I'm not blasé about celebrity sightings. It's one of the fun things about living in Los Angeles; even stars go nuts over seeing each other. And while through the years I have seen many famous people working on movie sets or at premieres, or socializing at bars and restaurants, sometimes I catch them doing the sort of quotidian things you wouldn't expect to see the rich and… read more!
Lists of Nine with Keyword "celebrities" (most recent at top)
It was recently announced that Mick Jagger was about to sire his eighth child. Provided that he and baby both survive, this will make the Rolling Stone a new dad at 73. This news got me searching for other famous elderly fathers, and I found many lists citing men over 50. Pshaw! Here is the definitive list of history's very oldest celebrity dads. If you can name any more examples (age 73 and… read more!
It's not unusual to find groups of famous siblings in show business. Why, I've written about it here before. And again. And again. But this time I'm listing those actors who were supposed to be the star of the family, only to watch their siblings go on to greater fame. I'm sure, in most cases, that there's been no bitterness. But who… read more!
This is the promised follow-up to my previous list; the concept is the same, except that this time I'll be focusing on an older crop of small-screen moguls. SKATEBOARD, written by Dick Wolf. Grand Vizier of the Law & Order empire, Wolf had a humble start with this 1978 teen flick, cowritten with its director. Then came a dreadful comedy called Gas, then brat pack… read more!
This list was so interesting to research that I've decided to make it a two-parter. (Part 2 is here.) Usually the biggest names in TV got their start in that medium. But once in a while you'll hear about a writer who gets a motion picture screenplay produced, then makes the move to television. This once was considered a step down; now it's a… read more!
A while ago, I wrote a list about nine character actors given solitary shots at leading man/lady status. This a companion piece looks at the various singers, comedians, and TV personalities who couldn't resist the lure of the silver screen... but were never given a second chance. LIBERACE, Sincerely Yours. The IMDb displays a grand total of ten acting credits for… read more!
Don't get turned off by this list's vapid title: I have some mildly interesting stories to tell. You see, although I have seen my share of famous people ever since I moved to Los Angeles, 2015 has been a banner year for celebrity encounters. Here are nine of those encounters, in chronological order: David Lynch. I had popped into a tobacconist to snag a matchbox; I was preparing my… read more!
Thanks to this year's surprise publication of Harper Lee's long-lost Go Set a Watchman, Lee is no longer a member of that elite group known as "Famous Authors Who Only Wrote One Novel". The Internet is filled with lists about these people, and you'll see the same names over again: Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights), Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man), Margaret Mitchell (Gone… read more!
This weekend brings the annual Gay Pride festivities to West Hollywood, where I currently live, which is arguably the gayest city in the country if not the world. As one of relatively few straight men in WeHo, my preference for women may not be obvious as I walk through "Boys Town" on my way to the public pool. Thus I find… read more!
Finding work – and acceptance – is an ongoing struggle for female film directors, both in Hollywood and elsewhere, but some are doing it. A handful of them came from the acting world, though they haven't yet directed themselves in anything (e.g., Penny Marshall, Angelina Jolie). Here are some who have. In the wake of the boffo box office garnered by Pitch Perfect 2, the directorial debut of its costar… read more!
Recently I read an article in The New Yorker, written by Oliver Sacks, about the troubled last years of actor/monologist Spalding Gray (Swimming to Cambodia). Sacks noted that, on January 11, 2004, Gray saw the Tim Burton movie Big Fish a few hours before drowning himself in New York's East River. I was reminded of the Heaven's Gate suicide cult, and how,… read more!
I often try to write a personal List of 9 around my birthday, which was yesterday, so here you go. I've never been much of an autograph hound, but over the years I've compiled a most random collection of famous signatures. More or less in chronological order: Robert Hegyes and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. It was 1975, and Welcome Back Kotter was all the rage. I… read more!
Hollywood has, since the beginning, attracted talent from across the globe. These days, it seems like there are more British actors working in Hollywood than ever before – and most are playing American characters! Anyway, here's a quick and dirty list about those heavily-accented foreigners who, in fact, breathed their first breaths, saw their first rays of sunshine, and pooped their first poops… read more!
This was the original concept for an earlier list, which evolved into Nine Famous Authors Who Only Wrote One Screenplay. Nevertheless, this is an equally interesting group of people, who embody the idea that we all have at least one screenplay in us. In these cases, exactly one. ANTHONY PERKINS, The Last of Sheila (1973). Yes, Norman Bates wrote a screenplay. What's surprising is that this murder mystery, packed with… read more!
Comedian/TV show host Jon Stewart recently made his directorial debut with Rosewater, based on the memoir by Maziar Bahari. So who did he cast to play the two main Iranian players in this Tehran-set drama? Non-Iranians. He's not alone: although there are a few Persian actors working in Hollywood - House of Sand and Fog's Shohreh Aghdashloo and Iron Man's… read more!
The recently-released Gone Girl, as you may know, has a screenplay written by Gillian Flynn, author of the novel on which the film is based. It is Flynn's first produced screenplay; time will tell if it is her last. If so, she will join the illustrious ranks of these other great writers who each wrote exactly one script that became… read more!
It's been a recent fad for Hollywood actors to publicly declare that they're going to retire: Shia LaBeouf, Alec Baldwin, Brad Pitt and Jessica Lange have all made such threats in recent years. But to actually engineer a proper last film? Well, it's harder than it looks. After all, so much can go wrong between start and finish – how… read more!
In less than a week, I shall turn 44. Funny, I don't feel that old. In fact, it always seems as though I am just at the beginning of my career. But as I'm sure everybody half my age will happily remind me, 44 is getting up there. There are people my age who are grandparents. Teddy Roosevelt was President… read more!
The Finns are kind of an obscure people. And I know, because I'm one of them. (My father hails from Norway, but the family name Tapio is definitely Finnish in origin: Tapio was the god of the forest in old Finnish folklore, and is a common first name in Finland today.) There are a few internationally known citizens of Finland,… read more!
This is one of those lists I can't put off writing, as time is of the essence for these nine actors. While many film and TV stars are in the 95+ club right now, none are as well-known as this crowd. From youngest to oldest: Joan Fontaine, 95. Ms. Fontaine, who will turn 96 this October, was a genuine A-lister… read more!