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March 8, 2010 | By Betsy Sharkey, Times film critic
For some, not even the heartbreaking finesse of Jeff Bridges' broken country singer Bad Blake can eclipse the pièce de résistance of "The Big Lebowski's" the Dude back in '98. Others would point to "Starman" or "The Last Picture Show." For me, it was 1992's "American Heart," another broken man stumbling toward recovery. But nearly everyone agrees that after five nominations, Bridges was long overdue for his Oscar, and "Crazy Heart" was as good a time as any to recognize one of the finest, most versatile and most authentic actors around.
March 29, 2014 | By Susan King
Carl Reiner wakes up each morning with the same thought - it's time to start writing. It's still the top priority for the Emmy Award-winning funny man who created the landmark CBS sitcom "The Dick Van Dyke Show," wrote and directed such comedy film favorites as 1970's "Where's Poppa?," 1977's "Oh , God!" and 1979's "The Jerk" and who, along with his lifetime friend Mel Brooks, performed the "2000 Year Old Man" routines. "I get to my computer and I either play solitaire or do some tweets," said Reiner (who, for the record, has more than 62,000 Twitter followers)
September 11, 2009 | Randy Lewis
You got the feeling Wednesday night that Natalie Cole couldn't have been happier to be pulling in to the Hollywood Bowl nearly two months late for her gig. "I never thought I'd be standing here healthy, whole and 100% again," the 59-year-old singer told the cheering crowd. Cole had been slated to perform July 15 but was forced to reschedule following a kidney transplant in May. Her recovery -- guest gospel singer Kurt Carr called her "a walking miracle" when his 10-member choir joined her near the show's end -- made for a warmly emotional backdrop to a performance dominated by music drawn from the Great American Songbook.
February 14, 2014 | By Greg Braxton
CBS has set midseason premiere days for the new comedy "Bad Teacher" and returning drama "Unforgettable. " "Bad Teacher," based on the 2011 film starring Cameron Diaz, will premiere April 24 at 9:30 p.m. after "The Crazy Ones" finishes its full 22-episode first season on April 17. The series stars Ari Graynor as a former trophy wife who masquerades as a teacher in order to find a new man after her wealthy husband leaves her. The comedy costars...
February 15, 2009 | BETSY SHARKEY, FILM CRITIC
In looking at the Oscar category of best supporting actor and actress, I'm reminded of the sort of delicious dinner party that lingers in your memory years later. Although presumably you accept the invitation because you have some affection for the host, it is the unexpected alchemy of possibilities created by those on the guest list that heighten anticipation of the event. Then the evening arrives. Though it might be subconscious or unfair, we tend to judge a party by the company it keeps with success resting on the narrow or broad shoulders of those around you. And so it is with supporting characters in movies.
August 4, 1985
In Charles Champlin's review of David Thomson's book, "Suspects" (Book Review, July 14), he refers to Paul Henreid 'lighting up for Bette Davis in that unforgettable bit of business from "A Stolen Life." ' Alas, it was in "Now Voyager" that the 'two cigarettes' bit became famous, even though it had been done at least twice before, seven years earlier, in "Honor Among Lovers" and "The Rich are Always With Us." ALEX GORDON Los Angeles The forgotten unforgettable was remembered by a baker's dozen readers.
May 1, 1988
Although Al Martinez worries over his inability to remember names, (April 14), his style of writing is unforgettable! At this point, I should add; "Keep it up, George!" I, too, have a like amnesia, alas! JOSEPH P. KRENGEL Santa Monica
December 8, 1990
Kirk Gibson's leaving the Dodgers leaves me with two unforgettable memories. The first is his 1988 World Series home run, which ranks as my No. 1 Dodger highlight. The second is his turning his back on young autograph seekers after a game in 1990. This ranks as an all-time low point. On the one hand, you have the player, Kirk the Great. One the other you have the person, Kirk the Jerk. Too bad for Kirk, because he has many more years ahead of him as a person and only a few as a player.
December 6, 1987
Thank you, CBS, for giving us the privilege of seeing "Frank's Place." And to you, Tim Reid and Hugh Wilson, our unending gratitude for producing such an unforgettable gem. I've watched TV off and on since it began, and never have I seen a more absorbing, enjoyable and ultimately satisfying program. So real are the people and superb the acting that I don't watch "Frank's Place." I feel like I'm spending Monday nights at Frank's. You can't get any better than that. P. Cozod, Santa Monica
September 19, 1992
I'm sitting here this morning with The Times' Calendar section in front of me wondering what qualifications your staff writer Janice Page has to write about Natalie Cole's performance ("Natalie Cole: Less Than King-Size," July 6). She compares Natalie to Roy Orbison, her father Nat (King) Cole and Ella Fitzgerald. She continues that "she sometimes suffers in comparison to the originals" and "sadly . . . Cole doesn't have Fitzgerald's voice either." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to discover that "Natalie . . . is no Nat" but a talent on her own. Why can't someone who writes for a paper such as yours look for what a performer does well, instead of making ridiculous comparisons just to be able to say something negative?
February 2, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell and Steven Zeitchik
The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in an apparent drug overdose Sunday leaves behind a diverse and impressive body of work cut tragically short. From his pornographer turn in "Boogie Nights" to his Oscar-decorated turn as Truman Capote to his Lester Bangs moment, here are eight of Hoffman's most memorable performances; there are many more, of course, that you could just as powerfully make the case for. "Boogie Nights" (1997)  One of Hoffman's breakthrough roles came in his second film with director Paul Thomas Anderson, cementing a career-long collaboration for the actor.
December 5, 2013 | By Leon Logothetis
When we last left this story, I was being held up at the Vietnamese border, where the border authorities wanted to impound my bright yellow motorcycle. They suggested that I leave without it (I couldn't do that) and go on to Ho Chi Minh City. I did manage to finally talk my way out of this problem. It didn't involve any payoffs because I'm traveling with no money. My around-the-world journey , which began Aug. 10 in Los Angeles, has been financed by total strangers who are committing acts of kindness.
December 5, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The year is 1992. Nelson Mandela, two years beyond his release from 27 years of political imprisonment and two years before he will be elected president of South Africa, stands before a classroom of Soweto children. A rare moment is being captured by camera and crew: Mandela as actor, rather than activist. Cast in the role of teacher, handed words to speak that are not his own. The only backdrop is a blackboard. Erased, it is a clean slate, but evidence of lessons past cling in the chalk powder.
November 17, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
There's a tidbit deep in the Times archive that reminds us of just what a brilliant artist and provocateur Doris Lessing could be. Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94. Back in 1984, she was already one of England's most celebrated novelists: She'd written two dozen books and was being mentioned in news reports as a potential recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, though she'd have to wait 23 years more to win it. She wanted to prove to...
October 6, 2013 | By Cara Mia DiMassa
APELDOORN, NETHERLANDS - Dozens of black-and-yellow squirrel monkeys scampered around us, some running above on high ropes, others swooping in close to us as we walked. This was one of the many delights of the Apenheul, a primate park in rural Netherlands where monkeys, apes and lemurs are allowed to run free. The squirrel monkeys hopped easily onto the arms and shoulders of park visitors, who snapped pictures of the spectacle with cameras and phones. Our daughters, ages 4 and 8, squealed.
September 18, 2013 | By Connie Stewart
Emily and Steve Goldfield spent the last week in Colorado celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary -- amid biblical rains. That wasn't quite what they had in mind. They arrived in Denver on Sept. 8, the day before the rains began. On Sept. 9 they rented an RV in Longmont and headed for Estes Park, gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. It started to rain. It turned torrential on Sept. 11. PHOTOS: Colorado flooding “Before we left, the weather forecast was for summer weather,” Emily Goldfield told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.
March 12, 2006
I, like Dan Neil, mourn the demise of the telegram ("R.I.P. STOP," 800 Words, Feb. 19). It was, as he said, a "pretty classy" way to communicate. My experience with its classiness took place about 35 years ago, when my writing collaborator and I were vainly scratching at editorial doors with our short humor pieces. One particular target was the "Accent on Living" section of the Atlantic Monthly. I'll never forget the day a telegram arrived. What could it be? What disaster had struck? It turned out to be from the sainted Charles W. Morton, then-editor of our target Atlantic section.
December 28, 2003
I enjoyed Linda Minoo's narrative, "Another View of Camel Drivers" [Letters, Dec. 14]. It brought back fond memories of my own experience in 1998, when I toured small villages in Rajasthan for two hours by camel caravan, led by polite, enthusiastic camel drivers who, to my surprise, turned out to be that evening's entertainers. They treated us to the most harmonious vocals I have ever heard, accompanied exquisitely on their own handcrafted instruments. After their unforgettable outdoor concert, we retired to our luxurious, carpeted tents with hot and cold running shower, sink, flushable toilets and comfy beds.
August 21, 2013 | ERIC SONDHEIMER
To understand what Adoree' Jackson of Gardena Serra wants to accomplish, take seriously what he wrote in a tweet last spring: "I want to be unforgettable. I want to be unstoppable. I want to be unbelievable. I want to be uncontrollable. I just want to be remembered. " If any high school football player is capable of living up to high expectations, it's the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Jackson, a senior who is following in the mold of Robert Woods and Marqise Lee as Serra athletes with remarkable futures.
August 8, 2013 | By Susan King
Back in 1923, silent-film clown Harold Lloyd had one of his greatest successes with "Safety Last," which features the iconic sequence of him dangling off a clock on a high-rise in downtown Los Angeles. That same year, the symbol of moviemaking - the Hollywood sign - was erected in the hills above the city. On Friday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Oscar Outdoors screening series is holding a 90th birthday party for "Safety Last" and the sign, both of which have endured thanks to restoration and preservation efforts.
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