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Thompson on Hollywood

Remembering Tom Laughlin, Creator of Biracial Screen Icon 'Billy Jack' and Innovator of the Wide Release Film

Tom Laughlin, who wrote, produced, directed, and starred in a series of films about a troubled Vietnam vet named “Billy Jack” that unexpectedly became hits despite devastating reviews, has died at the age of 82. According to his “Billy Jack” website, Laughlin died “at sunset” on December 12. According to his daughter, Teresa Laughlin, his death was caused by complications of pneumonia.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • December 16, 2013 11:49 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Obit: Brilliant and Eccentric Actor Peter O'Toole Dies at Age 81

Peter O’Toole, whose performance as the charismatic and tortured T. E. Lawrence in David Lean’s 1962 masterpiece “Lawrence of Arabia” made him an instant movie star, died Saturday at the age of 81 after a long illness.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • December 15, 2013 6:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

TCM Remembers 'Sound of Music' Actress Eleanor Parker with Marathon Programming December 17 (OBIT ROUNDUP)

Most people probably know versatile character actress Eleanor Parker, who died on December 9 at age 91, from classic big-screen musical "The Sound of Music." She played the platinum blonde Baroness, who isn't slow to pick up on Christopher Plummer's Captain Von Trapp's true feelings for governess Maria (Julie Andrews). TCM is rolling out an entire Parker retrospective to celebrate her career on December 17, so viewers can become better acquainted, or reacquainted, with her body of work. Check out the lineup, below, plus an obit roundup.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 10, 2013 12:26 PM
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  • 2 Comments

RIP Paul Walker, Who Was Two Weeks Away from Sharing with Audiences the Finest Performance of His Career (TRAILER)

Chalk it up as a tragic irony of an untimely demise: At the time he was killed Saturday in a Los Angeles auto mishap at the ridiculously young age of 40, Paul Walker was less than two weeks away from seeing how movie audiences and VOD viewers would respond to what arguably was the finest performance of his career up to that point, as a desperate father who triumphs over death.
  • By Joe Leydon
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  • December 1, 2013 1:57 PM
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  • 11 Comments

Stuntman Hal Needham Dies of Cancer at 82

Legendary stuntman Hal Needham has died at age 82 from complications from cancer. He cried at all the warm tributes he received at the at last year's Governors Awards.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 25, 2013 7:09 PM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Obit

Obit: Veteran Character Actor Ed Lauter (1938-2013), from Hitchcock's 'Family Plot' to 'The Artist' (VIDEO)

Among the most pleasant experiences I have enjoyed in recent years was a long, leisurely lunch with Ed Lauter, one of my all-time-favorite character actors, last November at the Starz Denver Film Festival.
  • By Joe Leydon
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  • October 17, 2013 1:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments

New Republic Film Critic Stanley Kauffmann Dies at 97, Critics Write Tributes

It's easy to say that it's sad news that critic Stanley Kauffmann is gone. But the man was 97 years old. We should all be so lucky to last so long--he filed his last column in August, reviewing “Our Nixon,” “Israel: A Home Movie” and “Museum Hours.” What is sad is that the older critics in Gerald Peary's 2009 documentary “For the Love of Movies” are dropping, one by one, from Roger Ebert to Andrew Sarris.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 9, 2013 4:32 PM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Critics, Obit

Obit: Tom Clancy, Author of Jack Ryan Thrillers 'Hunt for Red October,' 'Patriot Games' and More, Has Died at 66 (FILM CLIPS)

Tom Clancy, bestselling author of many a thriller that would find an even wider audience with the help of Hollywood adaptations, has died at age 66. Check out clips below from his four books turned into films, "The Hunt for Red October," "Patriot Games," "Clear and Present Danger" and "The Sum of All Fears."
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • October 2, 2013 12:52 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Obit: Paramount Stalwart A.C. Lyles Bows Out at Age 95

A.C. Lyles – producer, publicist and one of the last links to Hollywood’s early years – has died at the age of 95. He was 10 years old in 1928 when he handed out fliers at a Paramount owned theater in Jacksonville, Florida and 20 when he had saved enough money working as an usher to take the train to California and arrive at the Paramount gate expecting to get a job. He got one in the Paramount mailroom.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • September 30, 2013 9:50 PM
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  • 2 Comments

R.I.P. Elmore Leonard: 1925-2013

When the late Elmore Leonard began writing fiction in the early Nineteen-Fifties, Westerns ruled the roost, so most of his early heroes wore cowboy hats. When this great American writer, who died today at 87, went with the flow in 1969, and switched to writing urban thrillers (with the twice-filmed "The Big Bounce"), the change wasn't a wrenching one. He didn't ask his characteristically watchful and laconic heroes to change much more than their hats when they relocated from the deserts of the Southwest to the mean streets of Detroit and Miami.
  • By David Chute
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  • August 20, 2013 2:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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