News & Current Affairs

September 27, 2008

Movie legend Paul Newman dies, 83

Movie legend Paul Newman dies, 83

Hollywood legend Paul Newman has died of cancer at the age of 83, his spokesman has confirmed.

The blue-eyed star of films like Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid had died at home on Friday surrounded by family and close friends, said Jeff Sanderson.

Newman was nominated for an Oscar 10 times, winning the best actor trophy in 1987 for The Color Of Money.

In May 2007, he said he was giving up acting because he could no longer perform to the best of his ability.

“I’m not able to work any more… at the level that I would want to,” he told US broadcaster ABC.
I was always a character actor – I just looked like Little Red Riding Hood
Paul Newman

“You start to lose your memory, you start to lose your confidence, you start to lose your invention.

“So I think that’s pretty much a closed book for me.”

Earlier this year, he pulled out of directing a stage production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men in Connecticut because of unspecified health problems.

Broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson said Newman had been “a real giant of the cinema”.

“He was the link between the great time of Hollywood, the Cary Grant and people like that, and Tom Cruise,” he told BBC News.

“He fills the gap between the two, and fills it in a most extraordinary, dominant manner.”

Hit films

The star won a total of three Oscars

Although his handsome looks and piercing blue eyes made him an ideal romantic lead, Newman often played rebels, tough guys and losers.

“I was always a character actor,” he once said. “I just looked like Little Red Riding Hood.”

He appeared in some 60 movies, including Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, The Sting and Hud.

Along the way, he worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood – including Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall and Tom Hanks.
YOUR MEMORIES
His acting skills will be missed, his films will be watched endlessly
Maggie Jones, Cheltenham, UK

He also appeared with his wife, Joanne Woodward, in several films including Long Hot Summer and Paris Blues. The star later directed his wife in movies such as Rachel, Rachel and The Glass Menagerie.

But his most famous screen partner was undoubtedly Robert Redford, his sidekick in both Butch Cassidy and The Sting.

In addition to his Academy Award for best actor, he was given an honorary Oscar in 1986 “in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft”.

Newman became a professional racing driver and took second place at Le Mans in 1979

In 1994, he won a third Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his charitable work.

His philanthropic efforts included the establishment of summer camps for children who suffered from life-threatening illnesses.

He also donated profits from his Newman’s Own food range to a number of charitable organisations.

Newman’s last film role was as the voice of Doc Hudson, one of the most famous racing cars in history, in the Pixar animation Cars.

It was perhaps a fitting epitaph for the actor, who had a lifelong fascination with the sport – and put his film career on hold in the 1970s to become a professional racing driver.

He is survived by his wife, five children, two grandsons and his older brother Arthur.

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September 14, 2008

Slumdog wins film festival prize

Slumdog wins film festival prize

Danny Boyle

Boyle made his feature film directorial debut with Shallow Grave in 1995

British director Danny Boyle has won the Toronto Film Festival’s main prize for Slumdog Millionaire.

The People’s Choice Award, voted for by film fans, is regarded as an early indicator of success at the Oscars.

The film, starring Dev Patel, charts the life of a poor boy’s rise to fortune living in the Indian slums.

Boyle, 51, received critical acclaim for previous gritty works such as Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and the zombie-horror film 28 Days Later.

Cash prize

Previous winners of the Canadian award include the London gangster film Eastern Promises by acclaimed director David Cronenberg.

It’s a great underdog story
Danny Boyle, on Slumdog Millionaire

Patel plays orphan Jamal, who appears on the Indian version of the hit TV game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Originally, Boyle said he had hoped for an all Bollywood cast.

However, that was not possible as local Indian actors “didn’t look enough like losers” for the main role of poor Jamal.

“It’s a great underdog story,” he said.

“In Bollywood if you want to be a young actor breaking into the system, you have to go to the gym for six hours a day to bulk up. I needed a very average-looking guy.”

Bollywood star Anil Kapoor also stars in the movie, along with newcomer Freida Pinto.

Winners of the award are also presented with $15,000 (about £8,400).

August 8, 2008

Freeman discharged from hospital

Freeman discharged from hospital

Morgan Freeman (file photo)

Morgan Freeman received an Oscar for Million Dollar Baby in 2005

Hollywood star Morgan Freeman has been discharged from a  hospital where he was recovering after a car crash.

In a short statement issued after his release, Freeman said that he was well.

He suffered a broken arm and had to undergo surgery after his car overturned and landed in a ditch near his home in Mississippi on Sunday.

A female passenger was also injured. On Wednesday Freeman’s lawyer said the 71-year-old actor and his wife of 24 years, were getting divorced.

Bill Luckett said: “And for legal and practical purposes the pair have been separated since December 2007.”

Freeman married costume designer Myrna Colley-Lee in June 1984.

The cause of the accident is unclear. Police said it was possible that the actor had fallen asleep at the wheel.

There is no word on the condition of his passenger, Demaris Meter of Memphis.

Freeman won a best-supporting actor Oscar for boxing drama Million Dollar Baby in 2005.

Last year it was announced the actor would play former South African president Nelson Mandela in forthcoming film The Human Factor.

His first credited film appearance was in the 1971 movie Who Says I Can’t Ride a Rainbow!

Prior to that, he had worked as a mechanic in the US Air Force.

August 5, 2008

Morgan Freeman hurt in car crash

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is in hospital after being injured in a car accident near his Mississippi home.

The 71-year-old Dark Knight star is in a serious condition, according to staff at Memphis’s Regional Medical Center.

The accident happened shortly before midnight on Sunday outside Charleston in the Mississippi Delta.

A Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman told the that Mr Freeman’s car left the road and “began to flip several times” before landing in a ditch.

Mr Freeman – who had been driving the car – and a female passenger were airlifted to the Memphis hospital, about 145km (90 miles) north of where the accident occurred in Tallahatchie County.

Talking at the scene

Both the actor and the woman, Demaris Meyer of Memphis, had been wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident, said Sergeant Ben Williams.

“There’s no indication that either alcohol or drugs were involved,” he added.

Mr Freeman was conscious and talking at the scene, he said, but the extent of his injuries was unclear.

There were “no other vehicles or pedestrians involved”, he said.

An investigation into the accident is currently under way.

Clay McFerrin, editor of local newspaper the Sun-Sentinel, told the Associated Press news agency he had been at the scene on Mississippi Highway 32, not far from where Mr Freeman owns a home with his wife.

“He was lucid, conscious,” Mr McFerrin said. “He was talking, joking with some of the rescue workers at one point.”

When one person tried to take a photo with a mobile phone, Mr Freeman joked, “no freebies, no freebies,” Mr McFerrin said.

FREEMAN FACTS
Born 1 June 1937, in Memphis, Tennessee
He spent several years in the US Air Force as a mechanic
Freeman started acting in the 1960s, appearing a couple of off-Broadway shows
His first credited film appearance was in 1971’s Who Says I Can’t Ride a Rainbow!
Freeman starred in some of the biggest films of the 1990s, including The Shawshank Redemption, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Se7en, and Deep Impact
He won an Oscar in 2005 for the film Million Dollar Baby
Freeman plays Lucius Fox in this summer’s blockbuster, The Dark Knight (pictured)

Mechanic

Morgan Freeman is one of Hollywood’s best loved and busiest actors.

Mr Freeman won a best supporting actor Oscar for boxing drama Million Dollar Baby in 2005.

He has twice been nominated in the leading actor category – for The Shawshank Redemption in 1995 and Driving Miss Daisy in 1990.

Last year it was announced the actor would play former South African president Nelson Mandela in forthcoming film The Human Factor.

His first credited film appearance was in the 1971 movie Who Says I Can’t Ride a Rainbow!

Prior to that, he had worked as a mechanic in the US Air Force.

His film appearances include Se7en, Unforgiven and the rebooted Batman franchise.

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