PASSING ON PART 1
As I was finishing the Rant this week word came that comedian Joey Bishop and actress Deborah Kerr had died. More on both of these great entertainers next week.
PASSING ON PART 2: SO LONG, FAREWELL, AUF WIEDERSIEN...
Werner von Trapp, a member of the family made famous in the musical "The Sound of Music," passed away this week in Vermont. He was 91. Von Trapp was the fourth child of Captain Georg von Trapp and his first wife. In the film version of "The Sound of Music," he was portrayed by the character named Kurt.
TOO BAD HE'S STILL ALIVE
What's the going sentence for an illegal alien who drives drunk and kills a beloved director? Well, if you're Hector Manuel Valazquez-Nava and you killed Bob Clark (and his son), you're going to get 6 years in prison. Which will probably be cut to 18 months because of over crowding, whereby you will be released and back on the road in no time. Hey, two words for you: Eli Roth.
WELCOME TO THE HALL
Apparently showing a great sense of humor, the state of Idaho this week inducted Senator Larry "I'm not gay" Craig into their Hall of Fame. Voters were apparently impressed by the senators self proclaimed "wide stance" and proper restroom courtesy.
Though it hasn't been confirmed, apparently young actor Chris Pine has been selected to play the young James T. Kirk in the upcoming "Star Trek" prequel.
20th Century Fox has announced that May 1 2009 will bring the premiere of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," starring Hugh Jackman.
NOBODY HAD TO TELL ME
Lance Bass, former member of Nsync, disclosed this week that he told Britney Spears he was gay 2 years before he came out. Guess what? I knew 3 years before.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO...? CHAPTER 31: ARMAND ASSANTE
WHERE YOU MIGHT KNOW HIM FROM: "THE MAMBO KINGS," "ER"
AWARDS: 1997 Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special for "Gotti."
1989 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special for "Jack the Ripper."
1998 Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series of Made for TV movie for "The Odyssey."
1997 Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series of Made for TV movie for "Gotti"
1991 Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for "Q & A"
1989 Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Made for TV movie for "Jack the Ripper."
It's funny how things work out. I had decided earlier this week to spotlight Armand Assante, who I hadn't seen (or rather, heard) since he lent his voice to "The Road to El Dorado" in 2000. Then, tonight, I go to a critics screening of "American Gangster," and who shows up? You got it!
I first saw Assante when he played Sylvester Stallone's brother Lenny in "Paradise Alley." In researching this piece, I see that Assante's first acting appearance came as a "wedding guest" in "The Lord's of Flatbush," an early film that starred Stallone. Curious if they met on the set and Sly remembered him when he was casting "Paradise Alley." He really hit the big time when he starred in two very different 1980 comedies. In "Little Darlings" he was the camp counselor that Tatum O'Neal's character tried to seduce. In "Private Benjamin," he was the rich man Goldie Hawn's character fell in love with while in Europe. During the 80s he appeared in other successful films, including "I, the Jury," "Unfaithfully Yours" and the television film "Jack the Ripper," which earned him Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. He would later win an Emmy for his portrayal of mobster John Gotti in "Gotti."
My favorite Assante performance is as Cesar Castillo in "The Mambo Kings." Starring opposite Antonio Banderas, who was making his English language film debut, Assante burns as a Cuban musician who longs to hit the big time. On my list of Oscar worthy performances that were totally ignored by the Academy, Assante in "The Mambo Kings" is near the top of the list.
Assante worked steadily through the 90s and into this decade, appearing in smaller films and on such television shows as "ER," "NAVY NCIS" and "Prison Break." As I mentioned above, he can also be seen in two weeks opposite Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe in Ridley Scott's "American Gangster."
Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.