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Reluctant Hero

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NEWS
February 12, 1987 | SUE AVERY, Times Staff Writer
It might have been an innocent situation: a young man lifting his daughter into the family van. But Victor Martinez had a gut feeling that something was wrong. He was right. What he witnessed last week in South El Monte turned out to be a kidnaping. Because Martinez got the van's license number and telephoned the 911 emergency number, an 8-year-old girl who had been walking to Potrero Elementary School in El Monte was rescued unharmed minutes later.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 2012 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
The Midcentury Effect that rippled outward from "Mad Men" and produced "Pan Am," "The Playboy Club" and "Magic City" has now tossed "Vegas" upon our shores. Premiering Tuesday on CBS, it is set in 1960 in the City sometimes called Sin, when men were men and women were showgirls and Las Vegas was still an expression - or an impression, perhaps - of the Wild West and not the fantastical, international theme park it has since become. The series comes from Nicholas Pileggi - who cowrote the screenplays for Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" and "Casino," from his own books - with "Without a Trace" vet Greg Walker aboard to give it that TV shape and pace.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 1995 | JOHN M. GLIONNA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Tucked inside his bedroll hidden behind a back-street dumpster, a weak morning sunlight making his blue eyes squint, Mark Burdick is a reluctant hero. But Los Angeles police describe the 42-year-old transient as a quick-thinking, on-the-spot lifesaver who pulled an injured officer from his burning patrol car following a deadly collision at a fog-shrouded intersection early Saturday.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
Maggie Gyllenhaal is most comfortable playing complicated, flawed women, whether in her break-out role in the dark sex comedy "Secretary" or even reprising the part of Rachel Dawes in "The Dark Knight. " So when she was asked to play the determined single mother willing to take on the public school bureaucracy in "Won't Back Down," she was up for it only if she could make the character human and relatable. "I didn't want to tell the story of someone who does something heroic, who is immediately identifiable as an exceptional, remarkable, heroic person when she starts," said Gyllenhaal, who turns the role of single mother Jamie Fitzpatrick into a harried, disorganized woman who often has time only to feed her daughter pop tarts for breakfast before rushing her off to school.
BOOKS
July 19, 1987 | Merle Rubin
Sometimes, the difference between freshness and cliche is no more than a hair's breadth. What, after all, is fresher--or more predictable--than youth; what experience as unique--or as common--as falling in love? Francoise Sagan, who rocketed to fame in 1954 with her novel, "Bonjour Tristesse," has continued to tread the fine line between triteness and truthfulness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 1999 | JULIE HA and JEFFREY L. RABIN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
For Ed Rodriguez, a round of golf suddenly turned into what authorities hailed as an act of heroism. While playing on a San Dimas course Saturday morning, the Glendora man saw an elderly woman in a backyard next to the course accidentally set her clothing on fire while lighting a cigarette. Climbing over a chain-link fence, Rodriguez used his bare hands to help smother the flames. But 84-year-old Dorothy Litwack had sustained second-degree burns over 80% of her body.
BOOKS
August 3, 1986 | Tom Clark, Clark's latest book is "The Exile of Celine," a novel to appear this winter from Random House. and
The harrowing initial chapters of George La Fountaine's novel take place in Vietnam, 1973, some months after the release of the "last" American POWs. Sgt. Stanley Baker, a half-Navajo U.S.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 2012 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
The Midcentury Effect that rippled outward from "Mad Men" and produced "Pan Am," "The Playboy Club" and "Magic City" has now tossed "Vegas" upon our shores. Premiering Tuesday on CBS, it is set in 1960 in the City sometimes called Sin, when men were men and women were showgirls and Las Vegas was still an expression - or an impression, perhaps - of the Wild West and not the fantastical, international theme park it has since become. The series comes from Nicholas Pileggi - who cowrote the screenplays for Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" and "Casino," from his own books - with "Without a Trace" vet Greg Walker aboard to give it that TV shape and pace.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 2010 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
Want to know how to tick off a funnyman quickly? Tell people not to take him seriously. Richard "Kinky" Friedman has staked out a career generating chuckles, guffaws and belly laughs. He started out singing often-outrageous songs in the 1970s fronting one of the few Jewish country music bands, Kinky Friedman & the Texas Jewboys, then for the last two decades he's kept readers smiling with his one-liner-filled mystery novels starring himself as a wisecracking but reluctant hero.
NEWS
May 23, 1993 | MARY ANNE PEREZ
"Raspucho and the Radical Monastic Faeries" is a play that takes the story of Rasputin and applies it to today's AIDS epidemic in the Latino community. Playwright Fernando D. Castro, 41, said he and members of Ta'Yer Multicultural Performance Collective wanted to show that AIDS can be dealt with through personal relationships. "The epidemic cannot be cured by big government money, but in the home. That's what's going to save us, the fact that we can take care of each other," Castro said.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 2010 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
Want to know how to tick off a funnyman quickly? Tell people not to take him seriously. Richard "Kinky" Friedman has staked out a career generating chuckles, guffaws and belly laughs. He started out singing often-outrageous songs in the 1970s fronting one of the few Jewish country music bands, Kinky Friedman & the Texas Jewboys, then for the last two decades he's kept readers smiling with his one-liner-filled mystery novels starring himself as a wisecracking but reluctant hero.
SPORTS
November 4, 2008 | BILL DWYRE
Describing Jerry West is a little like analyzing molecules. Always has been. He is a contradiction to contradictions, a right turn on a racing oval. Over the years, fittingly so, he spent most of his time with basketball players. It might have worked better had it been Sigmund Freud. Make no mistake. West is popular and likable. He is well-spoken, well-read, incredibly proficient in most walks of life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 1999 | JULIE HA and JEFFREY L. RABIN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
For Ed Rodriguez, a round of golf suddenly turned into what authorities hailed as an act of heroism. While playing on a San Dimas course Saturday morning, the Glendora man saw an elderly woman in a backyard next to the course accidentally set her clothing on fire while lighting a cigarette. Climbing over a chain-link fence, Rodriguez used his bare hands to help smother the flames. But 84-year-old Dorothy Litwack had sustained second-degree burns over 80% of her body.
MAGAZINE
December 20, 1998 | BOB SIPCHEN, Bob Sipchen is a senior editor of the magazine. His last article was on bass fishing
Woody Harrelson sits on a blanket near Jackass Peak, watching a bunch of teenagers smear peanut butter and jelly on pita and listening with growing impatience to their unappetizing stories. His pale blue eyes move from one narrator to the next as each waxes eloquent about a head-severing wreck or a face attacked by flesh-eating bacteria. Finally, Harrelson can't restrain himself. "In Central America," the actor says, "they have this insect that burrows into a person's head . . .
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 9, 1995 | Scott Harris
He was walking along a side street near the intersection of Sherman Way and White Oak Avenue. Even before I pulled up to the curb, Mark Burdick could tell I was another person looking for the Homeless Hero of Reseda. He seemed wary, but his guard dropped a bit when I told him I worked with John. Tucked under his arm was Wednesday's edition of The Times, with John Glionna's second story about Burdick.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 1995 | JOHN M. GLIONNA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Tucked inside his bedroll hidden behind a back-street dumpster, a weak morning sunlight making his blue eyes squint, Mark Burdick is a reluctant hero. But Los Angeles police describe the 42-year-old transient as a quick-thinking, on-the-spot lifesaver who pulled an injured officer from his burning patrol car following a deadly collision at a fog-shrouded intersection early Saturday.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 1992 | KENNETH TURAN, TIMES FILM CRITIC
"Hero" (citywide) is something of a mess, but even as a mess it offers more to chew on than many tidier pictures. Haphazard and erratic, involving only in fits and starts, "Hero's" core is nevertheless so shrewdly and gleefully cynical about public heroism and the cult of celebrity it is impossible not to be at least sporadically amused and entertained.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 25, 1994 | THAO HUA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Edward Estrada had no idea when he stopped to answer a call on his pager early Monday morning that he would wind up getting into a struggle with a shotgun-toting stranger bent on kidnaping a woman. But then he saw the barrel of a shotgun pointed at his stomach and the gunman's finger on the trigger. "I never felt so vulnerable," said Estrada, 41, of Garden Grove. "It was like I was in the water surrounded by sharks."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 1994 | ROBERT HILBURN, TIMES POP MUSIC CRITIC
Kurt Cobain hated being called a spokesman for a generation--even though he was. His tales of youthful alienation, especially the massive 1991 hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit," changed the direction of contemporary rock, but Cobain didn't feel he was worthy of being a hero. A deeply sensitive man blessed with a songwriting grace that has been compared to Bob Dylan and John Lennon, Cobain, 27, was found dead Friday in his Seattle home, an apparent suicide victim.
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