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Entertainment News: Prince, Ending His Purple Reign, Dies at 57

CHANCHASSEN, Minn. – One of rock’s most legendary and mysterious figures, whose full and real name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died on April 21st, 2016, after paramedics found him unresponsive at his Paisley Park home in Chanchassen, Minnesota. No cause of death has been given. The singer was 57 years old.

Entertainment News: Film, TV Star & Oscar Winner Patty Duke Dies at 69

Patty Duke, Photo by Joe Arce

COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO – She was a lesson in duality. One of her most famous roles was as “identical cousins” on “The Patty Duke Show,” and Anna Marie “Patty” Duke also made public her fight with bipolar disorder. She was also a talented actress, winning an Oscar as teenager for “The Miracle Worker.” Ms. Duke passed away on March 29th, 2016, at the age of 69, at her home in Idaho.

Film News: Character Actor, Oscar Winner George Kennedy Dies at 91

MIDDLETON, IDAHO – On the day of the 88th Academy Awards, Hollywood lost a venerable character actor and Oscar winner, George Kennedy. Kennedy won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 40th Academy Awards for his role in “Cool Hand Luke.” He passed away at a care facility in Idaho, age 91.

Film News: Alan Rickman, Snape in Harry Potter, Dies at 69

LONDON – He lived in a show age when a classically trained British actor could also portray a German villain, an indecisive husband and one of the most memorable characters in the Harry Potter series. Alan Rickman was all of these, and he did it with a signature style. Rickman died in London at age 69 on January 14, 2016.

Film News: Cinematographer, Oscar Winner Haskell Wexler of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ Dies at 93

LOS ANGELES – At the 2013 Chicago International Film Festival awards ceremony at the Ambassador East, an older man started shooting me with a video camera in the bar area. Later that same man, Haskell Wexler, picked up a lifetime award at that ceremony. Haskell Wexler died on Dec. 27, 2015, at the age of 93.

Movie News: 5 Films in Appreciation of Rod Taylor, 1930-2015

Rod Taylor

LOS ANGELES – The suave, Australian-born Rod Taylor may have been a leading man footnote in the early to mid-1960s, but he did star in a notable classic: the Alfred Hitchcock-directed “The Birds”. His chiseled good looks and sincere acting style were also memorable in a career that spanned more than 50 years. Rod Taylor passed away of a heart attack in Los Angeles on Jan. 7 2015, according to his daughter, Felicia Taylor. He was 84.

Movie News: Oscar-Winning Director Mike Nichols Dies at 83

NEW YORK CITY – He was an immigrant kid from Germany who directed the most American of stage plays and films. Mike Nichols uplifted the culture with his art, and along the way won the famed EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Nichols passed away suddenly at his home. He was 83.

Movie News: In Memoriam, An Appreciation of Richard Kiel

Richard Kiel, photo by Joe Arce

LOS ANGELES – He was 7 foot 2 inches tall, an imposing figure that made for one of the most memorable James Bond villains. Richard Kiel portrayed “Jaws” in two Bond films – “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker” – and left an unforgettable mark as a character actor with a distinctive look and persona. Richard Kiel died at age 74 on September 10th, 2014.

Entertainment News: Comic Legend Joan Rivers Dies at 81

NEW YORK CITY – There are legends, and then there is Joan Rivers. The comedian and show business survivor had a life journey as an influential star from the 1960s all the way to the end of her life. Joan Rivers died on September 4th, 2014, in New York City after suffering respiratory failure last weekend.

Movie News: Golden Age Movie Star Lauren Bacall Dies at 89

NEW YORK – She had it all. Just like Bogie and, well, her. Lauren “Betty” Bacall accidentally became a movie actress, but that accident led to stardom, two marriages to famous actors and a long life of award winning performances. The 89-year-old star died of a stroke in New York City on August 12th.

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  • King and I, The

    CHICAGO – The venerable musical “The King and I,” by the legendary team of (Richard) Rodgers and (Oscar) Hammerstein, is now 65 years old. The Lyric Opera of Chicago is injecting fresh life into this senior aged play, with a sumptuous new production that is top drawer at every level.

  • New Country

    CHICAGO – The Country Music industry has become as huge as any category of music entertainment. So Mark Roberts, the creator of the TV sitcom “Mike & Molly,” has fashioned a boisterous new play about the machinations of that genre of music industry, and gave it the plaintive title of “New Country.”

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