Troubled Diva Whitney Houston: Dead At 48

whitney-houstonIt’s been reported that talented but troubled pop diva WHITNEY HOUSTON has died of undisclosed causes at the age of 48.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1963, the cousin of singer DIONNE WARWICK and the daughter of a gospel singer, HOUSTON grew up singing in a church choir and landed professional management by the time she turned 15. Trained as a gospel singer, some of HOUSTON’S best-known hits include HOW WILL I KNOW, GREATEST LOVE OF ALL and I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU from the 1992 movie THE BODYGUARD, in which she also starred.

Since her career kicked off in 1985 with her self-titled debut album, HOUSTON has sold more than 170 million records, singles and videos around the world and is one of music’s most decorated female artists, with more than 400 awards. Recent years, however, saw her life plagued with drug problems, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage and divorce from singer BOBBY BROWN.

ON THIS DAY IN MOVIES: TAXI DRIVER

taxi_driver_ver2On this day in 1976, COLUMBIA PICTURES released TAXI DRIVER. Directed by MARTIN SCORSESE from a script by PAUL SCHRADER, this story of a disturbed Vietnam vet was as much fascinating as it was disturbing and contributed hugely to the ’70s film movement. The flawless cast includes ROBERT DeNIRO, JODIE FOSTER, ALBERT BROOKS, HARVEY KEITEL, PETER BOYLE, CYBILL SHEPHERD, BRENDA DICKSON and DIAHNNE ABBOTT.

ON THIS DAY IN SHOW BIZ: WALT DISNEY APPEARS ON “TOAST OF THE TOWN”

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On this day in 1953, Walt Disney is featured in a one-hour special broadcast of Ed Sullivan’s hit show The Toast of the Town. The following year, Disney launched his own show, which ultimately broke Ed Sullivan’s record as longest-running prime-time network program. Ed Sullivan’s show ran from 1948 to 1971, but Walt Disney’s show, which ran under several names, including Disneyland, Walt Disney Presents, and The Wonderful World of Disney, was on the air from 1954 to 1990, more than 10 years longer than Ed Sullivan.

(With thanks to History.com)

ON THIS DAY IN MOVIES: THE GIRL CAN’T HELP IT

girl-cant-help-itOn this day in 1957, 20TH CENTURY FOX celebrated the NYC release of THE GIRL CAN’T HELP IT. Directed by FRANK TASHLIN from a script he co-wrote with HERBERT BLAKE, this comedy with music is rough around the edges but, ultimately, pretty satisfying. The interesting cast includes JAYNE MANSFIELD, TOM EWELL, EDMOND O’BRIEN, JULIE LONDON, RAY ANTHONY, BARRY GORDON, HENRY JONES, JUANITA MOORE and FATS DOMINO. Actually, with a cast list like that, this qualifies as a “must see!”

ON THIS DAY IN MOVIES: THE ERRAND BOY

errand-boyOn this day in 1962, PARAMOUNT PICTURES celebrated the NYC opening of THE ERRAND BOY. Directed by JERRY LEWIS from a script he co-wrote, this is one of the films that put his solo career on the map and gained him the title of “auteur”. A satire of films and filmmakers, THE ERRAND BOY is typically over-the-top but has several brilliant moments. The supporting cast features BRIAN DONLEVY, DICK WESSON, RENEE TAYLOR, KATHLEEN FREEMAN, DOODLES WEAVER and FRITZ FELD.