Jill's Feed
Feb 24, 2012

Christopher Plummer finally has Oscar within reach

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – It’s been a long hike from the Austrian Alps to the Hollywood Hills for Christopher Plummer, but the actor best known for playing the steely captain with seven children in “The Sound of Music” looks set to finally win his first Oscar.

Plummer, 82, is front-runner in the best supporting actor category on Sunday that in many years is a sort of film veterans achievement award for recognizing beloved, but somehow neglected, older men.

Feb 22, 2012

A Minute With: Uggie, scene-stealing star of “The Artist”

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – At 10 years old, Uggie has a long show business resume. But it wasn’t until the lively Jack Russell terrier landed the role of sidekick to actor Jean Dujardin in silent film “The Artist” that he hit the big time.

The scene-stealing star of Hollywood’s awards season talked with Reuters (via one of his trainers, Sarah Clifford) about the art of animal acting, being snubbed by the Oscars and why “The Artist” is probably his last big movie.

Feb 21, 2012

“The Help”: Bold, black and bidding for Oscar glory

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Viola Davis knew she had big shoes to fill when she agreed to play the role of a lowly black maid to a rich white family in 1960s Mississippi in “The Help”.

They included those of her mother, her late grandmother and thousands of African-American women who were maids themselves, many of whom would rather forget those years. Although Davis is now neck-and-neck with Meryl Streep for the best actress Oscar, she says her mother has yet to see “The Help.”

Feb 18, 2012

“The Help” wins big at Image Awards; Houston remembered

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Help,” which chronicled the experiences of black maids in the 1960s, and the comedy “Jumping the Broom” were honored at the NAACP Image Awards on Friday, and the life and career of Whitney Houston was celebrated with rousing gospel songs a week after the singer’s untimely death.

The box-office hit about black maids speaking out against their white employers in Mississippi in the early 1960s won best movie and acting awards for Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. The film, Davis and Spencer have been nominated for Academy Awards.

Feb 15, 2012

Whitney Houston’s medical records sought after mystery death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Officials investigating the death of singer Whitney Houston have issued subpoenas for her medical records after finding prescription drugs in her Beverly Hills hotel room.

The Los Angeles Coroner’s office said on Wednesday the move was standard procedure in such cases. Houston, 48, who had a history of addiction to cocaine and alcohol, was found unconscious and underwater in a bathtub late last week on the eve of the annual Grammy Awards show.

Feb 14, 2012

Oscar red carpet off limits for “Artist” dog Uggie

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Uggie, the canine star of “The Artist”, won’t be taking part in the Oscars or appearing on the red carpet next week, despite having won the hearts of millions of moviegoers.

“Uggie has not been asked to participate or appear at the Oscars,” a spokesperson for The Weinstein Company, distributors of “The Artist”, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Feb 14, 2012

Drugs or drowning? Science holds key to Houston death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Drugs? Booze? Suicide? Drowning? Speculation on the cause of Whitney Houston’s sudden death have run the gamut since the singer was found on Saturday. But don’t jump to conclusions.

Medical experts say it will take weeks to firmly establish the cause of Houston’s death and, contrary to probes on TV crime shows like “CSI” or “Bones,” sometimes science is fallible.

Feb 13, 2012

Fond farewells and comebacks mark Grammy Awards show

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Adele’s distinctive voice was born again and Whitney Houston was mourned on Sunday in a Grammy Awards show packed with triumphant comebacks and fond farewells.

Katy Perry, sporting blue hair and metallic body armor, stormed back defiantly in her first big public performance after husband Russell Brand filed for divorce in December, and country singer Glen Campbell, 75, made what could be his last Grammy appearance after being diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Feb 8, 2012

“Downton Abbey” brings cool TV crowd to America’s PBS

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Move over, “Mad Men” and Kim Kardashian. There’s a new darling in U.S. pop culture, with a much posher accent and even fancier clothes.

British World War One-era drama “Downton Abbey” and its colorful cast of countesses, cooks and kitchen maids has taken America by storm, dominating modern social media and bringing millions of new, young viewers to the often staid world of public broadcasting.

Feb 7, 2012

“American Idol” producer goes on attack against rivals

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe came out fighting against rival TV shows on Tuesday, calling singing contest “The Voice” a “gimmicky” show and making clear he was fed up with defending “Idol”s slipping ratings.

Speaking to reporters following headlines of bumper audiences for this week’s return of NBC’s “The Voice,” Lythgoe questioned whether other TV talent shows would still be around in 11 years or produce top-level stars such as those that have emerged from Fox television’s “Idol”.

    • About Jill

      "I'm a British import to Los Angeles who still hasn't managed to lose the accent after 10 years. I cover all things celebrity -- Hollywood award shows, stars in trouble, U.S. television and California lifestyle. Before arriving in Los Angeles, I worked for Reuters in London and Italy, covering stories like the death of Princess Diana, the Italian Mafia, and the Good Friday Northern Ireland peace agreement."
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