HOLLYWOOD LEGEND KIRK DOUGLAS DIES
NEW YORK (AP) – Kirk Douglas said in 2009 that he “never wanted to be a movie actor” – but preferred to be a star on the stage. Douglas died yesterday at age 103. Douglas had created a legacy as a Hollywood legend. Born Issur Danielovitch, son of a ragman, Douglas became an actor who threw himself into his roles as he established himself as a top leading man. He was known for his chiseled body and his dimpled chin – and as the father of Oscar winner Michael Douglas. Kirk Douglas never won a competitive Oscar; however, he did get an honorary one. He earned a lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute, an honorary Golden Globe – and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
KIRK DOUGLAS REACTIONS
NEW YORK (AP) – From the man he fathered to people he co-starred with, Kirk Douglas is being remembered as a Hollywood legend.
– “To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to,” son Michael Douglas, in an Instagram post.
– “Kirk was one of those rarest creatures, a Movie Star as well as an incredible actor. A man who forged his own destiny & used his notoriety in an attempt to make some difference in the world. He was a gift, we were lucky to have him, and in some ways, we always will,” Lee Grant, who co-starred with Douglas in the 1951 movie “Detective Story,” on Facebook.
– “Kirk Douglas. The inspirational Scalawag. 103 years on this earth. That’s got a nice ring to it! Great hanging with you man,” Danny DeVito, on Twitter.
– “Kirk Douglas will always be an icon in the pantheon of Hollywood. He put himself on the line to break the blacklist. My love goes out to my friend Michael and the whole family,” Rob Reiner, on Twitter.
– “Kirk Douglas loved tennis. He attended many tournaments and I knew him back when I was playing junior tennis in the 1950s. He was a talented actor who truly loved his craft. He loved his family even more. May he Rest In Peace,” Billie Jean King, on Twitter.
– “Kirk Douglas was one of the biggest stars of all time & a brilliant actor with an unforgettable, blazing charisma. He will also be remembered for putting his career on the line by defying the Hollywood Blacklist, hiring writer Dalton Trumbo for the classic Spartacus,” Mark Hamill, on Twitter.
– “RIP (hash)KirkDouglas – a giant. One of a kind. A life most fully and extraordinarily lived. Sending condolences and love to Michael and family,” Paul Reiser, on Twitter.
MORE OSCARS PRESENTERS NAMED
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The last batch of stars who will be presenting Oscars on Sunday night has been named. Producers for the awards show say Tom Hanks, Chris Rock and Taika Waititi will be among those on stage to announce the winners – and present them with their trophies. Others named to handle the presenting chores are Jane Fonda, Oscar Isaac and Natalie Portman, along with Mahershala Ali, Will Ferrell, Keanu Reeves, Regina King, Salma Hayek, Gal Gadot (gah-DUHT’), Spike Lee and Sigourney Weaver.
The Oscars are Sunday and will be on ABC.
SIXTH WOMAN TESTIFIES AT HARVEY WEINSTEIN TRIAL
NEW YORK (AP) – The sixth and final woman to accuse Harvey Weinstein of forcing sex on them has testified at the Hollywood producer’s rape trial in New York. Lauren Marie Young says Weinstein removed his clothes, pulled down her dress – and groped her breast in a Los Angeles hotel bathroom in 2003. Young says when she rebuffed Weinstein, he said, “this is what all actresses do to make it.” Weinstein isn’t charged with what Young says he did. But prosecutors put her on the stand along with four other women to bolster their claim that Weinstein raped one woman and sexually assaulted another. Weinstein, who’s 67, says the sex was consensual.
WITNESS: HARVEY WEINSTEIN FRIEND ARRANGED MEETING
NEW YORK (AP) – One of the women who says Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted suggests the movie producer had help – from a Mexican model. Lauren Marie Young tells jurors when she arrived to meet Weinstein at a Beverly Hills, California hotel, he lured her into a bathroom – and model Claudia Salinas closed the door behind them. After she escaped Weinstein, Young said Salinas was “standing right there” outside the bathroom. Young says she didn’t say anything to Salinas, but “shot her an evil look” before leaving.
IMPEACHMENT SAGA ENDS, AS DOES NETWORK COVERAGE OF TRIAL
NEW YORK (AP) – The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump has ended – and so has the nearly non-stop coverage of the saga. Yesterday’s Senate vote to acquit Trump was shown live on the three major broadcast networks and the cable news networks. Though the outcome was assured, the historic nature of the vote made for compelling TV. The anchors remained silent as the roll calls on the two articles of impeachment were done. The Senate decision to limit the number of cameras in the chamber denied viewers the images of lawmakers as they voted “guilty” or “not guilty.”
TRUMP’S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS SEES AUDIENCE DROP
NEW YORK (AP) – The ratings for this year’s State of the Union address are in – and they represent a sharp drop from last year’s address. Nielsen estimates that 37.2 million people watched President Donald Trump’s speech live on the 12 networks that carried it. That’s down from the 46.8 million who watched it last year. It’s also the smallest audience for the State of the Union during Trump’s presidency. State of the Union viewership tends to fall off the longer a president is in office.
CALIF. SENATOR CALLS FOR RULE CHANGES IN WAKE OF KOBE BRYANT CRASH
LOS ANGELES (AP) – U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is calling for federal rules to require crash warning systems on commercial helicopters – like the one that crashed, killing Kobe Bryant last month. The copter that carried the NBA icon, his daughter and seven others to their deaths didn’t have what’s known as the Terrain Awareness and Warning System – which signals when an aircraft is in danger of hitting ground. The National Transportation Safety Board recommends the system – but doesn’t require it. Some experts have said it is unclear whether the system would have prevented the crash. The investigation into the wreck is continuing.
KOBE BRYANT – BOOKS
UNDATED (AP) – Books created by Kobe Bryant’s company have risen in popularity in the wake of his death. Three of the books created by Bryant’s Granity Studios will occupy the top three spots on a New York Times best-seller list for middle-grade hardcover books. The books are titled, “Epoca: The Tree Of Ecrof,” followed by “Legacy And The Queen” and “The Wizenard: Training Camp.” All three were written for children between the ages of 10 and 14.
Meanwhile, another of Bryant’s books, “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play” has reached No. 1 on Amazon’s non-fiction sales charts this week. Bryant released the book in 2018, the same year he won an Oscar for best animated short for his ode to the game called “Dear Basketball.”
HANK AARON FETED IN ATLANTA AS HE TURNS 86
ATLANTA (AP) – Hank Aaron says he doesn’t feel like he’s 86. But he is and students at an Atlanta college made sure the baseball icon’s big day yesterday didn’t go unnoticed. Atlanta Technical College has renamed a building for the man who broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record in 1974. Aaron is a big financial supporter of the school; his foundation gives scholarships to several students.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2