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Exclusive Photo: In Memoriam, Peter Mayhew of ‘Star Wars’

CHICAGO – Most likely Peter Mayhew stepped into movie history because he could fit into a costume. The seven-foot-three actor was the perfect size for a new character in a little film called “Star Wars,” and so he became the once and future persona of Chewbacca. Mayhew died in Texas on April 30th, 2019. He was 74.

Photo, Audio: In Memoriam, Agnés Varda of French New Wave Cinema

CHICAGO – If the French New Wave cinema movement (1958 to late 1960s) had a mother, it was undoubtably Agnés Varda. The versatile filmmaker began her film journey shortly before the movement began, and her influence resonated throughout that era and within her career. Varda died at the age of 90 on March 29th, 2019.

Exclusive Photo: In Memoriam Actor Jan-Michael Vincent, Dead at 73

CHICAGO – In one of Jan-Michael Vincent’s most recent photos, taken in 2016 by photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com, the ex-heart throb actor is revealed as a man who lived his life hard to the end. Vincent died last month in Asheville, North Carolina, on February 10th, 2019. He was 73.

Photos, Podtalks: Comcast Xfinity Teaches a Classic Old Chicago Home Some New Tricks

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The exterior of the Ryan Mansion in Chicago’s Logan Square

CHICAGO – The City of Chicago is well known for its long tradition of distinctive architecture, and few neighborhoods has carried that tradition like the Logan Square area. Within this fast-gentrifying environment, a wealth of old structures are seeing new life. The “Ryan Mansion,” owned by Stacey Ballis and Bill Thurmond, recently got its own facelift, which included the recently released Comcast Xfinity Digital Security Service (xFi Advanced Security) and a full home wi-fi makeover (xFi Advantage).

Entertainment News: Luke Perry of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ Dies at 52

LOS ANGELES – His image, as a brooding heartthrob on the FOX-TV series “Beverly Hills, 90210,” was reflective of the early 1990s. Luke Perry represented both the image and the show, and he died on March 4th, 2019, after suffering a massive stroke on February 27th. He was only 52 years old.

Exclusive Photo: Peter Tork, Member of 'The Monkees,' Dies at 77

Peter Tork, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Hey, hey, he (was) a Monkee, and Peter Tork liked Monkee-ing around. The eternally optimistic-but-doofus character of the “Pre-Fab Four” 1960s pop group The Monkees was also a consummate musician, and was one the first members of the made-for-TV band that protested the false backing tracks to their playing and singing. Tork died on February 21st, 2019. He was 77.

Oscar Week: Interview with Nominees Yalitza Aparicio & Marina de Tavira of ‘Roma’

ROMA Actors, Photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – One of the more pleasant surprises of the 2018 film year was the rise of the connectively expressive film “Roma,” written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Not only is it nominated for Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director at the 91st Academy Awards, but the two lead actresses – Yalitza Aparicio and Maria de Tavira – are nominated for Best Actress and Supporting Actress. Jon Lennon Espino, contributor at HollywoodChicago.com, interviewed both actresses last October at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival.

Exclusive Photos: In Memoriam Character Actors Dick Miller and Julie Adams

Dick Miller, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – They often are the background people, the best friends or townspeople in various film and TV parts. Two character actors, who have over 200 roles between them, passed away recently. Dick Miller and Julie Adams were both previous subjects for the lens of photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com.

Exclusive Photo: In Memoriam for Broadway Legend Carol Channing, Dead at 97

Carol Channing, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Carol Channing was always, seemingly, full of sunshine. With her unique voice and “back row” Broadway singing chops, the eternal ingenue sparkled through a remarkable seven decade show business career. Ms. Channing died on January 15th, 2019, at the age of 97, at her home in Rancho Mirage, California.

Exclusive Photo: Tiffani Thiessen Invites Us to ‘Pull Up a Chair’

CHICAGO – Tiffani Thiessen’s career has been “cooking” lately, as she’s been hosting “Dinner at Tiffani’s” for the Cooking Channel and has a new recipe book out called “Pull Up a Chair.” The former “Saved by the Bell” and “Beverly Hills 90210” star recently appeared at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville (Illinois).

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Grace, Or the Art of Climbing

    CHICAGO – What is life but a constant climb? The Brown Paper Box Co., one of the most vital storefront theater groups in Chicago, asks that question and more in the significant “Grace, Or the Art of Climbing.” Using a woman’s journey through some difficult situations, the parallels of “the climb” become a artfully performed story that is all inspiration and uplift. The play runs through July 7th, 2019, at Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District in Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

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