YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsCharacters


February 18, 2014 | Steve Chawkins
Mary Grace Canfield, a character actress best known as part of the daffy Ralph-and-Alf brother-sister carpenter team on the TV comedy "Green Acres," died Saturday in a Santa Barbara hospice. She was 89. The cause was lung cancer, her daughter Phoebe Alexiades said. On "Green Acres," Canfield was Ralph Monroe, who, with her brother Alf, was perennially working on the bedroom of a city slicker couple (Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor) at their newly acquired farm near Hooterville. She was a down-home gal in bib overalls and a white painter's cap worn backward, a funny, plain-spoken woman doing "man's work" before feminism made the term quaint.
February 16, 2014 | By Stacy St. Clair
SOCHI, Russia - Wearing a dark warmup suit with "USA" emblazoned on the back, Katie Eberling helps carry the 400-pound bobsled to the starting line and places it down on freshly sanded blades. She gives a reassuring nod to teammate Elana Meyers, her off-season roommate and the pilot with whom she has won two world championship medals. She smiles at Meyers' new brakeman, Lauryn Williams, a former track star who has been racing for only seven months. Eberling watches the pair as they start down the ice, following their progress as the sled slides into the first curve.
February 14, 2014 | By Yvonne Villarreal
"Downton Abbey" has become a regular AirBnB vacation home. It was announced Friday by the show's makers - Masterpiece on PBS and Carnival Films - that three new cast members are joining the show in Season 5. British actor Richard E. Grant will join the cast as Simon Bricker, who visits the wavering estate as a guest of the Crawleys. It's a world Grant is quite familiar with, demonstrating his footman skills in 2001's "Gosford Park," which was penned by "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes.
February 13, 2014 | By Inkoo Kang
Despite its status as a world leader in social equality, Sweden clings to a racial and class hierarchy in which one-percenter bankers profit from drug deals and bloodshed at the lower rungs of society - at least that was the critique that made the 2012 thriller "Easy Money" such a stylish and indignant affair. Striving business student J.W. (Joel Kinnaman) ricocheted between the jet-setting "aristos" and the criminal underclass to engineer a money-laundering scheme. The new "Easy Money: Hard to Kill" picks up a few years after the events of the original film.
February 13, 2014 | By Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Eric Warren Singer William Burroughs once said, "Hustlers of the world, there's one mark you cannot beat: the mark inside. " That quote was taped to my desk while I wrote "American Hustle," and it served as my North Star for these characters. As the lies consume their lives, they throttle toward an inevitable reckoning with the truth and themselves. Though they are on the extreme side of the spectrum, I think this is something everyone can relate to. We all hustle ourselves and other people, even if it's in small ways.
February 13, 2014 | By Karolina Waclawiak
In the story collection "Karate Chop," Dorthe Nors illuminates an ominous world of disconnected people trying to make sense of their dislocation. Among these micro-transmissions of self-preservation is the standout, "The Wadden Sea," in which a young girl takes off to a remote seaside town with her depressed mother. When the young narrator's grandmother comes to rescue them both, the young girl says, "I could tell she knew fear of life, and I could tell she knew it was a kind of fear that took in the whole of people's lives and could make them forsaken wherever in the world.
February 8, 2014 | By Meredith Blake
NEW YORK - By his own admission, Bartlett Sher is not normally drawn to material like "The Bridges of Madison County," Robert James Waller's mega-bestselling 1992 novel. The weepie about a brief but life-changing 1960s romance between an Italian war bride in rural Iowa and a peripatetic National Geographic photographer was adapted into a 1995 film starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. Now, under Sher's direction, it has been realized as a Broadway musical opening Feb. 20 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.
February 7, 2014 | By Susan King
Bob Balaban was born, so to speak, into movie royalty. His father and uncles were founders of the Balaban and Katz theater chain of Chicago movie palaces. His uncle Barney Balaban was president of Paramount for three decades, and grandfather Sam Katz was an MGM executive. As a "little nerdy Jewish kid in Chicago," Balaban loved the movies and theater but had no inkling he would be involved in show business. "I was trying to do well in school and hoping I would survive adolescence," said Balaban, currently appearing in George Clooney's World War II adventure "The Monuments Men," which opens Feb. 7. But then he broke his arm at age 10.  "My parents could think of nothing for me to do in the summer, so we got on a train to Los Angeles," said Balaban, 68, by phone from New York, where he lives.
February 6, 2014 | By Lisa Rosen
Great films rarely wrap up neatly. The audience is left to ponder what happens next. We at The Envelope couldn't help but wonder if the actors do such pondering as well. They spend so much time figuring out their characters' back stories, how much thought do they give to the after-story? We put the question to a number of actors in some of the season's most compelling films. Warning: Many, many (oh, so many) spoilers lie ahead. Sally Hawkins: Ginger "Blue Jasmine" Story: Jasmine (Cate Blanchett)
February 6, 2014 | By Michael Ordoña
In "Nebraska," 84-year-old June Squibb's Kate Grant is plain-spoken to a fault. Which is a nice way of saying she has reached an age at which she simply doesn't care what anyone thinks. Her brazen negativity can be off-putting at first. "At the beginning, you're not sure if you like her or not. In fact, you don't like her. She's a bitch," says the Oscar-nominated Squibb with appropriate directness. "But as you get to know her more, you understand why she is the way she is. We do a lot of question-and-answers after screenings, and so many people say, 'Boy, I hated you in the beginning.
Los Angeles Times Articles