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January 2, 2014 | By Hugh Hart
American moviegoers love a good con man. Burt Lancaster won an Academy Award for playing one in 1960's "Elmer Gantry. " Michael Douglas took home an Oscar in 1988 as master "Wall Street" manipulator Gordon Gekko. And Robert Redford got nominated for his role as a Depression-era flimflam man in 1973's "The Sting," which won best picture. Now, five years after the century's biggest financial collapse, movies by Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and David O. Russell present a fresh crop of charismatic charlatans from the business world.
January 2, 2014 | By Chris Lee
James Avery, who portrayed the commanding yet cuddly father figure on the hit 1990s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," died at a Glendale hospital Tuesday of complications from open heart surgery. He was 65. His death was confirmed by his manager, Toni Benson. Although trained as a Shakespearean actor, Avery won his widest audience in the role of Judge Philip Banks - "Uncle Phil" - on "Fresh Prince," which aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996. Ranked No. 34 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time, the Navy veteran's stern, straight-arrow character provided a foil for series star Will Smith, who played the wise-cracking teenage nephew from the mean streets of west Philadelphia who moved into Uncle Phil's uptight Bel-Air household.
December 28, 2013 | By Susan King
After making his feature directorial debut in 2011 with his fierce, unsparing adaptation of Shakespeare's "Coriolanus," Ralph Fiennes is in the director's chair once again for "The Invisible Woman," which opens Christmas Day. Based on the book by Claire Tomalin, the romantic drama chronicles the relationship between Charles Dickens and actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones). The writer of such literary masterpieces as "Great Expectations," "A Tale of Two Cities" and "A Christmas Carol" was married with 10 children when he met the teenager, who toiled on stage with her mother and two older sisters.
December 20, 2013 | By John M. Glionna
LAS VEGAS - Sure, Anthony Cools is a hypnotist, but this slick pompadour-sporting showman won't help you quit smoking. He drives a Lamborghini and dresses in form-fitting suits with a bow tie, skull ring and pointy-toed, black-and-white Giorgio Brutini wingtips. Under his calculated spell, in fact, you might even start chain-smoking, or engage in other nefarious activities you wouldn't be caught dead doing in your right mind. Maybe you'll move your bra outside your blouse, dirty-flirt with a stranger, or act in a porno casting call - with a chair.
December 19, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - Dozens of people in Britain were injured, seven of them seriously, when the ceiling or part of the balcony collapsed at a theater in London's West End during the busy holiday season. The incident occurred about 8:15 p.m., less than an hour into the acclaimed production of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, near Piccadilly Circus. The London Ambulance Service said in a statement that it treated more than 75 people with minor injuries.
December 19, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
It's been many years since I interviewed the late producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier, then the president of Unifrance, the key promoter of French films overseas, but I always remember a comment he made. Toscan, as everyone called him, was talking about the fate of his country's films in the world marketplace as well as in the U.S., but what he said could be applied to foreign-language cinema in general. "If you are on a street full of hamburger shops, you finally want to eat something else.
December 19, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
June Squibb, 84; Judi Dench, 79; Meryl Streep, 64; Oprah Winfrey, 59; Emma Thompson, 54; Sandra Bullock, 49; Julia Roberts, 46; Cate Blanchett, 44; Lupita Nyong'o, 30; Jennifer Lawrence, 23. These 10 actresses received either a leading or supporting nomination from the Screen Actors Guild last week for their fine work in 2013. Eight of them got a similar nod from the Golden Globes. Most will likely surface again when the Oscar nominations are announced in January. The numbers are there for a reason.
December 10, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Snapchat has all but disappeared from the conversation here just weeks after turning down a $3-billion takeover offer from Facebook. The talk of Silicon Valley is now all about image-sharing service Imgur, which is said to be in talks with Yahoo . Alan Schaaf started the company in 2009 when he was an Ohio University undergrad because he was frustrated with how hard it was to share photos on Reddit. Now Imgur (pronounced "IM-uh-jur") draws more traffic than Reddit, having topped 100 million users in September thanks to the space dog , the rocket frog and countless other images that are hard to resist.
December 7, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Theater Critic
These days it seems as though every time I turn around there's another installment of the Peter Pan story. Next stop for that flighty green-garbed spotlight-chaser: his own reality TV series, "The Real Lost Boys of Neverland," followed by a special edition of "Celebrity Rehab" for perennial pubescents. In the meantime, there's "Peter and the Starcatcher" at the Ahmanson Theatre to satisfy our co-dependent need for the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Try as I did to resist this touring Broadway production - story theater for adults about a character as overexposed as Kim Kardashian?
December 7, 2013
Joe Bihari Co-founder of family record company Joe Bihari, 88, the co-founder of a family record company that exposed blues performers such as B.B. King, Little Richard, John Lee Hooker, Elmore James and Etta James to a wider audience, died Nov. 28 in a Los Angeles hospital, family members said. "The Biharis had one of the most important companies in the history of rhythm and blues," said Jim O'Neal, founding editor of Living Blues magazine, "and Joe was the one who produced most of the sessions.
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