SONGWRITER AND ‘GOOD TIMES’ ACTRESS JA’NET DUBOIS DIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ja’Net Dubois (juh-NAY’ doo-BWAH’), who played the vivacious neighbor Willona Woods on “Good Times” and composed and sang the theme song for “The Jeffersons” has died. Dubois’ song “Movin’ on Up” provided a joyous intro to “The Jeffersons” during the show’s 10-season run and has achieved enduring popularity in films and on other television shows. BernNadette Stanis, who played Thelma Evans Anderson on “Good Times,” said she learned of her friend’s death Tuesday from Dubois’ daughter. Dubois had a prolific career beyond the 1970s hit “Good Times,” winning two Emmy Awards for her voice work on the WB series “The PJs.”
JURY ENDS 1ST DAY OF DELIBERATIONS IN WEINSTEIN’S RAPE TRIAL
NEW YORK (AP) – A jury has ended its first day of deliberations in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein. The jury is weighing the evidence after often-emotional testimony from women who accused the Hollywood producer of sexual assault. Weinstein is charged with rape and sexual abuse in two separate incidents. Other accusers testified as part of the prosecution’s effort to show he used the same tactics to victimize many women over the years. Weinstein maintains any sexual conduct was consensual.
‘FRESH OFF THE BOAT’ LEAVING INDELIBLE MARK ON TV LANDSCAPE
Even before “Fresh Off the Boat” hit the airwaves on ABC in February 2015, the show was facing pressure that other new shows weren’t.áThe sitcom centered on a Taiwanese-Chinese American family living in predominantly white Orlando, Florida in the 1990s. It was the first network TV comedy with an all-Asian cast since Margaret Cho’s “All-American Girl” premiered 20 years earlier.áNow, after six seasons, “Fresh Off the Boat” will make its final voyage Friday. Without question, the show will be immortalized in the canon of Asian-American representation.áAnd having passed 100 episodes, the Huangs will live on in syndication.
FAWLTY TOWERS ACTOR COMPLAINS OF TREATMENT IN RI HOTEL
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – British actor and comedian John Cleese, who once portrayed an inept hotel manager in the series “Fawlty Towers,”áis complaining about his treatment at a Rhode Island hotel. áCleese tweeted Sunday to his 5.7 million followers that he was cold inside his room at the Omni Providence Hotel and that the hotel staff could do nothing to help him. áHe later posted that his tweeting had worked and the hotel had fixed the problem. The hotel told the Providence Journal that its engineering staff was dispatched to resolve the issue shortly after receiving Cleese’s complaint.
PORTMAN, COPELAND TO SPEAK AT BOOKSELLERS CONVENTION
NEW YORK (AP) – Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman and dancer Misty Copeland will be among the scheduled speakers during an author’s breakfast at BookExpo, which will take place the last week of May at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Portman and Copeland will discuss a shared passion – children’s books. Portman will be promoting her debut book, “Natalie Portman’s Fables,” in which she retells “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Three Little Pigs” and “City Mouse/Country Mouse.” Copeland will discuss “Bunheads,” the first of a planned picture book series based on her experiences in ballet. Author Judy Blume will serve as host.
JANE FONDA TO SPEAK AT COMMEMORATION OF KENT STATE SHOOTINGS
KENT, Ohio (AP) – Jane Fonda is among speakers tapped to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings. The 82-year-old actress and activist will highlight four days of events the Ohio university has planned to explore the lasting impacts of the events of May 4, 1970, considered pivotal in turning public sentiment against the Vietnam War. On that day, the Ohio National Guard fired on students during an anti-war protest, killing four and injuring nine others. Fonda plans to reflect on her life in social activism and the legacy of the shootings during her speech on May 3.
TRUMP COMMUTES FORMER ILLINOIS GOV. BLAGOJEVICH’S SENTENCE
CHICAGO (AP) – President Donald Trump has commuted the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY’-uh-vitch). Trump told reporters the sentence was “ridiculous.” The former governor was convicted of political corruption in 2010, just months after he appeared on Trump’s reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice.” He was convicted on charges included seeking to sell an appointment to Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat and trying to shake down a children’s hospital. Blagojevich walked out of prison on Tuesday.