Entertainment

Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in ‘Star Wars,’ has died

Peter Mayhew, the actor best known for playing the character Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” movie series, died on Tuesday, his family announced on his Twitter page. He was 74 years old. “The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home,” the tweet posted on Thursday said. Mayhew’s cause of death is unclear. Accompanying the post was an image of Mayhew and the beloved Wookie character, as well as a longer statement from his family that laid out which “Star Wars” movies the actor appeared in. They included “the original Star Wars trilogy, episode 3 of the prequels, and the New Trilogy.” “He fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the family said, adding that Mayhew served as a consultant for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in order to “teach his successor.” “He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films from his knock kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth,” the statement said. “But, to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film.” The statement went on to highlight how important Mayhew’s fellow cast members and fans were to him. It also highlighted his work with charities and other organizations, as well as the start of the Peter Mayhew Foundation. “As he grew older he continued to ‘soldier on’ as he put it and was completely in his element around his fans and supporters,” the statement said. “He grew great strength from the energy of his family, friends and the fans he knew and loved.” Mayhew leaves behind his wife, Angie and his three children, the statement said. Following word of Mayhew’s death, “Star Wars” co-star Mark Hamill — who played Luke Skywalker in the films — tweeted his sadness over the passing of his friend. “He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I’m grateful for the memories we shared & I’m a better man for just having known him,” he wrote. “Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken.” Last summer, Mayhew revealed on Twitter that he’d undergone spinal surgery “to improve my mobility,” which he said had been successful. The operation would prevent him from attending a Comic Con event, he said.

We’re so very saddened to hear of Peter’s passing.  Thanks for all the laughs and great memories, “Chewy.”  May the force be with you, always.  R.I.P.

‘Avengers: Endgame’ leaves box office records in the dust

The universe belongs to Marvel. “Avengers: Endgame” shattered the record for biggest opening weekend with an estimated $350 million in ticket sales domestically and $1.2 billion globally, reaching a new pinnacle in the blockbuster era that the comic-book studio has come to dominate. The “Avengers” finale far exceeded even its own gargantuan expectations, according to studio estimates Sunday. The movie had been forecast to open between $260 million and $300 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, but moviegoers turned out in such droves that “Endgame” blew past the previous record of $257.7 million, set last year by “Avengers: Infinity War” when it narrowly surpassed “The Force Awakens.” “Endgame” was just as enormous overseas. Worldwide, it obliterated the previous record of $640.5 million, also set by “Infinity War.” (“Infinity War” didn’t open in China, the world’s second largest movie market, until two weeks after its debut.) “Endgame” set a new weekend record in China, too, where it made $330.5 million. In one fell swoop, “Endgame” has already made more than movies like “Skyfall,” ”Aquaman” and “The Dark Knight Rises” grossed in their entire runs, not accounting for inflation. Alan Horn, Disney chairman, credited Marvel Studios and its president, Kevin Feige, for challenging “notions of what is possible at the movie theater.” “This weekend’s monumental success is a testament to the world they’ve envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world,” Horn said in a statement. To accommodate demand, the Walt Disney Co. released “Endgame” in more theaters — 4,662 in the U.S. and Canada — than any opening before. Advance ticketing services set new records. Early ticket buyers crashed AMC’s website. And starting Thursday, some theaters even stayed open 72 hours straight. “We’ve got some really tired staff,” said John Fithian, president and chief executive of the National Association of Theater Owners. “I talked to an exhibitor in Kansas who said, ‘I’ve never sold out a 7 a.m. show on Saturday morning before,’ and they were doing it all across their circuit.” Not working in the film’s favor was its lengthy running time: 181 minutes. But theaters kept added thousands of showings for “Endgame” to get it on more screens than any movie before to satiate the frenzy around “Endgame.” Joe and Anthony Russo’s film ties together the “Avengers” storyline as well as the previous 21 releases of the Marvel “cinematic universe,” begun with 2008’s “Iron Man.” For an industry dogged by uncertainty over the growing role of streaming, the weekend was a mammoth display of the movie theater’s lucrative potency. Fithian called it possibly “the most significant moment in the modern history of the movie business.” “We’re looking at more than 30 million American and more than 100 million global guests that experienced ‘Endgame’ on the big screen in one weekend,” Fithian said. “The numbers are just staggering.” Further boosting the results for “Endgame” were good reviews; it currently ranks as 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes…

Wow..  Endgame was truly epic.  There were cheers and tears.  I was exhausted after watching Friday night.  Of course, we won’t be like the Washington Post and won’t spoil anything.   Great movie.  It was the cinematic event of a generation; not just this summer, or this year.  Definitely a worthy end to the saga spanning 11 years.   🙂

Donny and Marie Osmond announce ending to 11-year Las Vegas residency

It’s an end of an era. Donny and Marie Osmond are saying goodbye to their Las Vegas show later this year, concluding an 11-year residency. The brother-sister duo made the announcement during an appearance on “Good Morning America” on Thursday. “It’s been rumored that we’re bringing Donny & Marie to an end here in Las Vegas,” Donny, 61, told the outlet. “And we’re here to say it’s official.” “We have been through so much the last 11 years. Her particularly,” Donny went on to say about Marie, 59. “And she gets on stage and she’s such a professional,” he gushed. “She does a great job. I’m gonna miss this a lot… There’s a bond here that will never be broken.” Their final performance at the Flamingo Las Vegas is scheduled for Nov. 16. According to the casino, the two launched their residency back in September 2008, planning for just a six-week concert engagement. However, the residency was extended again and again, marking a decade of performances last year. Despite ending their long-time show, Donny hinted that the duo will still continue to perform in some way. “It’s the end of the Donny & Marie show, it’s not the end of Donny and Marie,” he said.

I remember way back when they did their variety show in the mid-late ’70s…  Definitely the “end of an era.”  But, does sound like there will still be ” a little bit country, and a little bit rock n roll” in some fashion or other after their show ends in Vegas in November.     🙂

 

Chicago police blast Jussie Smollett ‘phony attack’: ‘Bogus police reports cause real harm’

Chicago cops laid out their case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett Thursday morning, accusing the TV star of orchestrating an elaborate hoax involving two “bogus” hate crimes — one involving an alleged attack, and one involving a threatening letter — all in order to get a pay raise. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett orchestrated a “phony attack” in order to take “advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.” Johnson said at a news conference Thursday that Smollett, 36, also sent a racist and homophobic threatening letter to himself at the Fox studio lot before the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary. “I’m left hanging my head and asking why,” a visibly upset Johnson told reporters. “Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol…how can an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city by making this false claim?” He added, “Bogus police reports cause real harm.” Following three weeks of mounting suspicions, Smollett, who is accused of filing a false police report, was charged Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct. He turned himself in at central booking early Thursday. If convicted, he is facing up to three years in prison. Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said the masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled “This is MAGA country” — an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — before fleeing. But that isn’t how police say it all went down. Johnson said police found the “check that [Smollett] used to pay [two brothers]” to fake the beating, adding he paid them $3,500 “for the two of them in total, and then $500 upon return.” He said the attack “was staged, the brothers had on gloves during the (air quotes) ‘staged attack’ where they punched him a little, but as far as we can tell, the scratching and bruising that you saw on [Smollett’s] face was most likely self-inflicted.” Johnson was also incensed at the spotlight the incident put on his town for the past three weeks. “This is shameful because it painted this city that we all love and work hard in, in a negative connotation,” he said. “To insinuate and stage a hate crime of that nature when he knew that as a celebrity he’d get a lot of attention… It’s despicable. It makes you wonder what’s going through someone’s mind.” “As a black man, who spent his entire life living the city of Chicago, I know the racial divide that exists here. I know how hard it’s been for our city and our nation to come together,” he said. Johnson added that “absolute justice would be an apology to this city that he smeared….admitting what he did and then be man enough to offer what he should offer up in terms of all the resources that were put into this.”

Agreed..  Jussie Smollet is total garbage.  IF found guilty (as it would appear he will be, but we’ll let the legal process out), he should pay the max fine (which would be nothing to him), and actually do the years in prison.  In addition, FOX should fire him from the Empire series, and this loser should repay the City of Chicago for the police resources that we were used investigating this phony hate crime.   Finally he needs to make a public apology on camera to the good people of Chicago for staging this outrageous stunt which could have turned into a riot.  Remember Rodney King in LA?   Or what happened in Ferguson?  That was all based on a lie.  Remember, “Hands up, don’t shoot?”  That NEVER happened.  But, even after it was proven that never happened, the agenda-driven, dominantly liberal mainstream media continued to promote it to fit their narrative.  Yeah..  That all could have happened in Chicago..  Stunts like this are dangerous and put all of us at risk.  The Chicago prosecutors need to make an example of this disgusting waste of oxygen.  People need to see that this sorta thing comes with consequences that even the liberal elite in HollyWEIRD have to pay.

Daryl Dragon, ‘Captain’ of pop band The Captain and Tennille, dead at 76

Daryl Dragon, the cap-wearing “Captain” of pop band The Captain and Tennille, has died. He was 76. Dragon passed away on Wednesday of renal failure at a hospice in Prescott, Ariz., according to spokesman Harlan Boll, as The Associated Press reports. Toni Tennille, Dragon’s ex-wife and longtime musical partner, was by his side. “He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly. I was at my most creative in my life when I was with him,” Tennille said in a statement. Dragon was born on August 27, 1942, in Los Angeles. He came from a musical family with his father, Carmen, winning an Academy Award as a composer and conductor, and his mother, Eloise, a singer who worked on Bing Crosby recordings among others, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In 1967, Dragon — a classically trained musician — started playing keyboard for The Beach Boys, which led to him being given the nickname “Captain” by lead singer Mike Love because of his affinity for wearing a captain’s hat while on stage. Four years later, Dragon met Tennille, and the pair soon began performing together, with Tennille singing and Dragon on keyboards — he also later served as a producer for The Captain and Tennille. The duo went on to top the 1970s music charts with hits including “Muskrat Love,” “Shop Around” and “Love Will Keep Us Together.” “Love Will Keep Us Together” catapulted the couple to fame with their breakthrough coming in 1975 when they covered the Neil Sedaka-Howard Greenfield song, which Sedaka himself recorded in 1973 and been released as a single in Europe. The Captain and Tennille version topped the charts — and acknowledged Sedaka’s authorship by singing “Sedaka’s back” at the end of the song — and won a Grammy for record of the year. They followed with a mix of covers such as “Muskrat Love” and “Shop Around” and original songs, including Tennille’s “Do That to Me One More Time,” which hit No. 1 in 1980. They also briefly starred in their own television variety show. Dragon and Tennille divorced in 2014 after nearly 40 years of marriage, but they remained close and Tennille moved back to Arizona to help care for him. He is survived by his older brother, Doug Dragon, and two nieces, Kelly Arbout and Renee Henn.

Sorry to hear about Daryl’s passing.  He was the brains and the musical power behind that duo.  Thanks for the tunes, Daryl.  R.I.P.

Barbra Streisand ‘thinking’ about moving to Canada if GOP wins the House

Barbra Streisand is once again thinking about leaving the United States for political reasons. In a Tuesday interview with The New York Times, the 76-year-old star admitted that she’s considering moving to Canada if the Democrats don’t win a majority in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections next week. “I want to sleep nights, if we take the House I’ll be able to sleep a little bit better,” Streisand told the outlet, adding that if they don’t take control she’s been “thinking about” a potential move. “I’ve been thinking about, do I want to move to Canada? I don’t know. I’m just so saddened by this thing happening to our country.” “It’s making me fat,” she continued. “I hear what he said now, and I have to go eat pancakes now, and pancakes are very fattening. We make them with healthy flour, though — almond flour, coconut flour.” Before the 2016 election, the singer-actress also spoke about emigrating because of Trump. “He has no facts. I don’t know, I can’t believe it. I’m either coming to your country [Australia], if you’ll let me in, or Canada,” she said according to The Hollywood Reporter. Last month, Streisand released her first album since 2005, “Walls,” which contains a track that directly speaks to President Trump and voices her distaste for what his administration is doing to America and the world at large. “I just went ballistic,” she told The Associated Press at the time. The track titled “Don’t Lie to Me” contains lyrics aimed at Trump such as: “How do you sleep when the world keeps turning?/All that we built has come undone/How do you sleep when the world is burning?/Everyone answers to someone.” “I just can’t stand what’s going on,” the Oscar, Grammy and Emmy winner continued. “His assault on our democracy, our institutions, our founders — I think we’re in a fight. … We’re in a war for the soul of America.”

Agreed, Babs.  That’s why we hope conservatives fair well next week, and the so-called “blue wave” doesn’t happen.  For crying out loud, just take your over $400 MILLION net worth (yeah, you read that correctly) you made in this evil, capitalistic country, and go to a more socialist country like Canada where you’ll get taxed more…and we won’t have to hear you whine about how awful life is here in America…you self-righteous, arrogant, entitlement-minded, liberal elitist.  What an obnoxious tool..

Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Sues Bandmates for Kicking Him Out of the Group

Lindsey Buckingham says he should still be paid his share of the tour proceeds because he’s ready and willing to perform with the band. Fleetwood Mac’s longtime lead guitarist Lindsey Buckingham is suing his former bandmates after being kicked off of the group’s new tour. In January, Buckingham was told by his manager that the rest of the band would be touring without him, and he says none of his bandmates would return his calls to explain why. Buckingham is suing Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and John McVie, claiming he should still be paid his share of tour revenues because he still wants and is able to perform with the group. Buckingham was with the band from 1975-1987 before leaving of his own volition to pursue a solo career, and rejoined the group in 1997, according to the complaint. He says there has never been a written band agreement and the group just agreed that each of the members had the right to veto any major decision and shared equally in the band’s ownership. “During the entire time Buckingham has been a member of Fleetwood Mac, the Band has conducted itself as a partnership with each of the participating members having veto rights over Band decision making and an equal share of the proceeds earned by Fleetwood Mac,” writes attorney Barry Mallen in the complaint. “The only exception to the unanimous consent rule within the Fleetwood Mac Partnership is that the writer(s) of the underlying musical composition of each Fleetwood Mac master recording has the unilateral right to approve or reject licenses to synchronize the Fleetwood Mac recordings embodying the applicable Partner’s musical composition with audiovisual works.” The singer-songwriter-guitarist says he was frustrated that the rest of the group wouldn’t push the start of the 2018 tour from August to November so he could release and promote a solo album, and that the band would only be playing three shows a week at Nicks’ request. So, he agreed to delay his album, but wanted to perform solo shows on off nights. Fleetwood Mac performed together on Jan. 26 at Radio City Music Hall, where the band was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year, and a few days later Buckingham found out the band was going to tour without him. Buckingham says he would have been paid at least $12 million for his share of the tour proceeds, which the remaining bandmembers are now splitting. He is suing for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of oral contract, among other claims, and is asking the court for a declaration that because he is able and willing to perform on the tour and is being involuntarily excluded, he should still be paid his share of the revenue. Fleetwood Mac’s publicist Kristen Foster on Friday sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement in response to the complaint. “Fleetwood Mac strongly disputes the allegations presented in Mr. Buckingham’s complaint and looks forward to their day in court,” she says. “The band has retained Dan Petrocelli to handle the case.”

Sorry to hear about this..  I saw the famous “The Dance” tour with everyone back in ’96, and it was phenomenal.  Hopefully, everyone can resolve this and they can tour again with Lindsey.  But, now that the lawsuit card has been played…probably not.  Oh well..  “Go your own way..”…