Category Archives: Hollywood

Legendary Singer and Activist Lena Horne Dies at 92

Posted by: TheLCster

AP~Lena Horne, the enchanting jazz singer and actress known for her plaintive, signature song “Stormy Weather” and for her triumph over the bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them, has died. She was 92.

Horne died Sunday at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Gloria Chin, who would not release details.

“Her timeless legacy will forever be celebrated as part of the fabric of American popular music, and our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and fans worldwide as we all mourn the loss of one of music’s signature voices,” Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, said Monday in a statement.

Horne, whose striking beauty often overshadowed her talent and artistry, was remarkably candid about the underlying reason for her success: “I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept,” she once said. “I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked.”

“I knew her from the time I was born, and whenever I needed anything she was there. She was funny, sophisticated and truly one of a kind. We lost an original. Thank you Lena,” Liza Minnelli said Monday. Her father, director Vincente Minnelli, brought Horne to Hollywood to star in “Cabin in the Sky,” in 1943.

In the 1940s, Horne was one of the first black performers hired to sing with a major white band, to play the Copacabana nightclub in New York City and when she signed with MGM, she was among a handful of black actors to have a contract with a major Hollywood studio.

In 1943, MGM Studios loaned her to 20th Century-Fox to play the role of Selina Rogers in the all-black movie musical “Stormy Weather.” Her rendition of the title song became a major hit and her most famous tune.

Horne had an impressive musical range, from blues and jazz to the sophistication of Rodgers and Hart in such songs as “The Lady Is a Tramp” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.” In 1942’s “Panama Hattie,” her first movie with MGM, she sang Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things,” winning critical acclaim.

In her first big Broadway success, as the star of “Jamaica” in 1957, reviewer Richard Watts Jr. called her “one of the incomparable performers of our time.” Songwriter Buddy de Sylva dubbed her “the best female singer of songs.”

“It’s just a great loss,” said Janet Jackson Monday. “She brought much joy into everyone’s lives – even the younger generations, younger than myself. She was such a great talent. She opened up such doors for artists like myself.”

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Statement by President Obama and First Lady Michelle on the Passing of Lena Horne

“Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Lena Horne – one of our nation’s most cherished entertainers. Over the years, she warmed the hearts of countless Americans with her beautiful voice and dramatic performances on screen. From the time her grandmother signed her up for an NAACP membership as a child, she worked tirelessly to further the cause of justice and equality. In 1940, she became the first African American performer to tour with an all white band. And while entertaining soldiers during World War II, she refused to perform for segregated audiences – a principled struggle she continued well after the troops returned home. Michelle and I offer our condolences to all those who knew and loved Lena , and we join all Americans in appreciating the joy she brought to our lives and the progress she forged for our country.”

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Filed under African-Americans, Civil Rights Movement, Hollywood, Music, Uncategorized

President Obama and First Lady Michelle at the 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner, Hosted by Jay Leno

Posted by: Audiegrl

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner Red Carpet

The 2010 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner brought politicos, reporters and celebrities to the red carpet…and the sartorial theme of the night also seemed to be red! First Lady Michelle Obama led the way in a magnificent gown by up-and-coming designer Prabal Gurung, and also spotted sporting the hue of the evening were Mariska Hargitay, Katie Couric, Kathie Lee Gifford and Gayle King.

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President Obama Trades Jokes with Jay Leno

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the White House Correspondents Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. May 1, 2010. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images North America)

President Obama made his second appearance at the annual White House Press and Scholarship Dinner last night in Washington, D.C. He took the dais before the headliner Jay Leno, remarking, “I’m also glad to be speaking first. We’ve all seen what happens to the person in the time slot after Leno.”

But Leno was far from the only subject of the President’s jokes. Senators, Members of Congress and his own Administration were all fair game. Of the recently passed health reform legislation, he noted:

“You might have heard we passed a health care bill. And some Republicans have suggested that the bill contains a few “secret” provisions. That’s ridiculous. There aren’t a few secret provisions in the health care plan. There are like hundreds. And tonight, in the interest of transparency, I’d like to share a couple. Let’s see here. This provision is called the “Bay State of Denial.” It reads, “This bill shall cover short-term memory loss related to the passage of Massachusetts health care reform.” Good news, Mitt, your condition is covered! This next provision is called the “Jersey Shore-Up.” It reads, “The following individuals shall be excluded from the indoor tanning tax within this bill: Snooki, J-Woww, the Situation, and House Minority Leader John Boehner.” This provision ought to put a common misconception to rest. It says right here: “If you do not like the ruling of your death panel, you can appeal it.”

He concluded his remarks before Leno took the stage with a reminder of the necessary role of the fourth estate:

“Some of you are seasoned veterans who have been on the political beat for decades. Others here tonight began their careers as bloggers not long ago. But I think it’s fair to say that every single reporter in this room believes deeply in the enterprise of journalism. Every one of you, even the most cynical among you, understands and cherishes the function of a free press in the preservation of our system of government and our way of life. And I want you to know that for all the jokes and occasional gripes, I cherish that work as well. In fact, tonight, I wanted to present you all with a bipartisan, Congressional resolution that honors all those wonderful contributions that journalists have made to our country and our world. Unfortunately, I couldn’t break the filibuster.”

Full Transcript of the Remarks

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The Vanity Fair/Bloomberg White House Correspondents’ Dinner After-Party


Vanity Fair/Michael Hogan~Despite news of a sobering scare in Times Square and an unfolding disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the power elites of Washington, New York, and Hollywood managed to squeeze in an evening of revelry in the nation’s capital. The party, hosted by Vanity Fair and Bloomberg, was held at the French ambassador’s sprawling residence, just blocks from the Washington Hilton, where the White House Correspondents’ Dinner took place earlier in the evening.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg and New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly were not on hand, having flown back to Manhattan after a car full of explosives was discovered in Times Square, but there were plenty of other power brokers available to fill the vacuum. White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and senior adviser David Axelrod exerted their magnetic pull on “powerstruck” partygoers (to use a phrase coined during the party by guest Ryan Seacrest), while News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch and Google C.E.O. Eric Schmidt served as human reminders that clout comes in colors other than red and blue.

The mood had changed since last year, when the Obama administration’s newly minted stars easily outshone the Hollywood imports. After a year of bruising battles, Rahm, Axe, Orszag, and co. looked a bit paler in comparison with the impressive array of movie stars (Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Anna Kendrick, Rosario Dawson, Bradley Cooper, Gabourey Sidibe, Zach Galifianakis, Jeremy Renner, Michael Douglas, Ashley Judd, Jessica Alba), TV actors (Chace Crawford, Adrian Grenier, Chelsea Handler, Jimmy Fallon, Matthew Morrison, and The Wire’s Dominic West, Michael K. Williams, Sonja Sohn), directors (Kathryn Bigelow, J.J. Abrams), athletes (Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo), designers (Donatella Versace, Jason Wu), and musicians (Jon Bon Jovi, the Jonas Brothers, John Cougar Mellencamp, T-Bone Burnett).

Sex in the City actresses Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis

Still, this being Washington, there was a central role for political figures and the people who cover them. Senator Chris Dodd, the chief sponsor of the financial-reform bill now making its way through the upper chamber of Congress, chatted with Murdoch while Larry Summers, Colin Powell, Eric Holder, Jane Harman, Richard Holbrooke, and Austan Goolsbee circulated nearby. (Congressman John Dingell, the Dean of the House, parked his 83-year-old frame on a couch and let the people come to him.) Luke Russert of NBC News made nice with the movie people and GQ Washington correspondent Ana Marie Cox squired musician Rhett Miller around the porch, but most of the political press corps seemed content to stick to their beat. Politico savant Mike Allen collected tidbits from the parties he’d somehow missed, ABC News political director David Chalian congratulated Axelrod assistant Eric Lesser on a flatteringNew York Times Magazine profile, and Jon Meacham, Maureen Dowd, David Gregory, Katie Couric, Walter Isaacson, and Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn mingled with V.F.’s Christopher Hitchens, Dee Dee Myers, Todd S. Purdum, Maureen Orth, Bob Colacello, Cullen Murphy, and Graydon and Anna Carter.

More than one guest was overheard to remark on the French ambassador’s enviable living conditions. The generously apportioned rooms, hung with portraits of bygone aristocrats, were luxurious enough, but the spacious grounds took things to another level. It was warm enough to spend the whole night outdoors, in the shadow of tall trees that were lit up for the occasion in shifting patterns of orange, green, and pre-dawn blue. Those most determined to see and be seen clustered on the main terrace, but others gravitated to less crowded spaces. Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann set up camp on the stairs leading down to the pool, drawing in any funny people who happened to pass by. The veterans of The Wire, meanwhile, hung together on a side balcony, posing for group snapshots with grateful fans.

At 3 a.m., a crowd of about 100 partygoers remained, reluctant to call it a night. A host of intractable problems awaited them back in the real world, but for the moment it was enough to worry how they might wrangle one last drink.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under Culture, Fashion, First Lady Michelle Obama, Hollywood, Media and Entertainment, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Watch 82nd Academy Awards Live Chat on 44-D’s

The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2009 and will take place March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and will be televised in the United States on ABC. Actors Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will serve as co-hosts for the show.

44-D’rs will be live chatting the ceremony as well. Please visit www.chatroll.com to set up your chat account (this only takes about 10 seconds), and then come back here to join us in all the fun!

If you didn’t already download/print your Oscars ballot, please click here.

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Wishing him the best birthday ever!!
Our fellow founder and friend, GeoT!
Please have a virtual slice 🙂

82nd Academy Awards and the winners are…

Best Motion Picture

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actress

Best Director

Best Documentary Feature

Best Documentary Short

Best Animated Feature

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best in Cinematography

Best in Art Direction

Best Animated Short

Best Live Action Short

Best in Visual Effects

Best in Costume Design

Best in Film Editing

Best In Sound Mixing

Best in Sound Editing

Best in Music (Original Score)

Best in Music (Original Song)

Best in Makeup

44-D’s Blogs the Oscars Credits

Director/Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Audiegrl
Graphic Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GeoT
Web Development and Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Audiegrl
Research and Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BlueDog89
Videology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buellboy

Reviewers include: Betsm, Ogenec, TheLCster, Geot, Audiegrl, WillieBeyond, and more…

Many thanks to all who made the 44-D’s Blogs the Oscars project possible 🙂

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Adap Screenplay, Best Animated Feature, Best Animated Short, Best Animated Short, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Doc Feature, Best Doc Short, Best Film Editing, Best Foreign Film, Best in Art Direction, Best LA Short, Best Makeup, Best Music Score, Best Music Song, Best Orig Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sup Actor, Best Sup Actress, Best Visual Effects, Hollywood, Live Stream Video, Make-up Category, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars® ~ Not too late to vote!



Great news! 44-D has been given official press credentials by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®. We’ll be bringing you up to date information on the 82nd Academy Awards® nominees, films, and ceremony activities. This year’s Oscars® should be very interesting due to the fact that they are expanding the Best Picture category to include ten films instead of five.

Join us in voting for your favorite movie and performer on our 44-D’s Oscars® Voting Ballot! We will be LIVE BLOGGING the Oscars® on Sunday, March 7th!, so please join the party 🙂

Please feel free to use our downloadable/printable 44-D’s Oscars® Voting Ballot to predict the nights winners.

Oscar Night Essentials


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44-D’s Oscar Ballot
Predict the winners using this downloadable/printable Oscar ballot.
Download

Oscar Bingo
Download Bingo cards and play along as you watch the show! (Nine different cards available)
Download

Oscar Crossword Puzzle
Test your Oscar smarts with this Academy Awards-themed crossword puzzle.
Download


82nd Academy Awards Nominations

Best Motion Picture

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actress

Best Director

Best Documentary Feature

Best Documentary Short

Best Animated Feature

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best in Cinematography

Best in Art Direction

Best Animated Short

Best Live Action Short

Best in Visual Effects

Best in Costume Design

Best in Film Editing

Best In Sound Mixing

Best in Sound Editing

Best in Music (Original Score)

Best in Music (Original Song)

Best in Makeup

44-D’s Blogs the Oscars Credits

Director/Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Audiegrl
Graphic Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GeoT
Web Development and Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Audiegrl
Research and Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BlueDog89
Videology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buellboy

Reviewers include: Betsm, Ogenec, TheLCster, Geot, Audiegrl, WillieBeyond, and more…

Many thanks to all who made the 44-D’s Blogs the Oscars project possible 🙂

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Hollywood, Television, Uncategorized

The Hurt Locker Producer Nicolas Chartier BARRED From Oscars

Posted by: Audiegrl

Academy Penalizes Aggressive Campaigner

The Hurt Locker producers

From left to right, screenwriter Mark Boal, director Kathryn Bigelow, producer Greg Shapiro and Nicolas Chartier, pose for the photographers with their awards for Best Film with their latest film The Hurt Locker, in the media room at the British Academy Film Awards at The Royal Opera House in London, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

Beverly Hills, CA~~The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that, should “The Hurt Locker” be announced as the recipient of the Best Picture award at Sunday’s ceremonies, only three of the picture’s producers will be present for the celebration. The fourth of the film’s credited producers, Nicolas Chartier, has been denied attendance at the 82nd Academy Awards® as a penalty for violating Academy campaigning standards.

Chartier had recently disseminated an email to certain Academy voters and other film industry figures in which he solicited votes for his own picture and disparaged one of the other contending films. Academy rules prohibit “casting a negative or derogatory light on a competing film.” The executive committee of the Academy’s Producers Branch, at a special session late Monday, ruled that the ethical lapse merited the revocation of Chartier’s invitation to the Awards.

The group stopped short of recommending that the Academy governors rescind Chartier’s nomination. If “The Hurt Locker” were to be selected as Best Picture, Chartier would receive his Oscar® statuette at some point subsequent to the March 7 ceremonies.


Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PT/ 8 p.m. ET. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Entertainment, Hollywood, Uncategorized

Star in Your Own Oscars® Viewing Party!


Event Producer Cheryl Cecchetto shows you the “10 Must Haves” to throwing an awarding-winning party; Master Chef Wolfgang Puck cooks and provides you with delicious and easy-to-make-at-home recipes; Executive Pastry Chef Sherry Yard shows you how to bake a yummy dessert; and Moët & Chandon, the exclusive champagne of the Oscars, provides a special cocktail that will wow your guests.

Invite your family and friends; download Oscar® ballots, party play-along games, recipes, cocktails ideas and much more.

Oscar® Night Essentials
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44-D’s Oscar® Ballot
Predict the winners using this downloadable/printable Oscar® ballot.
Download

Oscar® Bingo
Download Bingo cards and play along as you watch the show! (Nine different cards available)
Download

Oscar® Crossword Puzzle
Test your Oscar smarts with this Academy Awards-themed crossword puzzle.
Download

Party Planning Ideas
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Cheryl Cecchetto (founder and president of Sequoia Productions) shares with you the 10 must haves to hosting the Best Oscar-viewing party in town! She’ll take you step-by-step from invites to games, from décor to food. Everything you need to throw an award-winning party for your friends and family.
Watch Video

Cocktail Recipes

The Moët Golden Glamour

0.25 oz vanilla liqueur
1.5 oz passion fruit juice
4 oz Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne
Mint sprig, for garnish
Watch Demonstration

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The Red Carpet Fizz

1/2 oz Pomegranate Juice
1/3 oz Orange Liquor
Add Fresh Raspberries
Top with Moët & Chandon White Star Champagne

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The Ultimate Accolade

1/2 oz Orange Vodka
1/3 oz Orange Juice
Top with Moët & Chandon White Star Champagne

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The Golden Rush

1/3 oz Orange Vodka
1/3 oz Sugar Syrup
2 Dashes Fresh Lemon Juice
Top with Moët & Chandon White Star Champagne

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Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Serve sparkling apple, pomegranate, or blueberry juice – for a bubbly toast at any party!

Mix cranberry juice with lime soda and add a twist of lime for an elegant beverage.
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Appetizer Recipes

Smoked Salmon Blinis

Oscar’s Master Chef Wolfgang Puck shows how to make blinis with smoked salmon and dill cream. The little flour pancakes known as blini are a traditional platform for serving smoked salmon.
Recipe
Watch Demonstration

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Prime Mini Burgers with Cheddar Cheese and Remoulade

Toasted Brioche circles for buns, and topped with Remoulade, these sliders are elegant enough to serve at a wedding. Allow three burgers per person and top with tomato, arugula, and cornichon slices.
Recipe

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Vegetable Spring Rolls with Chinese Mustard

Forget about the greasy, tasteless spring rolls you once tasted from the take out restaurant. These are wonderful, crisp, fresh-tasting morsels that look a lot more complicated to make than they really are.
Recipe

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Entrée Recipes

Slow Braised Short Ribs

These are meltingly tender and flavorful short ribs. To make them even neater to present and easier to eat, ask the butcher to bone the short ribs for you. Feel free to dredge them with all-purpose flour instead of the matzoh meal.
Recipe
Watch Demonstration

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Pizza with Smoked Salmon & Caviar

You can top the pizza with Sevruga, Beluga, or Osetra caviar; less expensive salmon roe or just chopped fresh chives. To make the pizza ahead, bake it for just 5 minutes; then, just before serving, complete the baking and top the pizza.
Recipe

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Dessert Recipe

Molten Lava Chocolate Cake

Sherry Yard demonstrates how to create molten chocolate lava cakes. Close your eyes when you take the first bite of this cake. Roll it across your tongue and let the flavor linger. If you’re a chocolate lover you’ll be transported.
Recipe
Watch Demonstration

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Culture, Drinks, entertaining, Food, Hollywood, Party Planning, Uncategorized

44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars® ~ Vote Now!


44-D’s was given official press credentials by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® and we’ve been bringing you up to date information on the 82nd Academy Awards® nominees, films, and ceremony activities all month.

Now it’s time to join us in voting for your favorite movie, performer or category. Just select each nomination category below, and cast your virtual vote. On Oscar night, we’ll see how close we all came to predicting the winners. And don’t forget, we will be LIVE BLOGGING/CHATTING the Oscars® on Sunday, March 7th!, so please join the party 🙂


Cast Your Vote!

Best Motion Picture

Best Actor
Best Supporting Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actress
Best Director
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Animated Feature
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Original Screenplay
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best in Cinematography
Best in Art Direction
Best Animated Short
Best Live Action Short
Best in Visual Effects
Best in Costume Design
Best in Film Editing
Best In Sound Mixing
Best in Sound Editing
Best in Music (Original Score)
Best in Music (Original Song)
Best in Makeup


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