Entries in Hollywood (13)


Hollywood Reacts to Andy Griffith's Passing 

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Andy Griffith, the beloved actor who entertained television audiences for over half a century, died Tuesday morning, ABC News confirms. Now Hollywood, along with many actors who knew him best, are sharing their condolences.

The Recording Academy declared, "He was an immense talent and a true gift to the entertainment industry and will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and fans."  Griffith won a Grammy for his gospel album I Love To Tell The Story -- 25 Timeless Hymns.

TV Land, which regularly airs past episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Andy Griffith. His contributions to the entertainment industry and his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor will live forever in the minds and hearts of generations of television viewers past, present and yet to come. The entire TV Land staff will miss him and our thoughts go out to his family."

The Andy Griffith Museum, located in his hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina, released a statement saying, "Andy Griffith means the world to the arts everywhere -- not just here in Mount Airy.  His contribution to us, the Surry Arts Council, and the town of Mount Airy cannot be measured. ...We know that Andy is at peace and that is what is important right now."

Other celebrity reactions via Twitter:

Ron Howard: "Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy"

Octavia Spencer: "RiP Andy Griffith!!! Sadness abounds!!!"

Larry King: "Sad to hear news of Andy Griffith's death. He was a terrific actor, a great comedian, an endearing person. He lived a long & fruitful life...Andy made one of the greatest films ever: 'A Face in the Crowd' & also one of the best comedy albums: 'What it Was, Was Football'"

Denise Richards: "we lost a legend...RIP Andy Griffith"

Alyssa Milano: "Rest in peace, Andy Griffith."

Russell Simmons: "RIP Andy Griffith"

Michael McKean: "More than a face in the crowd: RIP Andy Griffith."

Holly Robinson Peete: "Farewell to a TV ICON"

Eric Lange: "RIP Andy Griffith. My family spent hours and hours around the TV watching The Andy Griffith Show. Some great memories there. Thank you."

Jackée Harry: "RIP Andy Griffith .. A True #NationalTreasure."

Levar Burton: "My favorite Andy Griffith performance... A Face in the Crowd #mindblown Rest in Peace"

Ralph Macchio: "Take a moment and whistle "The Andy Griffith Show" theme today - finger snap optional - RIP Andy Griffith"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Essence Magazine to Honor Hollywood's Top African-American Women

ABC/MICHAEL DESMOND(LOS ANGELES) -- On Feb. 23, Essence magazine will celebrate several of Hollywood's most inspiring African-American actresses at its fifth annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon.

This year's honorees include The Help's Oscar-nominated Octavia Spencer, who will receive the Breakthrough Performance award, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol star Paula Patton, who'll receive the Shining Star Award.  Kerry Washington, star of the upcoming ABC drama Scandal, will receive the Vanguard Award, while Scandal's executive producer and creator, Shonda Rhimes, is to be given the Visionary Award.  Iconic Blaxploitation movie star Pam Grier, who's since gone on to garner Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations, will receive the Legend Award.

A live stream of the luncheon and red carpet interviews will be available at from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. PST on Feb. 23.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Julianne Hough, Ashley Greene, Film Director in Hacking Scandal

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Julianne Hough and the director of the upcoming Rock of Ages movie have been victimized by a group of hackers who are calling themselves Hollywood Leaks.

According to KTTV-TV in Los Angeles, the group hacked into Hough's cellphone and leaked her pictures and contact information. They also leaked the script to Rock of Ages, having somehow obtained it from director Adam Shankman. Hough will star in Rock of Ages, along with Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin.

Hollywood Leaks has also leaked nude pictures of rapper Kreayshawn and has targeted Twilight star Ashley Greene and former 'NSYNC singer Joey Fatone, according to E! Online.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Catfish' Makers Hooked into Hollywood

Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- More than a year since the documentary-thriller "Catfish" made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival, the New York hipsters behind the film have found themselves neck-deep in Hollywood.

Nev Schulman -- the handsome New York photographer whose twisted, shocking online romance is painstakingly chronicled by the film -- told "20/20" he's been "very busy with a couple of different projects." Schulman said he spent last June filming a pilot for an upcoming reality TV show he will be hosting for MTV about social networking and online dating.

He said he is also working for an organization called Our Time to develop a social identity and campaigns for the "Y" generation. In his spare time, Schulman has created several short films for his Facebook page.

Schulman's fellow "Catfish" filmmakers, brother Ariel "Rel" Schulman and friend Henry Joost were hired to direct “Paranormal Activity 3,” which will premiere in theaters Oct. 21. The horror movie is presented in a documentary-style and at times embraces the home video techniques used in "Catfish."

BBut it hasn't been all smooth sailing for Ariel Schulman and Joost. Last December, Threshold Media Corp. filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court against the young filmmakers, distributors Universal and Relativity Media for allegedly refusing to pay licensing fees for a song featured in the film. "All Downhill From Here" by singer-songwriter Amy Kuney appears once in a pivotal scene and is then played in its entirety during the closing credits. More recently, another copyright lawsuit -- related to a different song featured in the film -- was reportedly filed in the U.K.

The producers of "Catfish" claim that it was "fair use" of the Kuney song copyright because it is in the context of a real-life documentary. The plaintiffs, meanwhile, have contended that the film is a work of fiction and fair use doesn't apply. If the lawsuit makes it to court, questions about whether "Catfish" is an authentic documentary -- an issue that has dogged the film since its initial release -- may be resolved.

The two women thrust into the spotlight by "Catfish" have also seen their lives change.

Angela Wesselman -- who now goes by Angela Pierce -- struggled to find support for her art until she posed as an 8-year-old named Abby and her fictional older sister "Megan," the online persona that sparked Schulman's infatuation. Pierce has since developed a growing group of admirers with over 3,000 fans of her Facebook art page. One fan commented, "I can't help feeling glad that I've been able to find your art on [Facebook] after seeing the film you were in."

Aimee Gonzales, the model whose image was used by Pierce to disguise her identity, has embraced her alter-ego "Megan" and now has more than 4,900 friends on Facebook in part because her profile appears in all searches for "Megan Faccio." Gonzales has continued to pursue her modeling career with Model Mayhem, established her own photography company, and works as a bartender at Tiger Bar in Portland, Ore. She is also raising her two children. Gonzales touts her role in the controversial film on her various websites and "highly recommends" the film.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hollywood Script Rejected, Then Blown Up

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Hollywood script writers are used to cold rejection letters. But one frustrated writer saw his script rejected, left in an alley and then blown up. Now that's cold.

Beverly Hills Police said they were dispatched at 9:14 a.m. to investigate a suspicious briefcase that was left at a commercial building by a script writer.

Lt. Tony Lee, Beverly Hills Police public information officer, who did not release the man's identity, said that the writer is not well known.

"If he were a well-known screenwriter, I don't think that office would have ignored him," Lee said.

Arie Eric Amir, general manager of the Global Business Center building on 468 North Camden Drive, said the man was waiting in front of the building for an hour before it opened. He finally came into the office around 9 a.m. looking for Rima Greer, a Hollywood agent for 25 years who is now president of Above the Line Agency.

In describing the male, Amir said, "He behaved a little bit neurotically. He came up and was looking for one of our tenants. The tenant refused to see him…He said, 'If she doesn't want to see me, I want to leave this for her.'"

The building's receptionist offered the man an envelope, then a Fed-Ex box in which to leave his belongings. The man refused both, opting instead to leave behind his "very fancy" briefcase, along with the combination lock with which to open it. Then he left. The receptionist took the briefcase to Amir, who placed it in the alley next to his building and then called Greer.

"She said, 'I'm not going to read this,'" Amir said. "She refused to come and said, 'Call the police. They will take it.'"

Beverly Hills police officers evacuated adjoining offices and closed nearby streets, causing traffic jams in the area. According to Amir, police called Greer, who said, "I'm not going to talk to him, he's been stalking me."

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Bomb Squad then detonated the briefcase as a safety precaution.

"They blew the briefcase open and then examined the contents afterwards and decided that it wasn't an actual bomb threat," said Sgt. Brad Cornelius, who was an active watch commander during the incident.

Rather than a bomb, police confirmed that the briefcase contained a laptop and several sheets of paper. During that time, they were also able to locate the scriptwriter, who was visibly distraught when his briefcase exploded.

"I think anyone would be distraught if a personal possession was detonated," said Lee.

The writer was detained at the scene by officers who questioned him. Police released the suspect once they determined that no crime was committed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Andrew 'Dice' Clay Conquers Hollywood: Take Two YORK) -- Call it a case of art imitating life, or vice-versa. On the eighth season of HBO's Entourage, Andrew "Dice" Clay plays a version of himself -- a once thriving comedian trying to claw his way back to the top.

In real life, too, he wants a comeback.

"I say it's like a heightened version of who I really am," he said in an interview with ABC News last week. "I am from Brooklyn, I do get loud, I do get emotional."

On the show, Clay teams up with Kevin Dillon's Johnny Drama to voice an animated sitcom about apes. Clay thumps his chest, stomps his feet and flies into rages when, to paraphrase his real-life mentor Rodney Dangerfield, he don't get no respect.

That act stays on set. Prior to talking with ABC News, Clay rattled off the weather report for a New York City morning news program. Despite rocketing to fame in the late '80s with his raunchy, anything-but-PC act and headlining back-to-back sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden (a record-setting feat that led him to proclaim himself the "Undisputed Heavyweight Comedy King"), Clay knows how lucky he is to have scored a multi-episode arc on a very popular TV series.

"I am so appreciative that I was given this opportunity," he said. "The last decade was pretty rough. I went through a divorce, I lost some people that were very close to me, I had to focus on bringing up my kids. And it's the craziest thing to go from watching this show on the couch to being on television now. It's like surreal."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Move Over Hollywood, the Royals are in Town

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Prince William and Catherine Middleton made their Tinseltown debut after touching down in Hollywood Friday fresh off their Canadian tour.

The world’s most famous newlyweds spent their first official stop during their weekend trip to California at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills for Variety's Venture Capital and New Media Summit Friday.

"L.A. is more used to big Hollywood stars than anywhere else," said ABC News royal correspondent Katie Nicholl. "It's the most famous place in the world for stars. But these are stars of such a different nature. They are royals. This is a real live prince and princess. I know they're technically a duke and duchess but to America they are a prince and princess, and they're going to get the red carpet treatment."

Preparations have been underway as the Los Angeles Police Department brace for crowds to swarm the British Consulate-General residence in Hancock Park, where the royal couple will stay during their visit. The police are on high alert for paparazzi.

"[Will and Kate] have gone from being essentially a very private couple to a very high profile couple," said Nicholl. "I was speaking to one of the young girls here, dressed up in a fascinator, Kate's signature accessory, and I asked her what were the things she liked about Catherine and she said [Kate] had all the glamour and beauty of an A-list star, but none of the divalike demands. None of those other attributes that come with other A-list stars, which I thought was quite interesting."

The duke and duchess will rub elbows with Hollywood royalty, including Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez, on Saturday night at a red-carpet, black-tie British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) dinner at L.A.'s Belasco Theatre.

Prince William (who's also the president of BAFTA) will give a speech at the gala, which is focused on spotlighting emerging British talent and building partnerships between Hollywood and up-and-coming British actors. About 42 emerging British actors are expected to attend.

"I suspect they'll outshine every other star there just because it's such a magical fairy tale,” Nicholl said. “I think people in L.A. are hugely excited.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time' Airs Tuesday Night

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What's the greatest movie of all-time?  The most memorable movie line in film history?  Which Hollywood stars make the most romantic on-screen couple?

Those questions and more are the subject of a new ABC special airing Tuesday night, entitled Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.

A panel of experts that included actor Gene Hackman, producer Garry Marshall, actress Susan Sarandon and filmmaker Michael Moore were asked to select 10 nominees in a wide range of categories, including best film, greatest line, best comedy and best chick flick.  The public was then asked to vote online for their favorites.

Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time is a collaboration between ABC News and People magazine, hosted by Tom Bergeron and Cynthia McFadden.  In addition to the online voting results, the special also features fresh interviews with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and directors, including Anthony Hopkins and Harrison Ford.  Bergeron said the stars also reveal interesting tidbits about their most famous roles, including Hopkins describing how he came up with the voice of Hannibal Lecter for Silence of the Lambs.

Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time airs at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


"Person of Interest" in Publicist's Murder Kills Himself

Photo Courtesy - John Heller/NFL(LOS ANGELES) -- The mysterious murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen took another strange twist Wednesday, with the suicide of a man Los Angeles Police Department detectives call a "person of interest" in the shooting.

When Beverly Hills police investigators came to serve a search warrant at a Hollywood hotel where the suspect apparently was, he shot himself to death, reports the Los Angeles Times.  Police aren't yet releasing the man's name.

The news comes after the L.A. County Coroner's office determined that only an "expert marksman" could have fired the shots that killed Chasen.  Chasen was shot five times in the chest through the window of her Mercedes as she drove in Beverly Hills in the early hours of Nov. 16, following a premiere party for the movie Burlesque.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Authorities Still Baffled By Hollywood Publicist's Murder

Photo Courtesy - John Heller/NFL(LOS ANGELES) -- Investigators still have no motive, witnesses or suspects in the slaying of powerhouse Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, but details in an initial coroner's report reveal that the shooter appears to be an expert marksman.

Chasen, 64, who represented A-list movie stars and promoted some of Hollywood's top films, was driving home Nov. 16 after attending the premiere party for the movie Burlesque when she was gunned down.

Detectives suspect the gunfire came from a SUV or truck pulling alongside Chasen's Mercedes Benz E530. Chasen was stopped at a red light on Sunset Boulevard and Whittier Drive when the shooting occurred.

"After being struck by gunfire...she then made a left turn and drove for approximately a quarter mile before she crashed her car into a pole," the report said.

Detectives say it appears the shooter was an expert marksman.

Investigators told ABC News the security cameras that used to monitor traffic at the intersection where Chasen was shot were removed several years ago to save money.However, Beverly Hills police are seeking for any surveillance video that may provide more clues in solving Chasen's murder.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio