Jill's Feed
Mar 28, 2012

A Minute With: Jon Hamm on Don Draper and directing

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Jon Hamm insists he is nothing like Don Draper, the cool and mysterious advertising genius at the center of TV’s “Mad Men”.

But Hamm, 41, who struggled for years to make it in Hollywood, says playing the character on the critically-acclaimed show has been a dream job, and Sunday’s second episode of the long-delayed fifth season of “Mad Men” marks a milestone for the actor. It is his debut as a director.

Mar 22, 2012

Don Draper in “a different place” as ‘Mad Men’ returns

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The creator of stylish Emmy-winning drama “Mad Men” is full of anticipation. And also a teeny bit worried.

The 1960s advertising series returns to U.S. television screens on Sunday after a 17 month-absence stemming from a contract dispute between Weiner and cable channel AMC.

Feb 27, 2012

Billy Crystal, Jolie’s leg boost Oscar audience

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Billy Crystal, Angelina Jolie’s leg and French silent film “The Artist” brought the Oscars bouncing back from recent slack viewership, drawing a larger-than-expected 39 million TV viewers and setting social media abuzz.

Some 39.3 million Americans watched the Oscars ceremony on television on Sunday, up from the 37.6 million audience in 2011, according to preliminary ratings data.

Feb 27, 2012

Octavia Spencer wins supporting actress Oscar for “The Help”

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An emotional Octavia Spencer won her first Oscar on Sunday for her supporting actress role as a sassy maid in “The Help.”

Spencer, 39, was considered the favorite to win the Academy Award for playing an outspoken maid in the 1960s drama about African-Americans who work for rich white families in Mississippi in the early years of the civil rights era.

Feb 26, 2012

Adam Sandler sets Razzie record for worst movies

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Comic actor Adam Sandler may not be in the running for an Oscar this year, but on Saturday he set a new record for another award — the most Razzie nominations for the worst films and performances of 2011.

The producer, actor and writer received a leading 11 Razzie nods, including worst actor, actress, screenplay and film, in a contest created as an antidote to the love-fest that engulfs Hollywood during Oscar season.

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.

    • 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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