They’ve made it official again. Despite rumors to the contrary, ER really is coming to an end this year. Like a lot of the original cast members, NOAH WYLE is making an appearance tonight. He also hung out on the set a bit (even when he wasn’t filming).
On this day in 1964, Warner Brothers released DEAD RINGER, directed by PAUL HENREID and starring BETTE DAVIS (his co-star in 1949’s NOW, VOYAGER). A low-budget, film noir thriller, the film features DAVIS as twin sisters in a plot that is more than just familiar. Supporting performances by PETER LAWFORD, KARL MALDEN and JEAN HAGEN contribute to this celebration of camp. DEAD RINGER is a charter member of our BAD MOVIES WE LOVE CLUB.
On this day in 1977,Stevie Wonder wins a Grammy for Best Album for Songs in the Key of Lifeand also wins the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocalist.Wonder was born Steveland Morris in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1950. An oxygen deficiency resulting from premature birth left him permanently blind. He began playing the piano when he was four. Motown Records signed him at age 10 after another Motown artist heard him play the harmonica. Adopting the stage name Stevie Wonder, he released his first hit, “Fingertips Part 2,” in 1963. His first album, Little Stevie Wonder: The 12-Year-Old Genius (1963), was a smash, as were his many subsequent albums.When Wonder turned 21, his contract expired. Motown re-signed him for $13 million, giving him complete artistic control of his work. In 1971, the accomplished producer and songwriter teamed up with his wife, Syreeta Wright, to write Where I’m Coming From. Wonder was one of the first musicians to use synthesizers and modern recording technology, allowing him to play most of the instruments himself on his recordings.
By the mid-1980s, he had 56 hit singles–27 in the Top 10, and 9 at No. 1–and 21 hit albums. He has won more than two dozen Grammies, including the Best Album award for Innervisions (1973), Songs in the Key of Life (1976), and In Square Circle (1985). In 1996, he took home three more Grammies for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best Song, and Lifetime Achievement. A philanthropist, Wonder has rallied against apartheid and drunken drivers and has been active in the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation, as well as a host of black civil rights groups. He led the effort to establish a national holiday in honor of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., and he joined the fight to free Nelson Mandela and end apartheid (he was arrested in 1985 outside the South African Embassy). In the 1980s, Wonder’s voice stood out in “We Are the World,” a benefit song to end world hunger. He was the youngest artist ever to receive the Kennedy Center Honors, and he has sold more than 70 million albums. Wonder has five children, including a daughter for whom he wrote the song “Isn’t She Lovely.”
On this day in 1954, 20th Century Fox released NEW FACES OF 1954 (clever, eh?). Directed by HENRY HORNER and with sketches written by MEL BROOKS, this musical/comedy revue was a filmed performance (in CinemaScope, no less) of the highly popular Broadway revue that introduced the likes of EARTHA KITT, PAUL LYNDE, RONNIE GRAHAM, ROBERT CLARY and ALICE GHOSTLY. The attached clip really doesn’t do it justice but it’s all we could find.
Ask WATCHMEN screenwriter DAVID HAYTER (X-MEN, X-MEN 2) what he thinks about the FOX-WARNER BROTHERS battle over the rights to WATCHMEN and you’ll get an earfull. We spoke with him today at the press day for the film and we’re guessing HAYTER won’t be invited back on the Fox lot anytime soon. Listen in below:
Nobody is hotter right now than the teen rockers, THE JONAS BROTHERS. With a new series on The Disney Channel and a huge 3-D concert movie about to hit the screens, THE JO-BROS have almost reached 60’s-era BEATLES status. We sat in on the TCA press conference last month when KEVIN was asked how they manage to lead a ‘normal’ life when being chased by fans and circled by bodyguards. Listen in below: