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ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 2011
How stars were born Performers were never identified when movies were in their infancy partly because producers thought that if actors became famous, they would ask for more money. But that all changed with Florence Lawrence, a former child star who was first known as "The Biograph Girl" because fans loved the films she made at that studio. When she joined Carl Laemmle's Independent Moving Picture Company of America in 1909, she became the first performer to get "star" billing and the first to make a personal appearance in 1910 in front of throngs of fans in St. Louis.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
On one level, it was no surprise that veteran record company executive Gil Friesen was drawn to the theme of "20 Feet From Stardom," the film about backup singers that won the Oscar for documentary feature Sunday night. Friesen, longtime president of A&M Records, was at a performance by Leonard Cohen in Las Vegas several years ago when he got the idea to explore the question of why support singers who, although tremendously talented, never became stars in their own right. There was a parallel in his own life: Friesen himself was a different breed than high-profile record label heads like Clive Davis, Berry Gordy and Ahmet Ertegun.
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OPINION
March 27, 2013
Re "A father's hoops dream," Column One, March 22 What Ron Holmes has done with his son Shabazz Muhammad's athletic prowess is nothing new. Sadly, many parents have viewed their progeny as a way to enrich themselves or to live vicariously through them. The problem occurs when the child either fails or doesn't follow the script. What's troubling about this predetermined path is that there is seldom a fallback plan. Given the amount of traveling the UCLA basketball star has done, how many classes could he possibly have attended?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
"20 Feet From Stardom,” the inspiring chronicle of the lives and travails of backup singers, on Sunday won the Oscar for documentary feature. The award in the category  goes to director Morgan Neville and producers Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers. "20 Feet From Stardom" grew from an idea by Friesen, a veteran music executive who enlisted Neville to direct. Friesen died from complications of leukemia shortly before the film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. OSCARS 2014: Full coverage | Complete list Among the films "20 Feet From Stardom" beat in this category: “The Act of Killing” was a head-spinning phantasmagoria that managed to combine an investigation into Indonesian genocide with fantasy sequences and a consideration of the power of cinema itself.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 2008
YOUR article "Faces to Watch 2008" [Dec. 30] reminds me of a reality that is rarely investigated or talked about: how "pedigree" enables stardom. For example, in your story about Zoe Kazan [granddaughter of Oscar-winning director Elia Kazan and daughter of screenwriter Nicholas Kazan], where you actually use the word "pedigree," Ms. Kazan relates how she went through "six rounds" of auditions for a major movie role that she was continually told she was wrong for.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 1991 | From Pat H. Broeske
As befits movie co-stars, they were flown first class to the set, had special living quarters and carefully designed costumes. But their stardom was short-lived: After two weeks, it's curtains for the Tobacco Horn Worm Moth. Also known as the Tomato Horn Worm Moth--formerly giant green caterpillars, the kind found munching garden tomatoes--the creatures play an integral part in Orion Pictures' "The Silence of the Lambs."
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling
The spotlight is shining on the backup singers. Morgan Neville's documentary on the best backup talent in the business - including Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Lisa Fischer - has connected with audiences in its limited release.  Crossing the $1-million mark this Fourth of July weekend, "Twenty Feet From Stardom," now screening in 89 theaters, earned an additional $585,982 over the holiday time-frame to put its four-week total at $1.1 million....
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
"20 Feet From Stardom,” the inspiring chronicle of the lives and travails of backup singers, on Sunday won the Oscar for documentary feature. The award in the category  goes to director Morgan Neville and producers Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers. "20 Feet From Stardom" grew from an idea by Friesen, a veteran music executive who enlisted Neville to direct. Friesen died from complications of leukemia shortly before the film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. OSCARS 2014: Full coverage | Complete list Among the films "20 Feet From Stardom" beat in this category: “The Act of Killing” was a head-spinning phantasmagoria that managed to combine an investigation into Indonesian genocide with fantasy sequences and a consideration of the power of cinema itself.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 2013 | By Steve Zeitchik and Julie Makinen, Park City, Utah
The Sundance Film Festival is poised to see its first acquisition, with Weinstein Co.'s VOD label Radius hammering out final details on a deal to buy the backup-singer documentary "Twenty Feet From Stardom," according to a person familiar with the negotiations who was not authorized to talk about them publicly. Directed by Morgan Neville, the film centers on the musically talented but, well, unsung world of backup vocalists, spotlighting the voices that helped make songs such as "Gimme Shelter" enduring hits.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
"Blackfish," "20 Feet From Stardom" and "Tim's Vermeer" are among the 15 films that have made the Oscar shortlist for documentary features, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday.  Members of the documentary branch narrowed the field from a record 151 qualified entries, selecting an excellent group of films that also included Sarah Polley's acclaimed family investigation "Stories We Tell" (which took the nonfiction prize...
SPORTS
January 28, 2014 | By Gary Klein
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Most NFL players require years to hone their football skills and become pros. Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas needed one season of college football. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Thomas played basketball for four seasons at Portland State, then joined the school's football team and ended up being selected in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft. Three years later, he's preparing for the Super Bowl. "This isn't something that I imagined doing when I was 20 years old, getting ready to play in the NCAA tournament," Thomas said this week.
SPORTS
January 20, 2014 | Chris Dufresne
The new face of the U.S. men's Alpine team has never skied "wasted," a la Bode Miller, but he has skied feeling sicker than a dog. The face, in fact, could have used a box of tissues as he sniffled through an interview last November at training camp in Colorado. Ted Ligety had a cold. "Not just a little bit of a cold," he said. In his sport, the snow must go on. "It's just such a big part of ski racing, I've raced sick so many times," he said. "It's not really a big deal.
SPORTS
January 10, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
The final act of Greg Maddux's distinguished career was an ignoble one. He wandered in from the Dodgers' bullpen in the third inning, with his team losing. He departed in the fifth inning, his team even further behind. "A very special day for me," Maddux said. Maddux, arguably the premier pitcher of his generation, started more games than any pitcher in major league history except Cy Young, Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton. The Dodgers dumped him into middle relief for the 2008 National League Championship Series - him and Clayton Kershaw, perhaps the most glamorous mop-up crew in recent memory.
SPORTS
December 29, 2013 | By Chris Foster
UCLA's Myles Jack was doing an interview, one of many since the freshman linebacker added running back to his chores and became a college football phenomenon. Teammate Eddie Vanderdoes saw this as his cue. "Man, we were walking on campus after the Washington game and everyone was yelling, 'Myles! Clickclack Jack! Boobie!" said Vanderdoes, a freshman defensive end. "All the women were swooning. " Jack, his voice rising in mock anger, barked back, "That's just rude!" and pleaded, "None of that happened.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2013 | By Chris Lee
Justin Bieber wasn't sure he liked what he saw. When the petite pop prince from the Great White North first viewed a rough cut of the new documentary "Justin Bieber's Believe," he excitedly called its director Jon Chu in the middle of the night to voice concerns. Not about the less-than-flattering aspects of the movie, like where Chu asks Bieber about him turning into a "train wreck. " Or where the director, speaking off-camera, ponders if Bieber will wind up like Michael Jackson or Lindsay Lohan.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Hugh Hart
Elvis. Aretha. The Beatles. These are the titans. Jerome Felder, Spooner Oldham and Freda Kelly? They're the supporting players. Following on last year's Oscar-winning Sixto Rodriguez documentary, "Searching for Sugarman," a fresh set of nonfiction films this year focused on low-profile talents whose stories are every bit as fascinating as their more famous compatriots. Leading the charge this year: Oscar shortlisted documentary "20 Feet From Stardom. " Financed by the late record executive Gil Friesen, "Stardom" offers a bittersweet group portrait of half a dozen background singers who helped define landmark recordings by Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, Rolling Stones, Sting and Stevie Wonder but failed to carve out comparable solo careers for themselves.  FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2014 At the outset, director Morgan Neville faced a daunting challenge.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2009 | Greg Braxton
In the last few years, Jeff Dunham has become something akin to a rock star. The 47-year-old entertainer routinely sells out concert halls and arenas at home and abroad, travels in a decked-out touring bus and just launched a new weekly cable television show. He can thank a bunch of dummies with names including Bubba J, Walter and Achmed the Dead Terrorist for his astonishing success. For the first time since the heyday of Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy and "The Ed Sullivan Show," nearly a half century ago, ventriloquism has moved back into the entertainment mainstream, and Dunham is leading the way. With his tousled-hair guy-next-door look and a comedy routine that mixes raucous banter with his dummies' riffs on life, the Encino resident's rise has gone mostly unnoticed by the national media.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 19, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan
No one knows better than critics that the one-size-fits-all movie has yet to be made, but every once in a while something comes along that just about everyone is guaranteed to enjoy, and the irresistible documentary "20 Feet From Stardom" is one of those times. Veteran director Morgan Neville has made a moving and joyous behind-the-scenes film about the world of rock 'n' roll backup singers. It's a universe filled with big, bold personalities and the music they make: When you say names like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Lisa Fischer, you are conjuring entire universes of sound.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
"Blackfish," "20 Feet From Stardom" and "Tim's Vermeer" are among the 15 films that have made the Oscar shortlist for documentary features, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday.  Members of the documentary branch narrowed the field from a record 151 qualified entries, selecting an excellent group of films that also included Sarah Polley's acclaimed family investigation "Stories We Tell" (which took the nonfiction prize...
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2013 | By Scott Collins
Melissa McCarthy is having a nice film career, so how come her CBS sitcom, "Mike & Molly," isn't turning into a major TV hit? "Mike & Molly" returned for its fourth season last week with less-than-robust ratings: 9.2 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. It was the worst premiere showing for the series and a 16% tumble in the key adults ages 18 to 49 demographic compared with last year, according to Nielsen. And this week, the CBS sitcom slipped a bit more, to 8.6 million.
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