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Thompson on Hollywood

Obit: Rob Remley Dies of Cancer

I am sad to report the death of Rob Remley, a long-time international marketing executive, most recently at Warner Bros. and Lionsgate, who changed careers after a stint as a lead dancer for Merce Cunningham. He died September 27 after a battle with cancer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 4, 2011 11:56 AM
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Weekly Wrap: TIFF: Moneyball, Descendants, Deep Blue Sea; Reviews Kevin, The Lady; Media Watch

Box Office:
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 16, 2011 5:20 AM
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The Late Great John Calley: Businessman with Soul of Artist, Life Saver

Longtime Hollywood producer and studio executive John Calley has died after a long illness. He was 81. While at Warner Bros. in the 1970s (as production chief, president, and vice chairman), the controversial and groundbreaking movies Calley supervised included Alan Pakula's All the President's Men, Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, William Friedkin's The Exorcist and Don Siegel's Dirty Hairy.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • September 13, 2011 9:47 AM
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Remembering Cliff Robertson: from Kennedy and Charly to David Begelman

Cliff Robertson passed of natural causes on September 10. The actor, whose credits span over fifty years, is known most recently for his role as Ben Parker in the Spider-Man franchise, and will be remembered most for his Oscar-winning role in 1968's Charly and 1963's PT 109, in which he played John F. Kennedy. (My favorites are his angry safecracker in Sam Fuller's Underworld USA and unhappy husband in Brian De Palma's Obsession.)
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • September 12, 2011 10:33 AM
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RIP Polly Platt, Production Designer and Producer, Driving Force for Directors

I first met producer/production designer Polly Platt on the set of Terms of Endearment, which went on to earn five Oscars including best picture. Truth is, the movie might not have turned out as well without her. It was TV executive producer/writer James L. Brooks' debut as a film director, and featured his strong screenplay based on the Larry McMurtry novel. But Brooks sought steering and advice from Platt, who earned an Oscar nomination for Terms of Endearment for art direction/set decoration, and continued to supportively work for Brooks at Gracie Films, and on subsequent Brooks projects including Broadcast News and I'll Do Anything.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2011 9:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment
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In Memory of Robert Sklar, NYU Cinema Studies Scholar

NYU Cinema Studies professor and one-time department chairman Robert Sklar died June 26 in a bicycling accident at age 74. While I earned my degree in Cinema Studies from NYU and respected Sklar, I never took one of his classes. Here's his NYT obit; current Cinema Studies chair Richard Allen's tribute is below. IN MEMORY OF ROBERT SKLAR 1936-2011It is with great sadness that I must report to you the death of our beloved colleague, Robert Sklar. On Sunday, June 26, Bob had an accident while bicycling in Barcelona with his wife, Adrienne Harris. He lost control of his bike, fell and hit his head. He was removed to a Barcelona hospital with head injuries. At the hospital he was diagnosed as having extensive bleeding of the brain. He underwent brain surgery, but the injuries were too severe for recovery. On Saturday, July 2, he expired from his injuries. He will be cremated and the ashes brought back to New York. Our thoughts go out to Adrienne and to Bob’s entire family at this time.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 8, 2011 6:17 AM
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  • 1 Comment
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Columbo Star Peter Falk is Dead: Wings of Desire, Husbands, Princess Bride Are Must-See Films

Tony-winning New Yorker Peter Falk, who has died at age 83 after suffering from Alzheimers, was beloved for his long-running Emmy-winning TV role as Columbo. But he also memorably starred in Wim Wenders' exquisite Wings of Desire, long-time collaborator John Cassavetes' 1970 drama Husbands and such comedies as The In-Laws, opposite Alan Arkin. He was Oscar-nominated for supporting roles in the 60s' Pocketful of Miracles and Murder, Inc.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2011 5:45 AM
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Ebert's Tweet Was Right: Crashed Jackass Star's Blood Level More Than Twice Legal Limit

Given that Jackass Ryan Dunn tweeted a picture of himself and pals drinking hours before he crashed to his fiery death early Monday, killing his passenger, it was not a huge stretch for Roger Ebert to tweet that afternoon: "Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive." It seems uncontroversial to me. The pushback was immediate, and a hot topic was born.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 22, 2011 9:23 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Laura Ziskin, Who Produced More Than Spider-Man, is Dead at 61 UPDATED

Laura Ziskin has succumbed to cancer, which she had fought valiantly for seven years. She produced Spider-Man and To Die For, and one of the best Oscar shows ever, and launched Fox 2000. She was a class act who will be missed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 13, 2011 4:17 AM
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Maverick Distributor Marty Zeidman Changed Face of Indie Cinema

Maverick Distributor Marty Zeidman Changed Face of Indie Cinema
Inside the independent film community, Marty Zeidman was known as an innovator who changed the way independent movies were released. The distributor who worked at Miramax, Polygram, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fine Line, Lionsgate, Paramount Classics and Columbia Pictures died at age 63 in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, from complications due to pancreatitis. He also worked in exhibition for many years as head buyer at Landmark Theatres, and most recently, owned indie distributor Slow Hand Releasing (Innocent Voices, Kids in America and U2: the Concert Movie).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 11, 2011 11:50 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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