November 2, 2011 |
Seven years ago, I was asked to cover the Academy Awards from backstage. To get the necessary credentials, I had to be personally vetted by producer Gil Cates. As I made my way along the shiny floor of the Oscar production offices, I was prepared for Oz, the great and terrible — at this point, having produced the show 11 times, Cates was the Oscars. Instead, I met a man who wore blue jeans and cowboy boots, who twinkled when he smiled and even when he swore. I covered the Oscars from backstage for the next four years; in 2005 and 2006, it was a Cates production — the first time Chris Rock hosted, the second Jon Stewart.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2011 |
Gil Cates, the Hollywood showman who transformed the annual Academy Awards telecast from a tired and predictable affair into a polished entertainment extravaganza with hosts such as Billy Crystal and Steve Martin, has died. He was 77. Cates may have been best known as the guiding hand on 14 Oscar telecasts, but he was a creative and versatile force. He was an Emmy Award-winning television and film producer and director who also directed plays on and off Broadway, the impresario of the Geffen Playhouse, and he fostered generations of entertainers as a professor and dean of UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television.
April 20, 2010
A roundup of this morning's arts and entertainment headlines: David Hasselhoff will reprise his role as Dr. William "Snapper" Foster Jr. on "The Young and the Restless." (Entertainment Weekly) That abandoned next generation iPhone? Apple wants it back, and Gizmodo is willing to return it. (The Wrap, Gizmodo) A new season of "Mad Men" will premiere July 25. Meanwhile, AMC says there's no end date for the series. (The Hollywood Reporter, Show Tracker) Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have extended their contracts on Comedy Central; Stewart's "The Daily Show" will continue through June 2013, while Colbert's "The Colbert Report" will go through the end of 2012.
March 2, 2010 |
Koufax & Torre were brilliant, at times hilarious and at others insightful, both competitors reduced to misty eyes and an emotional embrace to end a memorable evening in Nokia Theatre L.A. Live. It's been a number of decades since Koufax has made such an appearance, his best explanation a tribute to his grandfather. "For me, my grandfather was the most amazing man in my life," Koufax told a sold-out crowd of 7,000, as well as a live FS West TV audience. "My grandfather thought time was the most important asset you had. "Don't waste your time, don't be frivolous with your time.
March 13, 2008 |
Billy Crystal came prepared. Black maple bat in hand, the New York Yankees newcomer brought a well-worn glove with his name neatly stitched on the side too. The hitting and fielding part, the comedian felt confident about. It was the drug test that had him worried. "I'm supposed to bring blood and urine to the umpire tomorrow," he kidded Wednesday. "I might test positive for Maalox." Quite a 60th birthday present for the actor, director, Oscar host and lifelong Yankees fan: A chance to play in an exhibition game today at Legends Field in Tampa, Fla. Crystal certainly looked the part during his day-before workout.
February 20, 2008
WHEN Jon Stewart hosted the Oscars two years ago, it reaped its second-lowest TV ratings ever, and the reviews he got as emcee were mixed. How do you think Jon Stewart will do this year? Readers weighed in at the Gold Derby blog at TheEnvelope.com and offered up some advice: Leave politics out of it. Some excerpts below: He'll be wonderful! -- johnbfleming Before Jon takes any potshots during the show against the war, he should do some research, or at least listen to Sen. McCain and understand that the surge is working to make President Bush's invasion of Iraq the success it was always meant to be. Jon must realize that his far-left humor is only appreciated by a tiny minority of Americans.
October 26, 2007 |
The key numbers from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.) birthday extravaganza Thursday night were 60 -- her age -- and $1.5 million, the approximate amount of cash she raked in for her presidential campaign, thanks to entertainers Elvis Costello and Billy Crystal. The Clintons have always blurred the lines between personal, political and financial, and Thursday night's party at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre, with 3,000 paying guests, was perhaps the crowning example. "Happy Birthday, Mrs.
October 13, 2007 |
Carl Reiner, Steve Martin and Whoopi Goldberg have all won it. Now, to borrow a famous movie line he wrote, Billy Crystal is having what they're having. The comedian, actor, Broadway star and Yankees fan's many talents and passions were celebrated Thursday night at the Kennedy Center in Washington as he accepted the 10th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. "Does this mean I have to retire now?" Crystal asked as he cradled the award, a bust of Twain.
October 1, 2006 |
What do Queen Latifah, Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld, Caroline Kennedy, Madonna, Lynne Cheney, Jorge Posada and Paul McCartney have in common (besides sizable incomes)? Well, if you have young kids, you probably already know the answer: children's books. It seems like every time you walk into a bookstore, some other celebrity has joined the craze. Jamie Lee Curtis alone has seven titles available, some bestsellers.
January 14, 2006 |
Call it: When Billy Met Tony. Billy Crystal has won multiple Emmy Awards, all for playing himself as emcee of the Academy Awards telecast. So it's no surprise that for his stage debut -- a one-man show that last year played to sold-out crowds on Broadway and won a Tony Award for best special theatrical event -- he chose to play the role he knows best: Billy Crystal.