11:11 PM EDT 06/19/2013
Originally posted 06/19/2013 10:00PM
It's a word kicked around a lot in Hollywood, but those who worked with James Gandolfini, who died Wednesday at age 51, say The Sopranos star truly was an acting genius.
"He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time," remembered the show's creator, David Chase. "A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, 'You don't get it. You're like Mozart.' There would be silence at the other end of the phone."
And like all great artists, Chase acknowledged, "He wasn't easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can't explain and never will be able to explain."
Originally posted 06/19/2013 07:40PM
James Gandolfini, the three-time Emmy-winning actor who played mob boss Tony Soprano on HBO's hit series The Sopranos, died on Wednesday in Italy at age 51.
The actor suffered a possible heart attack while traveling in Rome, a rep for HBO says. Gandolfini had been scheduled to take part in the Taormina Film Fest in Sicily.
"We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family," HBO says in a statement. "He was special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect.
"He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility," the statement continues. "Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us."
Originally posted 06/14/2013 06:30PM
Lorna Elizabeth Tuck Colbert, the mother of 11 children – including Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert – died on Wednesday. She was 92.
With an extended family of 82, the mother of The Colbert Report star was an accomplished artist, church leader, businesswoman and supporter of the arts, according to her obituary in South Carolina's Post and Courier.
Her husband and three of her children previously passed away – three of the four deceased family members died in a plane crash in 1974 – and she is survived by her remaining eight kids, and her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Originally posted 06/13/2013 07:30AM
NASCAR driver Jason Leffler died after an accident Wednesday night in a heat race at a dirt car event at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey.
Leffler, 37, a two-time winner on the NASCAR Nationwide Series who had the nickname "LefTurn" above the driver's side window on his race cars, was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m., New Jersey State Police said.
"NASCAR extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening," NASCAR said in a statement. "For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed."
Originally posted 06/12/2013 09:25AM
Longtime soap opera actress Maxine Stuart has died at age 94. She had regular roles on The Young and the Restless and The Edge of Night.
Her daughter, Chris Ann Maxwell, tells the Los Angeles Times that her mother died of natural causes on Thursday at her Beverly Hills home.
Maxine Stuart began her career in the New York theater. She had small movie roles but was best known for her TV work, which included guest appearances on shows such as Peyton Place, NYPD Blue and Judging Amy.
Originally posted 06/12/2013 06:45AM
Still the most notorious movie of all time – for its record-setting cost overruns, for the scandalous extramarital affair of its two stars, and for how its out-of-control production brought down the entire administration of 20th Century-Fox – Cleopatra, with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, marks the 50th anniversary of its world premiere on June 12.
In tribute to the landmark, and Life magazine's lively coverage of the epic as the drama unfolded behind the scenes in Rome half a century ago, Life.com has assembled an eye-catching photo spread of several rare and even never-before-seen Cleopatra photographs by Paul Schutzer.
Titled Liz Taylor and Richard Burton on the Set of 'Cleopatra': Rare and Classic Photos, the layout shows the two stars at play not only with each other, but with their children during the making of what remains one of the great lavish spectacles the screen has ever seen.
Originally posted 06/10/2013 09:20AM
A New Orleans bridge has become a makeshift memorial adorned with flower bouquets marking the spot where this weekend a car that contained what police believe is the body of missing elementary school teacher Terrilynn Monette was pulled from the bayou
Although Monette, 26, hasn't been officially identified, and an autopsy will be conducted by a coroner, police said the car and license plate matched her missing car, which was found submerged in Bayou St. John close to a bridge at the corner of Wisner Boulevard and Harrison Avenue, the Times-Picayune reported.
Divers using sonar found the vehicle with a body in the driver's seat on Saturday. Monette had been missing since March 2, when she was seen leaving a bar in her black 2012 Honda Accord after a night spent celebrating her nomination as "Teacher of the Year" in her district.
Originally posted 06/07/2013 12:55PM
Convicted serial killer Richard Ramirez, known as the Night Stalker, has died in prison, say California corrections officials.
San Quentin State Prison spokesman Lt. Sam Robinson says Ramirez, 53, died Friday morning.
Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders that terrorized Southern California in 1984 and '85, and sentenced to death.
Satanic symbols were left at murder scenes and some victims were forced to "swear to Satan" by the killer, who entered homes through unlocked windows and doors.
Originally posted 06/07/2013 11:15AM
While today it is common knowledge that '50s screen heartthrob Rock Hudson was gay, in his Hollywood heyday his studio, Universal, went to great lengths to project his image of what was then considered an all-American man.
The actor's agent, Henry Willson, even went so far as to arrange for Hudson to marry Willson's secretary, Phyllis Gates. While Hollywood insiders knew the true nature of the union, apparently – according to newly released transcripts from the archives of a private detective hired by Gates – Mrs. Rock Hudson also suspected as much and confronted her husband about it.
Originally posted 06/06/2013 01:35PM
Former Jefferson Airplane drummer Joey Covington has died in a Palm Springs car crash.
A Riverside County coroner's report says the 67-year-old Palm Springs resident wasn't wearing a seat belt when his car hit a retaining wall at about 5 p.m. Tuesday. He died at the scene.
The Palm Springs Desert Sun reports that police don't believe alcohol or drugs were involved.
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