Saturday, May 28, 2005
What can I say - I got up on the wrong side of the bed, with the phone ringing, and the prospect of another rainy day (on top of the ringing aggravation) has me grumpy already... *lol* So THAT would be my excuse for being so gloomy TODAY...
Green Acres°°° star Eddie Albert passed away... many thought he had already passed away years ago... he was 99.
Strangely enough, at about the same time, ''a group of Ernest Hemingway scholars in Havana, Cuba this week for a symposium were shocked to discover that the novelist's Havana estate is falling apart.''
And announcements were made, also at about the same time, concerning the memorial for another giant in his own right/own field... Hunter S. Thompson...
Either all of these items have something in common or this is another acute bout with apophenia for me here...!!! Nothing major - carry on! *LOL*
Labels: Luminous Connections
Last Updated Sat, 28 May 2005 00:29:03 EDT
LOS ANGELES - Eddie Albert, the genial star of television's Green Acres, has passed away at the age of 99.
Albert died Thursday of pneumonia in the company of his long-time caregivers and son, Edward, who was holding his father's hand at the time.
"He died so beautifully and so gracefully that literally this morning I don't feel grief, I don't feel loss," Edward Albert told the Associated Press on Friday.
During an acting career spanning six decades, Albert amassed a long filmography that includes more than 100 film and TV roles.
He is most closely identified with his role on Green Acres as Oliver Douglas, the New York lawyer who turns his back on city life for the simple pleasures of rural existence.
The show ran from 1965 to 1971. It was part of the rural comedy explosion on CBS in the 1960s that included shows such as The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction.
Like those programs, Green Acres had an instantly recognizable theme song – in which Albert traded verbal barbs with his wife, played by Eva Gabor, as they debated the wisdom of leaving the city for the country.
"Some people think that because of the bucolic background Green Acres is corny," the actor told an interviewer in 1970. "But we get away with some of the most incredible lines on television."
Among the residents of the couple's new hometown, Hooterville, was the pig Arnold Ziffel.
The show had a lasting impact, serving as part of the inspiration for The Simple Life, the reality show in which socialite Paris Hilton visits rural America.
Born in 1906 in Rock Island, Ill., Albert began his acting career on the New York stage. According to Hollywood legend, his movie career stalled when he was caught having an affair with the wife of studio boss Jack L. Warner, who let his contract languish.
After the Second World War, however, he was able to return to the silver screen, eventually earning Academy Award nominations for his supporting turns in 1953's Roman Holiday and 1972's The Heartbreak Kid. Albert specialized in playing buddies, con men and fatherly figures.
His other film credits include The Sun Also Rises, and The Longest Yard (in which he played the warden). A remake of the latter was released Friday.
But it was on the small screen that he gained his greatest fame. His other TV work included the shows Switch and Falcon Crest.
Albert used his star power to champion environmental causes, and family friend Dick Guttman said he remained vital in his twilight years despite suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
"Three days ago he was playing basketball in his wheelchair with his granddaughter," Guttman said.
Albert's wife, the entertainer Margo, died in 1985. He is survived by his son, a daughter and two granddaughters.
A private funeral is planned.
Last Updated Sat, 28 May 2005 00:27:43 EDT CBC Arts
ASPEN, COLO. - The memorial for Hunter S. Thompson will take place this summer, as planned, but the explosive tribute will be a private, invitation-only affair.
Organizers met Thursday to discuss details of the upcoming service, to be held Aug. 20 – six months after Thompson shot himself at his home.
In early April, Thompson's widow Anita announced plans for a tribute to fulfill her late husband's wish of having his ashes shot out of a cannon and scattered over their Woody Creek property.
Thompson's ashes will be placed inside the cannon portion of a 45-metre-high tower designed to resemble his "gonzo fist" symbol. Organizers confirmed this week that the structure will be paid for by actor Johnny Depp, who portrayed Thompson in the 1998 film adaptation of his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The August tribute will encompass "spoken word and live entertainment," with the cannon-firing close to sunset, Jon Equis, the event producer working with the Thompson family, told the Associated Press. He added that the tower will be covered before the service to discourage tourists.
The family says a public tribute commemorating Thompson will take place later this year.
Last Updated Sat, 28 May 2005 00:28:30 EDT CBC Arts
HAVANA - A group of Ernest Hemingway scholars in Cuba this week for a symposium were shocked to discover that the novelist's Havana estate is falling apart.
Lush tropical trees and gardens decorate the sprawling hacienda – known as Finca Vigia, or Lookout Farm.
A security guard patrols next to Hemingway's Cuban home, bolstered by wood scaffolding. (AP Photo)
However, the house itself is moulding, surrounded by wood scaffolding and otherwise suffering from moisture damage, erosion and shoddy past repairs. A short way from the estate's giant, empty swimming pool, Pilar – Hemingway's famed fishing boat, which he used to "hunt" German U-boats in the Gulf of Mexico during the Second World War – sits up on blocks.
"It's not like what you see in the photographs," University of Pennsylvania professor Paul Hendrickson told the Associated Press. "This is really in a more fragile state than I had guessed."
Hemingway lived at Finca Vigia from 1939 to 1960, the year before he killed himself at his Idaho retreat. The Cuban estate was where he wrote his classic The Old Man and the Sea.
A group of U.S. preservationists were denied a licence to travel to Cuba last year. However, this month, a joint licence re-application by the Massachusetts-based Hemingway Preservation Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington was approved.
Next month, the two plan to send architects and engineers to Havana to conduct an architectural feasibility study of the estate, but must first raise $150,000 US for the study.
In the meantime, their Cuban counterparts have begun renovating whatever they can: they've removed and stored much of the furniture and personal items to prevent further water damage and covered what remains with plastic tarps. Also, repairs in the living room, writing room and bathroom began in December.
In 2002 the U.S. and Cuban restorers began collaborating on preserving letters, manuscripts and photos from the home. Their work was aided by the fact that the Cuban government had named the home a museum shortly after Hemingway's death in 1961.
"We can't just stop working on this," Gladys Rodriguez, one of Cuba's leading Hemingway experts, told AP.
Concert pianist Ruth Laredo dies; more
Last Updated Sat, 28 May 2005 00:28:47 EDT CBC Arts
NEW YORK - U.S. concert pianist Ruth Laredo dies
American concert pianist Ruth Laredo, who performed at some of the most acclaimed venues across the U.S., in Russia and Ukraine, has died at the age of 67.
Laredo, who suffered from ovarian cancer, died Wednesday in her apartment, her manager announced. She last performed earlier this month.
The Detroit-born, Grammy-nominated pianist was best known for recording the complete solo works of Rachmaninoff and the piano sonatas of Scriabin in the 1970s; both series were recently re-released. For the past few years, Laredo had conducted a popular, cross-country concert series called "Concerts with Commentary" during which she would play a number of works and discuss them with the audience.
Guitarist Domenic Troiano dies
Last Updated Thu, 26 May 2005 18:04:24 EDT CBC Arts
TORONTO - Veteran Canadian guitar player Domenic Troiano has died after a decade-long battle with cancer.
Troiano, who played in groups ranging from the Guess Who to Bush to the James Gang, was 59. He passed away late Wednesday.
"His absolute skill as a musician, certainly in the '60s, it was unsurpassed," long-time friend Larry LeBlanc, Billboard's Canada bureau chief, told the Canadian Press. "Everybody wanted to be Troiano."
Starting his career in the 1960s, Troiano carved out a reputation in musical circles as a musician's musician. He played in a long list of bands, including an early stint as a backup player for Ronnie Hawkins. He spent 1974-75 with the Guess Who and played for countless non-Canadian performers, including blues legend Etta James, Joe Cocker and Diana Ross.
"He could play anything. And he was so good at it," said Toronto broadcaster John Donabie, who interviewed Troiano in the 1960s when he was a member of the pioneering Canadian group the Mandala. Along with other members of that group, Troiano founded Bush, which released one album in 1970.
"Domenic Troiano lived for making music," said LeBlanc. His hits included Bush's I Can Hear You Calling.
Known to his friends as "Donnie," Troiano was born in Modugno, Italy, and became a naturalized Canadian in 1955. He spent the rest of his life in Toronto, except for a brief period in the 1970s when he called Los Angeles home.
In the 1980s, the prolific guitarist turned to composing for television programs like Night Heat, Hot Shots and Diamonds. He served as a producer for Moe Koffman and others, and in 1996 his skills as an axeman were recognized when he was made a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Troiano's recent credits include doing the soundtrack for the video game Fahrenheit in 1995.
"Every guitar player in Canada knows of Domenic Troiano," said LeBlanc. "And most of the guitar players in Canada will sit back and pause a bit today."
Troiano is survived by his mother, brother and sister. He was married briefly to singer Shawne Jackson, but the relationship ended in divorce about 10 years ago.
A funeral is planned for Monday in Toronto.
TORONTO - Jeff Healey battles cancer again
Toronto blues-rocker Jeff Healey was recuperating in hospital this week after undergoing an operation to remove a malignant tumour from his leg.
"In spite of this news, I'm doing OK," he said in a statement this week. "The doctor is very happy with the results of the operation."
According to a representative for Healey, the cancer did not spread. However, he will have to return for check-ups two or three times a year for the rest of his life.
The acclaimed musician, who lost his sight as an infant because of an eye cancer, added that he recommends others who have had cancer to get regular check-ups. He plans to spend the next month recovering and then return to his Toronto radio show and performing at his namesake nightclub.
NEW YORK - Top indie directors to advise new film centre
Three former indie directors who have since gone on to make movies with major studios will return to their roots to advise the Independent Film Channel's new cinema centre in New York.
Steven Soderbergh, Kevin Smith and Richard Linklater will all serve on the advisory board for the new facility, which opens June 17. Organizers have also recruited filmmakers like Alfonso Cuaron, John Sayles and Rebecca Miller.
The centre will encompass three theatres and serve as the new headquarters for the cable channel, with a goal of becoming a new meeting place for the independent film community.