

Kathryn Bigelow's big moment

kbigelow-oscars.jpg Bigelow becomes the first woman to win the best director Oscar, and "The Hurt Locker" takes best picture. Bigelow's previous movies: Mission Zero, K-19: The Widowmaker, The Weight of Water,...

Call it the Lu Parker effect

av+lu-oscars.jpg On the Oscars red carpet, Mayor Villaraigosa complimented the animal welfare message of "Avatar" while Lu Parker smiled over his shoulder.

LAT's mock front page ad via Twitpic

lat-mock-front-page.jpg It's a wrap around the real L.A. Times front page this morning, arguably not as bad as last year when the paper sold an actual story spot on the real front page.

Alice in Thursdayland *

alice-wonderland-crop.jpg Sure was strange to see the Los Angeles Times lead the Calendar section with a big photo and Kenneth Turan review of "Alice in Wonderland" on Thursday, instead of the usual Friday. The reason for the change, according to a soft-section insider at the LAT, is that the ad department sold Disney two front-of-Calendar spots for Alice ads in Friday's paper.

Mayor's Oscars party comes under fire

Tonight at Getty House, Mayor Villaraigosa is hosting a pre-Oscars reception for Academy Awards nominees

Schickel on 'the insufferable optimism of America'

richard-schickel-ifc.jpg Remarks by curmudgeonly Time critic Richard Schickel stole the show at a weekend panel to discuss the state of film criticism, pegged to the screening of the documentary "For the Love of Movies," by Boston Phoenix critic and filmmaker Gerald Peary.

Did Variety kill bad review for an advertiser?

Gawker suggests that a $400,000 advertising campaign by the producers of "Iron Cross" led to Variety's publisher spiking a mediocre review by Robert Koehler from the trade's website

On the death of serious film criticism

An essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education traces the history and decline of film reviewing in the face of competition from Internet critics. "If the traditional film critic was...

Pup 'n' Taco sighting *

pup-n-fries.jpg In the new TV spot for "The Runaways" film, the relatively short-lived but fondly recalled SoCal fast-food chain shows up as "Pup 'n' Fries."

Matt Labov leaves B|W|R after a month as president

Actually, Labov was co-president of the Hollywood PR firm with Leslie Sloane Zelnik. Therein may lie a clue into his departure.

Elvis Mitchell, sartorialist

elvis-mitchell-sartorialist.jpg Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist posted this photo of longtime L.A. media person Elvis Mitchell after being interviewed by Mitchell on "The Treatment" on KCRW.

'Chinatown' revisited by A.O. Scott

chinatown-dunaway-grab.jpg "Much blacker than even the darkest film noir," Scott says, and he means it in the good way.

Jeff Bridges outside the Aero

jeff-bridges-nytmag.jpg Photo on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, from a photo feature on actor Jeff Bridges in Sunday's New York Times Magazine.

'Hurt Locker' cleans up at BAFTA's

Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” pretty much swept the Orange British Academy Film Awards tonight at London’s Royal Opera House.

WGA honors 'Hurt Locker,' 'Up in the Air'

"Inglourious Basterds" and "An Education" were not eligible.

How Ebert feels about the story (and photo)

roger-ebert-esquire.jpg Roger Ebert wrote this week about his reactions to the Esquire story and how shocked he was to see the portrait that has gotten so much attention.

How Tarantino saved the New Beverly Cinema

tarantino-new-beverly.jpg With the movie house on the verge of closing, director Quentin Tarantino decided to buy the place where he had spent so much time.

Roger Ebert hasn't eaten since 2006

roger-ebert-esquire.jpg Television's most famous movie critic is rarely seen and never heard, says Esquire in a nicely detailed piece. But Roger Ebert is still reviewing movies and "producing the best work of his life."

Nina Blanchard, modeling agency founder was 81

Blanchard opened the Hollywood agency that bore her name in 1961 and represented, among others, Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Shari Belafonte, Rene Russo and Cristina Ferrare.

Moot but interesting: Conan's contract with NBC

coco-graphic.jpg Conan O'Brien's contract language did specify that he would host "The Tonight Show" at 11:35 p.m.

Variety hiring on the web

Variety has a craigslist ad up looking for a part-time web editor (with one whole year of experience), prompting former Variety columnist Anne Thompson to tweet: "this after Variety laid...

Los Angeles, or Shreveport by the bay?

battle-los-angeles.jpg Most of the local action for "Battle: Los Angeles" was shot in Shreveport, Louisiana, using painted palm trees, with other footage gathered in Baton Rouge. “You’re never going to know we didn’t shoot the movie in Los Angeles,” producer Neal Moritz.

Visiting blogger: The Wrap punk'd by Republican

jay-rosen-thumb-140x151-2346.jpg NYU journalism professor and media critic/innovator Jay Rosen argues in a Visiting Blogger post that The Wrap fell for a tale about GOP consultant Frank Luntz going Hollywood.

Oscar nominations, the quick list

The academy got what it wanted: a broader menu of best picture options, some of which aren't as worthy as one might like.

Relive 25 years of Spirit Awards

Film Independent has put up two decades of opening monologues and dozens of acceptance speeches and other clips from the show on Babelgum.

Oakie estate in Northridge acquired by city

oakie-house-dn.jpg The city has paid $3.35 million for ten acres and the home designed by Paul R. Williams for actress Barbara Stanwyck, a vestige of the Valleywood horse-ranching heyday.

Roy Orbison gets Walk of Fame star #2,400

roy-orbison.jpg Orbison, who gets his star Friday, will be outside the Capitol Records tower next to John Lennon and George Harrison.

'Runaways' hits Sundance 'like a freight train'

stewart-fanning-sundance.jpg Kristen Stewart, as usual, is so uncomfortable doing media it always creeps me out a bit to watch her.

SAG awards and Golden Mikes on the same night

fss_ingloriousbastards.jpg The cast of "Inglorious Basterds" won the honor for top film ensemble today at the Screen Actors Guild awards at the Shrine Auditorium.

Polanski won't be sentenced in absentia, judge rules

roman-polanski-closeup.jpg Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza decided today that fugitive director Roman Polanski has to return to a Los Angeles courtroom in order to be sentenced in the 1977 sexual assault case.

Holiday hours

Conan gets $30 million to go away

That's the negotiated settlement amount The Wrap hears from sources.

Conan's hanging in there

His last 'Tonight Show' may be Jan. 22, but Conan O'Brien had it rocking in last night's monologue.

George Lucas and the history of movie blockbusters

alexbenblock-mug.jpg L.A. journalist Alex Ben Block was the lead editor on the the new book, "George Lucas's Blockbusting: A Decade-By-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies." Block, now at the Hollywood Reporter, will...

Reed 'quietly dangling' Variety for sale, says The Wrap

Plus ex-Hollywood Reporter publisher Robert Dowling on what ails the trades.

Grazergate and Andres Martinez make the j-ethics syllabus

L.A. Times editor-at-large Jim Newton is now teaching a course in journalism ethics at UCLA, part of his appointment as a senior fellow in the School of Public Affairs. In...

Anne Thompson analyzes Finke moves

Hollywood columnist-blogger Anne Thompson says that hiring Mike Fleming away from Variety is a smart move for Deadline|Hollywood, if he can co-exist with Nikki Finke.

Finke takes a couple more reporters

The company backing Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood blog is expanding the site with two more entertainment journalists, including Variety veteran Mike Fleming.

Nikki Finke takes a reporter

Diane Haithman, the former Los Angeles Times arts and enterrtainment writer, has joined Finke's Deadline Hollywood as an interviewer of TV show runners

Arrest in killing of Ben Bradley

benbradley.jpg The suspect knew the Fountain Theatre director and producer, police say.

Rise and fall of Matthew Krane

matthewkrane.jpg From Hollywood power lunches to house arrest with an ankle bracelet.

'Mulholland Dr.' best film of the decade?

muholldrivestill.jpg I thought I liked Mulholland Dr. as much as the next guy, and probably more than most. But I'm surprised the David Lynch film tops a survey of the best...

He invented the language in 'Avatar'

paulfrommerusc.jpg Paul Frommer, a professor of clinical management communication at the USC Marshall School of Business, got the gig to create about 1,000 words for the Na'vi, who inhabit the moon...

LA Weekly adds film editor, reporter *

karinalongworth.jpg Karina Longworth is the new film editor at the LA Weekly. She is the co-founder of Cinematical.com, the former editor of SpoutBlog, and calls her personal film blog Vidiocy. (She...

Brittany Murphy, actress was 32

brittanymurphy.jpg The actress died this morning of cardiac arrest at Cedars-Sinai, after being found in the shower at home by her mother, according to TMZ, citing reports from the LAFD and...

Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett

The first (I think) teaser is out for "The Runaways," billed as the story of the 1970s rock band that featured Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, among others, and...

Roy Disney, 79

roydisney.jpg Roy E. Disney, nephew of Walt Disney and a director emeritus of the family studio, died Wednesday morning after battling stomach cancer. His name is on REDCAT downtown. Roundup of...

Alien invasion in Santa Monica

battleofsm.jpg Residents of Santa Monica have been warned to expect low-flying military helicopters over the city during the lunch rush on Tuesday. It may look and sound like a war zone,...

L.A. Film Critics go with 'Hurt Locker'

Unveiling its 2009 awards today, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association anointed "The Hurt Locker" as best picture and Kathryn Bigelow as top director, Yolande Moreau as best actress for...

Variety tries pay wall again

This is at least the third iteration I recall, but Variety on Thursday will start charging again for some web content. Here's how the trade explains it: After clicking on...

"Nine" packs a crowd

One tactic the Hollywood news site The Wrap is using to get its name out there is to host free film screenings. Judging by tonight, it's working. So many people...

Leo Wolinsky named editor of Daily Variety *

leowolinskyvariety.jpg Leo Wolinsky, an editor and reporter at the Los Angeles Times for 31 years, has been named editor of Daily Variety, "encompassing both the L.A. and Gotham editions," the trade...

Mel Brooks at the Kennedy Center

kennedycenterhonors.jpg At this weekend's Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, Mel Brooks said that picking up the award at the age of 83 was “better late than never.” Other honorees were Dave...

Bruce Lisker gets a girlfriend

brucepackingthumb.jpg In part three of Iris Schneider's exclusive-to-LA Observed posts following Bruce Lisker's reentry to society after 26 years behind bars, Bruce moves in with Kara in Marina del Rey. Iris...

Seacrest the invisible

ryanseacrestnytmag.jpg Nice portrait (by Michael Muller) that goes with a profile of Ryan Seacrest by Amanda Fortini in today's T Magazine in the New York Times. She calls Seacrest the invisible...

Blogging the hospital

Television writer Earl Pomerantz has been blogging about his time in the hospital leading up to, and after, open heart surgery. If nothing else, he seems in a good enough...

Is Phil Spector in Toluca Lake? *

KFI's news Twitter feed says that convicted killer Phil Spector is at a dentist's office in Toluca Lake right now, escorted by prison correctional officers. Update: Yes, Spector was allowed...

Times' Claudia Eller shifts jobs

Yes, Claudia Eller will still be digging for scoops in Hollywood. But she's shifting to also help manage the other reporters for Company Town, the L.A. Times' entertainment news operation....

Another new hire at LAT Calendar

Assistant Managing Editor for Arts and Entertainment Sallie Hofmeister tonight announced the second recent hire to fill openings on the L.A. Times entertainment team. We told you about Steven Zeitchik...

New Hollywood site seeks writers

Hollywoodnews.com expects to launch in January with former Los Angeles Times film reporter Robert Welkos as the editor and Carlos de Abreu as CEO and publisher. Welkos posted about it...

Wanted: one film critic

Here's a hire that will be closely scrutinized and dissected, no matter who gets it: the LA Weekly is looking for a replacement for Scott Foundas. The L.A. Weekly is...

Studio PR in the Twitter age

Hollywood marketing has changed now that so many people willingly devour flakkery on Facebook, Twitter and blogs, a New York Times story says today: Social networks like Facebook and Twitter...

Foundas switches sides

LA Weekly film editor and chief film critic Scott Foundas is moving to Lincoln Center in New York as associate program director. His responsibilities will include the New York Film...

Hollywood Reporter about to be sold?

The Wrap's Sharon Waxman says The Hollywood Reporter "and several other Nielsen entertainment titles are set to be sold to James Finkelstein’s News Communications Inc., owner of 'Who’s Who' publications...

Two out at Entertainment Weekly bureau

Two members of the Los Angeles bureau are among 11 staffers laid off at the magazine, says a report....

Orso closing by Nov. 21

The Hollywood power lunch spot near the Cedars medical buildings on West 3rd Street is soon to shut its doors, after 20 years. “It’s not without some sadness and remorse,"...

L.A. Film Critics down to 11 full-timers

The layoff of Alonso Duralde from MSNBC means ten members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association have lost their gigs in the last 18 months, says David Poland at...

Gawker catches Finke editing, again

Some bloggers, this one included, will make minor unannounced fixes shortly after a post goes up. Hollywood blog-meistress Nikki Finke takes it to a whole new level, as Gawker's John...

Disney's 'Skeleton Dance' (1929)

Produced and directed by Walt Disney, this is an animation classic with a capital C. It's the first cartoon in the Silly Symphonies series, animated by Ub Iwerks. I figured,...

Disney has big plans for Santa Clarita

Disney-ABC Television Group today told L.A. County that it will seek approval for a 56-acre production facility - including a dozen soundstages - on Disney's Golden Oak Ranch in the...

Vidal on Polanski & Hollywood

John Meroney spent a couple of days with Gore Vidal at his Hollywood home and files his dispatch for The Atlantic. Vidal says, among other things, that concerns about Barack...

Adam Goldberg hates things about L.A.

As part of the promotion for his new movie, actor Adam Goldberg drives around Los Angeles pointing out some of the things he dislikes. Among them are the food,...

Movie premieres moving Downtown?

The new Regal Cinemas' L.A. Live Stadium 14 debuts officially on Tuesday with the first showings of Michael Jackson's "This Is It." Variety sees the new Downtown cineplex — which...

NYT switches up on Carpetbagger blog

David Carr retires his tuxedo after four seasons. The new New York Times blogger on the red carpet beat is Melena Ryzik. (She tweets here, by the way.) The paper...

Bonnie Fuller hires an editor, is hiring

Bonnie Fuller is the "tabloid maven," as Style Section L.A. puts it, who is revamping HollywoodLife.com as part of the fledgling Jay Penske media empire. Fuller has hired New York...

Mikulan joins The Wrap

About a week after leaving the LA Weekly, Steven Mikulan has been inked to write a new blog for The Wrap to be called L.A. Noir. The site also announced...

Independent Spirit Awards leaving the beach

The indie film party is moving to LA Live and will be held in the evening, allowing for live late-night TV on the East Coast. Next year's awards are March...

Goldstein: Hollywood not pro Polanski

L.A. Times film columnist and blogger Patrick Goldstein says all the noise about Hollywood supporting Roman Polanski overlooks something. There's no petition going around with the names of the real...

Picking on Finke

With the chatter about Nikki Finke on high due to this week's profile in The New Yorker, Gawker's Richard Rushfield is offering $1,000 for "a recent photograph of the scourge...

The New Yorker v. Nikki Finke

finketny.jpg You know something's up when you wake up to Sunday morning email from Nikki Finke and the flack for The New Yorker, both flagging a story in the magazine that...

Paley Center opens with hockey

The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills unveiled its fall schedule, starting tonight with Wayne Gretzky, Bruce McNall and a showing of "Kings Ransom," a documentary by Peter Berg...

Old DreamWorks team behind Jerry Brown

DreamWorks founders Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, as expected, are co-hosting a fundraiser for Jerry Brown on Nov. 18. "This will be a big launching pad for his...

Kremlin's woman in Hollywood

mukasei.jpg Elizaveta Mukasei was posted to Los Angeles as a spy for the Soviet Union from 1939 to 1943, according to an interesting Wall Street Journal remembrance today. Mukasei, who died...

In Los Angeles this month

lamag0ct09.jpg Los Angeles Magazine kicks off a new Hollywood sociology column, Cut!, in the October issue. New contributing writer Gina Piccalo writes the first one, talking to spouses and partners about...

AP's chatter on Polanski makes web

polanskigrab.jpg This is kind of amusing. Yahoo's pick-up from Associated Press on the Roman Polanski arrest in Switzerland seemed for awhile this morning to include some not-for-public-consumption, reporter-editor go-between. "no surprise,...

Polanski arrested after DA issues warrant

Director Roman Polanski was arrested on Saturday as he arrived at the Zurich airport to receive an award at the Zurich Film Festival. Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley's office...

Conan injured, show called off

Conan O'Brien took a bump to the head while performing a skit on tonight's show and was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He's doing fine — NBC released...

Audrey Tautou turns the tables

tatouaschanel.jpg At the end of her interview with the LA Weekly's Gendy Alimurung, French actress Audrey Tautou asked if she could snap the writer's picture. Does it with all the journalists...

Around LA Observed

In case you missed them: Bill Boyarsky spent a delightful evening with Norman Corwin, the 99-year-old "Los Angeles literary treasure," at the Barnes & Noble in Westside Pavilion. Visiting blogger...

Friday desk-clearing

The City Council voted unanimously to offer early retirement to 2,400 employees in lieu of layoffs and furloughs. LAT, Ron Kaye Producer John Wells was elected president of the...

Jewish Federation's new head

TV producer Jay Sanderson succeeds John Fishel, who served 17 years as the Federation president and is leaving at the end of the year. A search committee picked Sanderson over...

Michael Moore's big mouth

That would be the filmmaker Michael Moore, who can't seem to stop blathering about subjects he doesn't seem to know much about. At a news conference in Toronto, he accused...

Patrick Swayze dies

The star of "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" had been battling pancreatic cancer. He was 57. (AP)...

Gelbart explains the craft

Here's an extended excerpt from a series of interviews he did in 1998 for the Archive of American Television. He talks about working with Bob Hope, Carl Reiner, Sid...

Larry Gelbart dies

One of the greatest comedy writers - ever. He's probably best known for the TV series "MASH," but there also was "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the...

Army Archerd, Hollywood legend was 87