CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2011 |
Television and film music composer Fred Steiner, creator of the bold and gritty theme for the "Perry Mason" TV series and one of the composers of the Oscar-nominated score for "The Color Purple," has died. He was 88. Steiner died of natural causes Thursday at his home in the town of Ajijic in the Mexican state of Jalisco, according to his daughter Wendy Waldman, a singer-songwriter. One of the busiest composers working in Hollywood in the 1950s and '60s, Steiner also crafted music for "Gunsmoke," "The Twilight Zone," "Star Trek," "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Rawhide," "Hogan's Heroes" and other TV series.
September 21, 2010 |
"The Whole Truth," which premieres Wednesday on ABC, offers Maura Tierney as New York City prosecutor Kathryn Peale and Rob Morrow as go-to defense attorney Jimmy Brogan, who, like Perry Mason and his perpetual opposing counsel Hamilton Burger, incredibly find themselves locked in weekly opposition. The novel twist is that sometimes one will win and sometimes the other. Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer, and most of what goes on here is a few clicks louder than life. Apart from the concept itself — which, though it beats at your head like an angry bird, is certainly airworthy — the hour's main attractions are Tierney and Morrow, who keep their own volume at a reasonable level, even when made to say things like "Fasten your seat belt, Jimmy" and "Game on, Katie.
September 19, 2009 |
For 14 seasons, viewers turned in every week to "Bonanza," the first prime-time network western in color. Fans tapped their toes to the now-classic theme song by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, and the Cartwrights -- Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe -- were as familiar to audiences as their own families. And now the series, which was No. 1 in the ratings from 1964-67, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in style. Earlier this week, CBS Home Entertainment released the first season of the NBC show complete with pristine transfers and fun extras such as an alternate ending to the pilot episode, which features the Cartwrights singing the title tune.
July 23, 2009 |
The verdict is in from a 12-member jury of the American Bar Assn.: "L.A. Law" topped "Perry Mason" as the best legal drama in TV history. Despite a testament to "Perry Mason" by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor during her confirmation hearings last week, the TV drama starring Raymond Burr came in second to the series depicting the fictional L.A. firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney & Kuzak. Rounding out the top five are "The Defenders," "Law & Order" and "The Practice." -- Carol J. Williams
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 2009 |
Joan Alexander, a leading radio actress in the 1940s best known for playing Lois Lane, the ace reporter who was constantly being rescued from peril by Superman, died of an intestinal ailment May 21 at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She was 94. After an early modeling and stage career, Alexander became a versatile performer on dozens of radio serials, notably as the loyal secretary Della Street in "Perry Mason."
July 11, 2006 |
For some 80 years, the 1922 romantic drama "Beyond the Rocks," starring two legends of the silent era -- Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino -- was considered lost. Only one minute of footage existed at the Nederlands Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. So the catalogers at the Filmmuseum were shocked when they discovered the first two reels of the movie while inventorying a collection of original nitrate reels of films that had been donated.