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Actor and Advocate Ken Howard Passes Away at the Age of 71

Posted by Leah on 3/27/2016 11:18:29 AM

        Actor Ken Howard died Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at the age of 71. He was a giant, both physically (at a height of 6’ 6”) and in the entertainment industry. He began his career in 1968 as many in entertainment do, with a role on Broadway in Promises, Promises. After appearing in several other Broadway roles, including 1776 and Child’s Play, he made the jump to television and film.
 
        His 47 year career and 109 acting credits included 50 TV show roles, including The White Shadow, Murder She Wrote, The Colby’s, Dynasty, Melrose Place, The West Wing, Crossing Jordan and, most...

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2016 Maine Jewish Film Festival Had Something for Everyone!

Posted by Leah on 3/21/2016 9:48:51 AM

        It’s official! The 19th annual Maine Jewish Film Festival is in the books. The week long festival showed some 30 films across 7 venues throughout the state of Maine, featured 5 special guests and included numerous discussion panels.                 Having never been to a specialty film festival, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I wasn’t sure if, because I’m not Jewish, I would feel excluded, or if the films wouldn’t appeal to me, or be relatable overall. It turns out I had nothing to fear. When I took my seat in the Portland Museum of Art for my first film of the festival, the fes...

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2016 Maine Jewish Film Festival Promises a Week of Great Films!

Posted by Leah on 3/9/2016 1:26:25 PM

        Since its humble beginnings in the basement of a synagogue in Portland, Maine, showing films on VHS, the Maine Jewish Film Festival has worked to showcase films that portray the “Jewish experience,” while also promoting diversity and reaching out to the community as a whole. Over their 19 years the festival has featured over 375 films, both domestic and international, sold over 37,000 tickets to cinematic venues across Maine, with a yearly average of roughly 3,100, and has hosted 125 guest speakers.
        Why then have I never heard of it? There seem to be a few reasons why I’d n...

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Last Living Munchkin, Dead?

Posted by Leah on 3/2/2016 10:14:19 AM

        On Monday, February 29 it seemed that every news outlet in the nation, online or otherwise, reported the death of actor Jerry Maren. Maren is best known for his role as one of the “Lollipop Guild” members in The Wizard of Oz (he was the middle one), but has also had roles in Spaceballs, the original Planet of the Apes, Hello, Dolly!, Where the Buffalo Roam, the animated version of The Lord of the Rings, and many more.

        His biggest claim to fame these days (well, until Monday, February 29) is that he’s the oldest surviving Munchkin from The Wizard of Oz. It has since come ...

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Actor George Kennedy Dies at age 91

Posted by Leah on 3/2/2016 10:11:32 AM

        Unfortunately, actor George Kennedy passed away on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at the age of 91. Kennedy, who has 183 acting credits to his name, was best known for his roles in Cool Hand Luke, The Naked Gun series, Spartacus, Charade, The Flight of the Phoenix, Dirty Dingus McGee, the Airport series, The Gambler and numerous TV shows.  
 
        According to IdahoStatesman.com, “To those who knew him, he was a family man who loved his community and always wanted to give something back. ‘He was a quiet man,’ said his grandson, Cory Schenkel, who spent the past 14 years helping Ken...

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The 88th Academy Awards are Officially in the Books

Posted by Leah on 2/29/2016 12:17:16 PM

        And thusly, we have reached the supposed end of Hollywood’s awards season this year (although really, at this point it has no end). The Academy Awards aren’t usually as rowdy as other awards shows, (such as the Golden Globes), but this year it seemed everyone had an issue to raise when they gave their acceptance speeches. There was a LOT about diversity, but also mentions of climate change, sexual abuse, support for the LGBT community, abuse within the Catholic Church, the importance of journalism, who to vote for and more. It seemed like everyone who stood at the microphone used the t...

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My 2016 Academy Award Predictions

Posted by Leah on 2/24/2016 1:33:05 PM

        Are you as surprised as I am that another year has passed already? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was telling you about last year’s Oscar controversies and winners, and yet here we are. In a few days, on Sunday February 28, the 88th annual Academy Awards will air on ABC, and yet there’s been a slew of media attention and personal outrage since the nominees were named on January 14.                 Most of the controversy this year actually began with last year’s nominees. People are upset, again, by the seeming lack of diversity in the nominees, and the total lack of colored no...

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Why Hasn't Leo Won an Oscar Yet?

Posted by Leah on 2/24/2016 1:24:03 PM

Article first posted on FilmDebate.co.uk      

         All eyes will be on Leonardo DiCaprio on February 28 in anticipation of his first Oscar win. Yes, you read that right, his FIRST Oscar win. Everyone seems to think that this his year, and it may well be, but it got me to thinking. Why hasn’t he taken home a golden statue yet? Is there something the Academy has against him? Sure, many actors go their entire lives without winning an Oscar, but none have starred in as many hugely successful films throughout their careers and still gone home empty handed.
 
        I’ve said again...

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George Gaynes and Harper Lee, Remembered

Posted by Leah on 2/20/2016 12:39:16 PM

        Unfortunately today is another day that I need to bring you news of 2 Hollywood passings. First I’ll tell you about the life of actor George Gaynes, and then I’ll tell you about Harper Lee. (Although I realize that Harper Lee’s isn’t really a Hollywood death, in the traditional sense, I felt it pertinent to write something about her since To Kill a Mokingbird, the book and the movie, are so iconic.)
 
        Actor George Gaynes passed away at his daughter’s house in North Bend, Washington on Monday, February 15, 2016 at the age of 98.
 
        Gaynes was another, in what’...

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Abe Vigoda, aka Tessio from The Godfather, Dies at age 94

Posted by Leah on 1/27/2016 12:44:02 PM

        They often say that bad news comes in threes. With the recent deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman I have to admit that I’ve been waiting for the third. I had hoped, of course, that the saying would prove false in this case, since so many of my Hollywood favorites have passed in the past couple of years. Unfortunately though, the saying (once again) proved true. On Tuesday, January 26, 2016 the legendary Abe Vigoda passed away.
 
        Vigoda had a somewhat odd career, by Hollywood standards.  He didn’t start his life as a professional actor until 1947, at the age of 28. By 1...

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