Category Archives: entertainment

Actor Jaime Foxx on his big break, Ray, collabing with Kanye

Young Eric Marlon Bishop grew up in a tiny Texas town where the side of the railroad tracks told if you were black or white. He now tours the world, a highly paid entertainer in both film and music. Jaime Foxx has come a long way.

Jaime Foxx was in Toronto today to help with the launch of the first LG Life’s Good Film Fest. He talked to the media about his humble beginnings and his views on his career in the entertainment world. Foxx was born in Terrell, Texas, population 12,000. He was raised by his grandparents who wanted their grandson to succeed in the world. His grandmother knew the way to go about that was through music. Foxx began training on classical piano at the age of 5. Those ivory keys opened doors for the young man, first by seeing how the ‘other half’ lived as he performed for the country club crowd and later by providing his education. Foxx went to the United States International University on a full music scholarship in San Diego.

San Diego is just a stone’s throw from the bright lights in Los Angeles. While still in school Foxx started to perform stand-up comedy. The young comic used his skill on the piano as a stepping stone delighting his audiences and getting better gigs. Then came his big break — sketch-comedy show In Living Color hired him in 1991.

Foxx’s role of Wanda, a sex loving transvestite was a hit. That role Foxx announced on Tuesday will make it to the big screen in 2010 along with Martin Lawrence playing his “Sheneneh Jenkins” will begin filming in January. The working title is “Sheneneh and Wanda Rob a MotherF@@king Bank.” Foxx and Lawrence made their test demo for producers unscripted. That test pitch was a hit. An interesting fact about his time at In Living Color also deals with the Wanda character. Foxx had just started his gig there when he meet Teddy Rogers. Still in the Wanda get up he ran up to Rogers to give him a music demo. Foxx laughed remembering that Rogers told him he was “feeling very uncomfortable with this right now.”

One of Foxx’s most rewarding roles was playing Ray Charles in the film Ray, which earned him an Academy Award. It was a film that almost wasn’t able to be made. Lacking the funding until Philip Anschutz came on board fronting the entire $35 million needed the film had been held back. Once the funding was in place the movie went full throttle. Foxx recalled meeting Charles for the first time. The real Ray Charles wanted to play the blues with him on the piano. Foxx held his own until striking a wrong note. After some advice from the master Foxx kept up. “Mr. Charles told me a story about life: ‘The notes are right under your fingers, life is harmony.’ I got it right there!” Foxx was very happy that Charles was able to see the film prior to his death. Of course Foxx was also happy to let the Toronto crowd know that his first film was shot in Toronto, the cult classic (Foxx’s words) “Booty Call.” He said that he fell in love with the warmth of the people and the city during that time in 1992. While the LG event did not allow for media questions Foxx held the crowd’s attention while he talked about his past and his true love, music.

“I was born to do music. Seeing people do my songs is just amazing.” Foxx is currently on tour in North America promoting his latest album Intuition. Foxx enjoyed going to Puff Daddy’s parties. When he asked Puff how much it cost him to throw a party the rapper said, “$2 million.” Foxx told him he was going to throw just as cool a party but for only $400. With a studio in his house Foxx kept his word. At one of those parties a talented rapper showed up. Foxx told the guy he had to sing because everyone did at his parties. Foxx was amazed. He and that rapper, Kanye West, went to the back and started working in the studio. The song “Slow Jamz” is a result of that party. The real reason though that Foxx was at the press gathering was the first LG’s Life’s Good Film Fest launch. He is proud to be part of the launch. “People who do film inspire our culture. I have been lucky to work with some of the greatest film makers in our history. This is a great project. No matter who you are you can get your film out. I am happy and excited to do this film festival. It will give people a chance to live their dreams.”


LG Life’s Good FilmFest Launches in Toronto

On August 11 LG Electronics announced the first LG Life’s Good FilmFest, a Canadian film festival offering up $130,000 in prize money for short films. With no entry fee, this film festival will allow all talent to show their stuff.

“There’s really no other film festival like the LG Life’s Good FilmFest. The concept is simple: an engaging HD short film festival with no entry fee and the chance to win incredible cash prizes. We’re absolutely thrilled that Jaime Foxx could join us to help launch the festival, as his amazing work in film, comedy and music really exemplifies the spirit and talent the FilmFest will no doubt attract,” Tim Barnes said to a media gathering to announce the film festival. Tim Barnes, marketing director for LG Electronics Canada told a media gathering about the short film festival. Using old school snail mail, participants can send in their films in hopes of winning the $100,000 grand prize within one of four categories: Animation, Fashion and Music, Sports and Narrative. The other top three films will each win $10,000 in prize money.

Viewers can watch the short films that have been submitted on the LG’s Life’s Good YouTube channel or at the LG Film Fest site. During the holiday season shoppers will be able to take a five-minute break in stores while viewing some of the best short films from the Film Festival. “We will be giving customers a chance to smile.” stated Barnes. The films will all be presented in HD format, giving the best views for the film makers. Deadline for entering this year’s FilmFest is October 16. The winner will be announced in January 2010. Some people that attended questioned Foxx as the celebrity launching the festival because he is not Canadian. Still Foxx does bring a vast array of talent to the table.


Connor Cruise To Star in ‘Red Dawn’ Remake

Connor Cruise, son of actor Tom Cruise, is joining the cast of Red Dawn. The movie is a remake of the 1984 cult classic.
Connor will be tackling the role of Daryl, the mayor’s son. Also signed onto the project are Josh Hutcherson, Isabel Lucas, Edwin Hodge, Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck and Adrianne Palicki. The movie will begin shooting in Detroit this December. The release date has been set for September, 10, 2010. Connor Cruise started acting last year, debuting in “Seven Pounds” as Will Smith’s character son. Red Dawn, the original was rated the most violent movie ever made in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records according to the Guardian. The film centers around the players of an American high school football team that escape when their town is taken over by a Soviet invasion. They become known as the Wolverines, the team’s name. The 1984 film helped jump start the careers of Charlie Sheen and Patrick Swayze who played brothers in the film.

DJ Casey Kasem Retires ‘American Top 20’

Casey Kasem has counted down his last top 20 radio hits this past weekend. The show “American Top 20” is retiring after a 39 year run.
ABC reports:

“We began the weekend of July 4, 1970, and after 39 years this will be our final countdown,” Kasem said matter-of-factly on his “American Top 20” radio show over the weekend.

Kasem, 77, didn’t give any other advance warning that the show was over than a small press release that went virtually unseen.

Kasem has been one of the biggest names in the world of radio along with the likes of Wolfman Jack and Alan Freed.

ABC reports:

“Casey Kasem … Dick Clark … I really felt like these guys were a part of my family. You get this connection when you’re listening to them or when you’re watching them,” said Ryan Seacrest, who took the mic as host of Kasem’s signature “American Top 40” show five years ago. Kasem continued to host two spinoffs, “American Top 20” and “American Top 10.”

On Saturday Kasem signed out how he had for the past 39 years, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

While new broadcasts will not be coming there will be weekly rebroadcasts of Kasem’s programs from the 1970s and 1980s airing on more than 200 radio stations.


LA School Superintendent Upset With GQ’s Bruno Photo Shoot

Sacha Baron Cohen is getting some harsh words after a photo shoot at a local Los Angeles high school was described as pornography. The school and its football players posed for the magazine in what is being called “soft porn.”
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines is not happy with the recent GQ spread featuring Birmingham High School.

Cohen was dressed as his gay character “Bruno” for what GQ is calling its comedy issue. The shoot which Cortines says that the district allowed local students to be “used” features Cohen as Bruno wearing just shoulder pads, tight red shorts, an athletic cup and the football team of Birmingham High School.

Eyewitness News reports that Cortines has bigger issues though than the photo spread. The Los Angeles school district is dealing with huge budget cuts and layoffs.

ABC Local reports:

“The school board should concentrate on other things, like trying to keep their schools running correctly, without worrying about little problems like this,” said Mickey Schechter, Malibu Lake resident.

The GQ issue features Cohen on the cover. The Cohen interview was given in character, presenting a serious conversation with a decidedly Bruno twist. One area covered is style tips by Bruno for those on a budget as Softpedia reports:

“Times are hard, but if you shop around und are prepared to vear some things twice before throwing zem avay, it is still possible to look good on a clothing budget of about $20,000 a veek. Ich mean, obwiously you vill need a bit more zan zat if you are planning on leaving ze house.”


Jackson said to be in good shape the night before he died

How could a man who appeared on the top of the world and full of energy one night drop dead of a sudden cardiac arrest the next day? Those who with Jackson prior to his death say he was in good shape the night before he collapsed at his home.
Jackson was working with a personal trainer in order to prepare for the shows. According to those who were working on the show Jackson was involved in every step of the process, from choreography to watching auditions of the dancers.

Those who were with Jackson on the night prior to his death are saying that the singer was happy and in good shape as he prepared from 50 shows in London at rehearsals in Los Angeles.

Kenny Ortega, the director of Jackson’s show says that he stood side by side with Jackson as they beamed with ‘gladness’ about the upcoming concerts.

Magician-comedian Ed Alonzo echoes Ortega’s feelings of the eve of Jackson’s death.

Nine MSN reports:

Another member of the rehearsal, magician-comedian Ed Alonzo, added: “He didn’t even take a moment to grab a bottle of water or take a rest. He went from one number to the other. ‘Let’s do that again.’

“He looked great and had great energy. He wasn’t singing at full level, but it was as beautiful as ever.”

Max Miller is another who was at the last rehearsal. Miller, a dispatch manager at the studio observed Jackson practice the transition routine between two songs with no music.

The Age reports:

“He was totally dancing like top-notch. He seemed totally good,” Miller said.

“He seemed totally cool and really focused.”

Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of Grammy Awards, had a business meeting with Jackson at the studio on Wednesday night. He is said to have been amazed by the vitality and focus Jackson had as he practiced moves with his backup dancers.

The Age reports:

“There was this one moment, he was moving across the stage and he was doing these trademark Michael moves, and I know I got this big grin on my face, and I started thinking to myself, ‘You know, it’s been years since I’ve seen that,”‘ he said.

“There was that Michael that was just like no one else and no one else could touch,” he said.

“The shame is that new generation won’t see that – but we all came close to being able to see it again.”

Less than 12 hours after the rehearsal ended Jackson was in cardiac arrest. He collapsed at his home with his personal physician, Conrad Murray present. Dr. Murray is a cardiologist who was hired by AEG Live to be with Jackson in London during his series of concerts.

Murray’s employment is not a common practice in the show business world as The Guardian reports.

“As a company we would have preferred not having a physician on staff full-time because it would have been cheaper without the hotels and travel, but Michael was insistent that he be hired,” Phillips told the Associated Press. “Michael said he had a rapport with him.”

The actual cause of death is yet to be determined but many are speculating that Jackson had a heart attack. There are also reports that drugs could have been a factor in his death. Because of that, Murray’s car has been seized by the police. The police believe that it could contain drugs or other evidence. Murray is not considered a criminal suspect in the case.

The shows have multiple insurance policies that covered them in case of cancellation. That coverage may very well though depend on what the toxicology results are.

The Guardian quotes his older brother Jermaine’s announcement of Michael’s death.

“My brother, the legendary King of Pop Michael Jackson, passed away on Thursday 25 June 2009 at 2.26pm,” he told a press conference at the hospital.

“It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of his death is unknown until results of the autopsy are known.

“His personal physician who was with him at the time attempted to resuscitate my brother, as did the paramedics who transported him to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre. Upon arriving at the hospital at approximately 1.14pm, a team of doctors including emergency physicians and cardiologists attempted to resuscitate him for a period of more than hour, and they were unsuccessful.”

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is saying that Jackson’s family also said that the singer was in good health prior to his death.


Farrah Fawcett’s famous red swimsuit poster caused a stir

Farrah’s most famous poster in a one-piece bathing suit was not supposed to happen that way. Bruce McBroom was set to shot the actress, then 29, in a bikini but Farrah liked the one-piece because it covered a scar she had gotten as a child.
The poolside shoot was inexpensive by today’s standards. Farrah did her hair with rollers. The backdrop wasn’t an expensive screen but rather an Indian blanket that had been in McBroom’s pickup truck.

The poster was soon a hit among teen boys across the United States. In the first four days it hit the market more than 12 million copies were sold.

Farrah owned the copyright of the image. Thirty years after the poster hit the market she said she was proud of the photo.

Newsday quotes the actress from 2006:

“I was a little self-conscious, probably because my smile is so big,” Farrah had said.

On June 25, Fawcett died after a long battle with cancer. The actress who burst on the scene in the 1970s in the television show Charlie’s Angels was 62.


The drug Demerol may have caused Michael Jackson’s death

Times Online is reporting that Michael Jackson’s death could be linked to the drug Demerol. The singer had an injection of the powerful pain medication just prior to his collapse. One of the risk factors with the medication is cardiac arrest.
Reports coming out from the Jackson camp say that shortly before the singer collapsed he had an injection of the drug Demerol. A source at the scene said that Jackson’s breathing became shallow and slower until it stopped. This is a common effect when an overdose of Demerol occurs.

The drug Demerol is a narcotic closely related to opiod morphine. It’s not a commonly abused substance because it isn’t usually administered outside of the hospital setting.

Jackson had a history with the drug, quite possibly for medical reasons.

There are several side effects of the medication including lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, sweating, respiratory depression, circulatory depression, respiratory arrest, shock, and cardiac arrest, euphoria, dysphoria, weakness, headache, agitation, tremor, uncoordinated muscle movements, severe convulsions, transient hallucinations and disorientation, visual disturbances, dry mouth, constipation, biliary tract spasm, flushing of the face, tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitation, hypotension, urinary retention. In cases where there has been an overdosage of the drug symptoms include bluish discoloration of the skin, cold and clammy skin, coma or extreme sleepiness, limp, weak muscles, low blood pressure, slow heartbeat, troubled or slowed breathing.

Family lawyer Brian Oxman has confirmed Jackson had trouble with prescription medications he was taking in an effort to deal with his planned London shows.

Kansas City.com reports:

“This was something which I feared and something which I warned about,” Oxman said on CNN. “I can tell you for sure that this is something I warned about. Where there is smoke there is fire.”

An autopsy is planned to be carried out Friday afternoon.

According to Michael’s brotherMarlon Jackson, Jackson was feeling ill and was visited by a doctor the evening prior to his death.

Brother Randy Jackson was with the singer when he collapsed. He was in the ambulance with his brother.

Michael Jackson dealt with several injuries that caused reoccurring pain throughout his lifetime, such as a commercial shoot during the early 1980s. On January 27, 1984 Jackson was rushed to hospital after suffering serious burns to his head and hair during a freak accident on the set.

In 1993, Jackson had an accident during rehearsals for a tour that resulted in back pain for the rest of his life.

According to friend Uri Geller, the stress of a comeback was a factor in the death of Michael Jackson. The Herald Sun quotes Geller:

“He wanted to prove to the world that he is number one, that he is still Michael Jackson, that he can still deliver a thriller,” Geller told BBC radio. “The anticipation, the stress levels, the anxiety for what was coming up in London was so huge … I believe that that stopped his heart”.

Jackson just had a physical that was required by promoters for his upcoming 50-night performance stint. Doctors gave the go-ahead for the show following the exam.


King of Pop Michael Jackson dead at 50

The “King of Pop” music has died at the age of 50 in a Los Angeles hospital. This is a breaking news story. Details will be added as they come in.
According to TMZ, paramedics rushed to Jackson’s home Thursday afternoon. Upon arrival, they found the singer in full cardiac arrest.

A Star Line tourist bus was at the scene when the ambulance carrying Michael Jackson left his home. There was a lot of traffic on the street at Jackson’s residence when the ambulance was taking off from the scene.

According to early reports, Jackson never regained a pulse.

Michael Jackson passed away at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Outside the hospital a crowd has formed.

It has been confirmed that Jackson never regained consciousness after his collapse. He was en-tubed on route to the hospital.

The cause of death has yet to be determined.

The LA Times has confirmed that Jackson died after arriving to the hospital in a deep coma.

Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958. He was the seventh child of Joe and Katherine Jackson.

As a child, Jackson and his brothers performed as the Jackson Five. He left his brothers and went on to be one of the world’s top solo artists in 1971.

Five of his solo albums set world records for best-selling albums: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).

The outpouring of support and comments have spread like wildfire across the Internet and through social networks. Former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page wrote on Twitter: “Michael Jackson, you saved a very shy and awkward 12-year-old boy in 1983. Thank you.”

Ryan Seacrest reported on Twitter that his sources at UCLA have confirmed that Jackson passed away.

Jackson is survived by his three children: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince “Blanket” Michael Jackson II.

The news comes as a shock to the entertainment world, who saw actress and Hollywood icon Farrah Fawcett die just hours earlier. Fawcett lost her three-year battle to anal cancer.


Actress Farrah Fawcett dead at 62

Actress Farrah Fawcett died Thursday after a three-year battle with cancer. The actress who burst on the scene in the 1970s in the television show Charlie’s Angels was 62.
Fawcett died this morning at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Her long-time partner Ryan O’Neal was at her side.

As People reports:

“She’s gone. She now belongs to the ages,” O’Neal tells PEOPLE. “She’s now with her mother and sister and her God. I loved her with all my heart. I will miss her so very, very much. She was in and out of consciousness. I talked to her all through the night. I told her how very much I loved her. She’s in a better place now.”

Fawcett was discovered while attending the University of Texas. She had a degree in Microbiology.

She met Lee Majors in 1968. They married in 1973. They divorced amid scandal in 1982 after being separated in 1979.

Farrah met her lifetime love Ryan O’Neal in 1981. The couple never married but had a son named Redmond in 1985.

The couple were planning on getting married.

After leaving the show Charlie’s Angels, Fawcett proved her acting ability by taking on gritty dramatic roles. Her portrayal of an abused wife in the 1984 The Burning Bed earned her an Emmy nomination.

Fawcett is survived by her and O’Neal’s son Redmond and her parents.