April 24, 2014

Tag Archives: Mike Nichols

Harrison Ford to be Honored at the Hollywood Film Awards

Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive producer of the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards, announced today that they will be honoring Academy Award®-nominated actor Harrison Ford with this year’s “Hollywood Career Achievement Award.” The actor—who earlier this year earned critical and audience raves for his outstanding portrayal of baseball trailblazer Branch Rickey in Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ hit drama “42”—has been an international box office favorite for four decades.
The award will be presented at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony on Monday evening, October 21, 2013, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
“It is a great honor to celebrate Harrison Ford’s extraordinary talent and remarkable career with our ‘Hollywood Career Achievement Award,’” said Carlos de Abreu, Founder and Executive Producer of the Hollywood Film Awards.
In addition to his recent appearance in Brian Helgeland’s widely praised drama “42,” the true story of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, Harrison Ford has starred in some of the most successful and acclaimed films in cinema history, including the landmark “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises. In 1986, he earned an Oscar® nomination for his performance in Peter Weir’s “Witness,” for which he also received Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations. Ford subsequently garnered three more Best Actor Golden Globe nominations: for his performances in Weir’s 1986 drama “The Mosquito Coast”; the 1994 blockbuster “The Fugitive,” for director Andrew Davis; and Sydney Pollack’s 1996 remake of “Sabrina.” Ford’s many other film credits include Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation” and “Apocalypse Now”; Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic “Blade Runner”; Mike Nichols’ “Working Girl”; the title role in the Nichols-directed drama “Regarding Henry”; Alan J. Pakula’s “Presumed Innocent”; Philip Noyce’s “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger”; Wolfgang Petersen’s “Air Force One”; Robert Zemeckis’s “What Lies Beneath”; Kathryn Bigelow’s “K-19: The Widowmaker,” which he also executive produced; Roger Michell’s “Morning Glory”; and Jon Favreau’s “Cowboys & Aliens.”
The Hollywood Film Awards honors cherished stars, filmmakers and up-and-coming talent, and traditionally kicks off the film awards season with the biggest stars and top industry executives in attendance.
“We are very proud to be the first stop of the awards season. In the last ten years, a total of 96 Oscar® nominations and 34 Oscars® were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards,” said de Abreu.
Last year’s awards show received more than 41 million media impressions, in addition to more than 300 [...]

Hollywood lost a significant voice – Nora Ephron

Hollywoodnews.com: Hollywood lost a significant voice. Screenwriter/director Nora Ephron, a three-time Oscar nominee, lost her battle with leukemia. She was 71.
A prolific writer, Ephron’s first credits stretched back to the 1973 television series “Adam’s Rib.” Ten years after, she struck it big on the silver screen when she collaborated with screenwriter Alice Arlen on Mike Nichols’ “Silkwood,” earning Ephron the first of three Oscar noms.

Though she continued to write, penning such scripts as “Heartburn,” “Julie & Julia” and “When Harry Met Sally.” Ephron transitioned to the director’s chair in 1992 with the Julie Kavner vehicle “This Is My Life.” She’d have arguably her biggest hit the following year with 1993′s “Sleepless in Seattle,” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
“Nora was an era,” Ryan said of her director, in a statement. “We pictured ourselves inside her dreams and they became ours. All wisdom, wit and sparkle lights, what a treat she was, what a blessing. I marvel again and again, what a life… To have created simple happiness in people, to have added to the sum of delight in the world.”
Ephron is survived by her two sons, Jacob and Max Bernstein, and her third husband Nicholas Pileggio.
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Shirley MacLain Receives AFI Lifetime Achievement Award

HollywoodNews.com: Last night, stage and screen legend Shirley MacLaine was lauded with the 40th annual AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film. Some of Hollywood’s most revered luminaries turned out to pay tribute to one of America’s most beloved artists. The gala, entitled “TV Land Presents: AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Shirley MacLaine,” was taped at historic Stage 15 at Sony Pictures Studios last evening and will air on TV Land on Sunday, June 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The evening’s festivities kicked off with MacLaine entering the gala of over 1,000 attendees to “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” a song she made famous in the 1969 screen version of “Sweet Charity.” Immediately following dinner, Warren Beatty, MacLaine’s brother, Academy Award®-winning actor and fellow AFI Life Achievement Award recipient (2008), talked about how the AFI Life Achievement Award was established in 1973 to ensure that “the great masters of film may take their deserved place in history beside leaders in other arts” and introduced the award recipients in attendance to celebrate MacLaine and the award’s 40th anniversary – Sidney Poitier (1992), Jack Nicholson (1994), Steven Spielberg (1995), Meryl Streep (2004) and Morgan Freeman (2011).
Academy Award®-winning actress Julia Roberts took the stage to speak about MacLaine’s love for playing cards and “the boys” of her life – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and even Chicago mob boss, Sam Giancana. Fellow “Steel Magnolias” star Sally Field paid tribute to MacLaine by saying, “She is generous beyond a fault, a one of a kind original and an extraordinary actor. She’s a renowned world traveler who collects people. They are her most valued treasures. And I’m very proud to be included in her lifelong collection.” Dakota Fanning (“I Am Sam”) and Katherine Heigl (“27 Dresses”) both spoke about how MacLaine had inspired them in their own journeys in Hollywood. John Travolta introduced an inspiring video with footage from “Sweet Charity” and described MacLaine as “a woman who does it all – but always first – a dancer.” He went on to say that she “fills the world with a presence never seen before.”
Last year’s AFI Life Achievement Award recipient, Morgan Freeman, recounted MacLaine’s impressive journey that led her to where she is today, and Elizabeth McGovern, who stars on “Downton Abbey,” shared a never-before-seen clip from [...]

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield in “Death of a Salesman”

By Roger Friedman
HollywoodNews.com: The greatest American play? Quite possibly Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” set in 1949 and revived last night on Broadway in a production that is outstanding. Mike Nichols directed and reinvented Miller’s classic, with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman, Andrew Garfield (the new movie Spider Man) as Biff, Linda Emonds as Willy’s wife Linda, and Finn Wittrock as Happy. This is a historic production, quite possibly the best ever (and there have been many great ones starring Dustin Hoffman, Brian Dennehy, Lee J. Cobb, George C. Scott). Thursday night’s star studded opening was the second time I’ve seen this production, and it’s only gotten more devastating, deep, emotional, and overwhelming. Philip Seymour Hoffman is our generation’s Jason Robards. He is perfection as Willy Loman in all aspects–from Willy’s wrestling with his past (the father and brother who left him) to his denial about more current events, and his increasing mental in capacities. PSH has an Oscar for “Capote” but this is his Tony Award. He cannot be missed.
The whole cast is spot on. Considering it’s a play about fathers and sons, I was particularly moved by Andrew Garfield’s father’s reaction to seeing his son as the angry ne’er do well, Biff. At the party following the opening night at Bryant Park Grill, Mr. Garfield and Andrew just kept hugging and crying. The cast is extremely worn out emotionally after each performance. Even last night Mike Nichols, who’s sat through every preview to give “notes,” told me he was overwhelmed. Arthur Miller’s famous actress sister, Joan Copeland, t0ld me it was the best production she’d seen since the original. Martin Short told me that Tom Hanks had seen it a few days ago and declared it “the best thing he’s ever seen, period.” Columbia Pictures’ Amy Pascal came to congratulate her upcoming Spider Man.
Scott Rudin produced this extravaganza, and it made for quite a glittering night. In the audience were Nichols and Diane Sawyer, Paul Simon, Barbara Walters (who came with David Geffen), Julianna Margulies, Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich, Catherine Keener, Amy Ryan, Spike Lee, Anjelica Huston, Meryl Streep and Don Gummer, and Garfield’s actress gf Emma Stone, Julia Roberts, plus “Saturday Night Live” star Bill Hader, who said he almost fainted when Nichols complimented his “SNL” work. It was kind of funny at one point seeing Streep, Gummer, Nichols, Sawyer and Huston all dining [...]

Julia Roberts is caliente enough for the Donostia honor

HollywoodNews.com: On the heels of having a great $23.7 million weekend at the box office with “Eat Pray Love,” Julia Roberts is being lauded with the Donostia Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
The Award has a history of being given to such greats as Bette Davis and Robert De Niro. The Donostia Award is given to those filmmakers and actors for their career achievement.
Roberts will receive the award on September 20. Variety reported the news today.
The festival was impressed with Roberts’ track record as an actress. Not only has she been a huge box office draw, but has worked with such critically acclaimed directors as Woody Allen, Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh.
The actress will utilize her time at the festival as a springboard for the Spanish launch of “Eat Pray Love” which bows on September 24. Co-stars Richard Jenkins, Javier Bardem and director Ryan Murphy will be on hand to present the film.
Roberts received a best actress Oscar for her work in 2000’s “Erin Brockovich.” She was also nominated for her supporting actress work in 1989’s “Steel Magnolias” and again as an actress in 1990’s “Pretty Woman.”
Photo Credit: Sony
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Hollywood Money Manager Ken Starr still in jail despite attempts to get bail

By Roger Friedman
HollywoodNews.com: Ken Starr is still in jail today, despite attempts to get bail. The imprisoned money manager is charged with defrauding dozens of celebrity clients of at least $59 million. Some of the names include Uma Thurman, Carly Simon, Al Pacino, Neil Simon, Lauren Bacall and Mike Nichols.
The government is building its case against Starr and looking for his assets. They might be interested to know that Starr has four automobiles that might not have been on anyone’s list.
Recently an auto insurance company sent out a letter because Starr was behind on his payments. The cars are a 2010 Yukon Denali, and three Mercedes.
The Denali is the most interesting because its policy carried the name of another driver. That driver, it’s suspected, may have been chauffeuring around Marisa Starr, Ken’s ex wife and mother of his two younger children. The Starrs divorced in May 2007. As I reported a few weeks ago, Marisa Starr got a very nice settlement package from her ex: $750,000 a year in perpetuity, plus a possible extra cash lump sum settlement and a $2,500 a week salary from Starr & Co. investment advisers.
“She knows where all the bodies are buried,” says a source.
Marisa Starr’s divorce arrangement with Ken Starr should be of interest to prosecutors. Even though the couple was divorced, Marisa was still living like she married to Starr.
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Angelina Jolie interested in playing Elizabeth Taylor in a new film

HollywoodNews.com: Oscar-winner Angelia Jolie has expressed interest in playing screen icon Elizabeth Taylor in a new film that chronicles her and Richard Burton’s infamous love affair.
Catherine Zeta-Jones’ name has also been linked to the project, with Russell Crowe, Clive Owen and Colin Farrell all reportedly considering the role of the famed Welsh actor.
“Charlie Wilson’s War” director Mike Nichols is said to have expressed interest in helming the production. The big-screen biopic will be based on the book Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger, which charts the famed couple’s story of love, divorce and remarriage, Entertainment Tonight reports.
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Source: Splash News

Jailed Celeb Money Manager Gave Ex Wife $750K a Year

By Roger Friedman
hollywoodnews.com: Ken Starr sits in a downtown Manhattan jail, accused of stealing at least $60 million from his celebrity clients like Neil Simon, Carly Simon, Uma Thurman, Mike Nichols, Lauren Bacall and possibly Michael Douglas’s ex wife, Diandra.
His fourth and current wife, Diane Passage, remains in limbo, sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and rendered an object of vulnerability by paparazzi and tabloids because she was once a part time stripper at Scores.
But there’s a lot we don’t know yet, and neither does Passage, according to friends.
For example, she just confirmed in the last week that she was Wife No. 4, not Number 3. When she married Starr in 2007, he told her he had just two exes–Gail, mother of his son, Ronald, 41, who also runs his companies; and Marisa Vucci, 46, mother of his two younger daughters.
I am told that Starr, 66, has recently owned up to Wife No. 2, Sheila G. Starr, a real estate agent on the Upper West Side with Prudential Douglas Elliman. They divorced in 1991. Sheila Starr, whom I spoke with, is lovely but refuses to answer questions about her marriage. When I asked her if she was surprised about her ex-husband’s arrest, she said, “Yes.”
More interesting, though, is Marisa Starr, who’s been painted as a victim in the Starr saga. Sources say that Diane Passage has only recently learned that Ken was still married to Marisa when Passage became engaged to him in 2006.
Even more interesting: Starr and Marisa only signed their divorce agreement on May 9, 2007–just two weeks before Starr’s marriage to Passage. And Marisa, mother of Starr’s two daughters, got quite a nice send off. She receives $750,000 a year for an unspecified amount of time. There’s no cap on it. In addition, sources say she was still receiving $2,500 a week from Starr and Company until Ken was arrested on May 27th.
“Plus she got a lump sum that’s not on the books,” claims a source close to Passage about the former Marisa Vucci.
Both Sheila Starr and Marisa Vucci Starr may prove to be of some interest to investigators and prosecutors. The period of time they covered with Ken Starr is simultaneous to some of his most twisted business dealings including his handling of the estate of Arthur Stanton and advising of his widow, Joan Stanton, who died last year. Earlier this year Starr settled a [...]

Mike Nichols looks to work with Meryl Streep again on ‘Springs’

Hollywoodnews.com: Mike Nichols is looking to direct Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges in “Great Hope Springs” for Mandate Pictures.
All parties are in negotiations per Empire magazine.
In the vein of Nichols’ 1986 film “Heartburn,” which also starred Streep, “Springs” follows a married couple of 30 years who are on the rocks and look to salvage their life together in an intense weekend counseling session.
Originally, Jessie Nelson, director of “I Am Sam” was set to direct.
Nichols has been flirting lately with bringing Patricia Highsmith’s novel “Deep Water” to the screen. In addition to “Heartburn,” Nichols’ work with Streep includes “Silkwood,” “Postcards from the Edge” and the HBO telepic “Angels in America.” “Silkwood” and “Postcards” bore two Oscar acting nominations for Streep.
“Springs” will mark Nichols’ first collaboration with Jeff Bridges.
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Jack Nicholson Tells Mike Nichols: “Even Oysters Have Enemies”

By Roger Friedman
hollywoodnews.com: Jack Nicholson showed up very late for Mike Nichols’ big AFI tribute last week in Hollywood—he’d been watching the Lakers, of course. Then Nicholson made everyone including Robin Williams—who later riffed on this—scratch their heads with his comments.
Nicholson said: ”This is so wonderful about what every one is saying about you. Remember, though, Mike: even oysters have enemies.” Jack tried to explain himself by adding: “I know you like animals a lot , that’s why I told the oyster joke.”
The rest of the A List stars who came out for director Nichols (pictured here with wife Diane Sawyer) were a little obtuse. You can see it all on June 26 on TV Land, but our pal Leah Sydney was there and sent along some of the bon mots from the show.
Some of the tributes were odd, others poignant or funny. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel made a surprise appearance to kick things off and sang “Mrs. Robinson” from the “The Graduate.” That alone would have been worth the price of the evening. Then an avalanche of stars rolled through Stage 15 at Sony Studios (the same place where Judy Garland once skipped down the Yellow Brick Road.)
Among the speakers were all the greats Nichols has directed on film plus a few famous friends: Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty and sister Shirley MacLaine, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, Nora Ephron, Eric Idle, Emma Thompson, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, and Mary Louise Parker.
Nichols, by the way, counts Albert Einstein as a cousin, which of course was much fodder for jokes. Mike’s famous comedy partner Elaine May was the first to bring it up. She said: “Albert Einstein was a very sad man when he died because he hadn’t achieved a Combined Field Theory and that’s gotta be depressing. But if he’s watching tonight- he’s got to be immensely happy that he’s Mike Nichols’ cousin.” She added: “This is a very emotional night for me because 30 years ago I bought this dress for his first lifetime achievement award.”
Cher told the most revealing story of her own career, recalling that when she’d gone to see the trailer for “Silkwood” at a Westwood theater, the crowd clapped for Meryl Streep’s name, Kurt Russell’s name, but laughed when her own name appeaered on the screen. She left the theater crying, and called Nichols. [...]

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