“FIRST MAN” AUTHOR EXPLAINS HOW HE GOT TO WORK WITH NEIL ARMSTRONG
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama author who struck up a relationship with Neil Armstrong nearly two decades ago is behind a new movie about the first person to walk on the moon. The best-selling biography “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong,” by Auburn University professor emeritus James Hansen, has been made into “First Man,” which debuted recently at the Venice Film Festival. Hansen said his relationship with the late Apollo 11 astronaut began after he wrote a letter to the famously private Armstrong at the urging of students in 1999. The astronaut responded to the letter, to Hansen’s surprise. Hansen later spent hours interviewing Armstrong as he wrote the only authorized biography of the astronaut. Hanson says the nicest compliment Armstrong gave him was, “Jim, you wrote exactly the book you told me you were going to write.” “First Man” hits theaters Oct. 12.
“SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION” PRISON PREPARES FOR 25th ANNIVERSARY
MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) – The former prison that served as the setting for “The Shawshank Redemption” is already getting ready for next year’s 25th anniversary of the film. The Akron Beacon Journal reports for three days beginning Aug. 16, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, will hold events celebrating the movie. The reformatory’s creative marketing director, Dan Smith, says he can’t yet say which actors are coming back, but the events will be “fun-packed and interactive.” The upcoming film “Escape Plan 3: Devil’s Station,” starring Sylvester Stallone, filmed at the prison last fall. That film comes out sometime next year.
“ODD COUPLE” ACTRESS CAROLE SHELLEY DIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Carole Shelley, who played one of the Pigeon Sisters in “The Odd Couple,” has died. The Hollywood Reporter reports Shelley died of cancer at her home in New York on Friday at the age of 79. Shelley and Monica Evans played the sisters who live above Felix and Oscar in “The Odd Couple” and go on a double date with them. Shelley and Evans played the sisters in the stage, film and TV versions of “The Odd Couple,” the rare actors who have done the same roles for all three. Shelley and Evans also voiced the English geese in “The Aristocrats” and Lady Kluck and Maid Marion in the Disney version of “Robin Hood.”