Sunday, May 30, 2010

Actor, Dennis Hopper Passes Away

Dennis Hopper, who brought the counterculture to Hollywood with "Easy Rider" and led a career marked by successes, failures and comebacks, has passed away at age 74.

Hopper, who was twice nominated for Oscars and earned a star this year on the Walk of Fame, died Saturday at his home in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, family friend Alex Hitz said. Hopper had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009.

"We rode the highways of America and changed the way movies were made in Hollywood," Peter Fonda, his "Easy Rider" co-star, said in comments carried by several news outlets. "I was blessed by his passion and friendship."

The success of "Easy Rider" and failure of his next film, "The Last Movie," fit the pattern for the talented but wild Hopper, who also had parts in such favorites as "Rebel Without a Cause," "Apocalypse Now," "Blue Velvet" and "Hoosiers."

Other tributes were posted on celebrities' websites and Twitter feeds.

"So long Dennis," actress Virginia Madsen, who starred in the Hopper-directed "The Hot Spot," said on her Twitter page. "U taught me so much."

After a promising start that included roles in two James Dean films, Hopper's acting career languished as he developed a reputation for tantrums and drug abuse. On the set of "True Grit," Hopper so angered John Wayne that the star reportedly chased Hopper with a loaded gun.

"Much of Hollywood," wrote critic-historian David Thomson, "found Hopper a pain in the neck."

All was forgiven when he collaborated with Fonda on a script about two pot-smoking, drug-dealing hippies on a cross-country motorcycle trip.

On the way, Hopper and Fonda befriend a drunken young lawyer (Jack Nicholson in a breakout role) but arouse the enmity of Southern rednecks and are murdered before they can return home.

"'Easy Rider' was never a motorcycle movie to me," Hopper said in 2009. "A lot of it was about politically what was going on in the country."

Fonda produced "Easy Rider" and Hopper directed it for a meager $380,000. It went on to gross $40 million worldwide, a substantial sum for its time.

It was a hit at Cannes, netted a best-screenplay Oscar nomination for Hopper, Fonda and Terry Southern.

The establishment gave official blessing in 1998 when "Easy Rider" was included in the United States National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Its success prompted studio heads to schedule a new kind of movie: low cost, with inventive photography and themes about a restive baby boom generation. With Hopper hailed as a brilliant filmmaker, Universal Pictures lavished $850,000 on his next project, "The Last Movie."

The title was prescient. Hopper took a large cast and crew to a village in Peru to film the tale of a tribe corrupted by a movie company. Trouble on the set developed almost immediately, as Peruvian authorities pestered the company and drug-induced orgies were reported.

The film took a drug-and-drink addled Hopper nearly a year to edit, and when it was released, "The Last Movie" was such a crashing failure that it made Hopper unwanted in Hollywood for a decade, and forced him to find work in Europe.

He made a remarkable comeback, starting with a memorable performance as a drugged-out journalist in Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 Vietnam War epic, "Apocalypse Now." Hopper was on drugs off camera, too, and his rambling chatter was worked into the film.

Hopper made a series of scattershot film appearances in the 1980s, but steady use of drugs and alcohol led him into rehab and at one point a hospital's psychiatric ward.

Upon his release, Hopper joined Alcoholics Anonymous, quit drugs and launched yet another comeback. It began in 1986 when he played an alcoholic ex-basketball star in "Hoosiers," and earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.

His role as a wild drunk in "Blue Velvet," also in 1986, won him more acclaim, and years later the character wound up No. 36 on the AFI's list of top 50 movie villains.

He also returned to directing, with "Colors," "The Hot Spot" and "Chasers."

Dennis Lee Hopper was born in 1936, in Dodge City, Kan., and spent much of his youth on the nearby farm of his grandparents.

After moving to San Diego with his family, he played Shakespeare at the Old Globe Theater.

Scouted by the studios, Hopper was under contract to Columbia until he insulted the boss, Harry Cohn. From there he went to Warner Bros., where he made "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant" while in his late teens.

Later, he moved to New York to study at the Actors Studio, where Dean had learned his craft.

Hopper married five times. In January he filed to end his 14-year marriage to Victoria Hopper, who said in court filings that the actor was seeking to cut her out of her inheritance, a claim Hopper denied.

He was married to a scion of a Hollywood family Brooke Hayward for eight years and to Mamas and the Papas singer Michelle Phillips for eight days.

He married Victoria Duffy, who was 32 years his junior, in 1996.

Hopper maintained a frantic work pace in the last two decades of his life.

He made it to the top of the box office as a vengeful bus bomber in the 1994 hit "Speed," and in the 2000s, he was featured in such films as "Jesus' Son" and the television series "Crash."

"Work is fun to me," Hopper told a reporter in 1991. "All those years of being an actor and a director and not being able to get a job — two weeks is too long to not know what my next job will be."

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lindsay Lohan To Be Arrested

Click photo for her bio.

Soon to be just 24, Lindsay Lohan faces arrest when she returns from France to Los Angeles after an exasperated Beverly Hills judge said the actress had "no valid excuse" for missing a probation hearing on Thursday.

Judge Marsha Revel issued an arrest warrant for the "Mean Girls" actress after hearing Lohan missed three alcohol education classes imposed in a 2007 drunken driving case.

Revel also said Lohan should undergo random weekly drug and alcohol testing on her return to California, be fitted with an alcohol monitoring bracelet and should not drink any alcohol until a formal hearing to determine whether she has violated her probation.

Lohan's lawyer told Revel that the actress was stranded in France because her passport had been stolen during a trip to the Cannes film festival.

"If she wanted to be here it looks to the court like she could have been here," Revel said. "There is really no valid excuse."

"She has to take this seriously. I warned her before," said Revel, who in October extended Lohan's probation after other missed classes and warned her she risked being sent to jail.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore told reporters that Lohan could potentially be arrested at the airport when she eventually arrives.

She could also surrender herself to authorities and be booked and processed before posting bail, set at $100,000and being released.

"She will be treated just like every other inmate in the Los Angeles county jail system," Whitmore said of the booking procedure.

Lohan's lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley said Lohan now has a new passport. It was not immediately clear when she would arrive back in Los Angeles.

Holley was asked by reporters outside court if she thought the judge had been harsh on Lohan, Holley said she "can't help but believe that part of the judge's impetus for doing this" is the heavy media coverage of the actress.

The alcohol education classes are part of Lohan's sentence for a 2007 arrest for drunken driving, reckless driving and driving under the influence of cocaine.

She was also sentenced to 24 hours jail but spent just 84 minutes behind bars in 2007 because of overcrowding in Los Angeles lock-ups.

The former "Parent Trap" child star is now at risk of being sentenced to more jail time if Revel deems she has violated the terms of her probation once she attends a rescheduled court hearing at a date to be determined.

Lohan was photographed hitting the party circuit in Cannes this week and her frequent night-clubbing in Los Angeles and New York has been a source of celebrity gossip for months.

But officials from the alcohol education program she attends said in court documents that Lohan "has never come (to class) under the influence, been rude or disrespectful" and is "receptive to ideas regarding lifestyle changes".

Lohan's estranged father Michael Lohan attended Thursday's hearing and said through his lawyer afterward that he had asked Revel to send his daughter to a rehab clinic.

Lohan was considered one of Hollywood's most talented young actresses after films like "Bobby" and "Freaky Friday". But her life has spun out of control despite three stints in rehab.

In her last movie role with a U.S. theatrical release, Lohan played a stripper in the 2007 box-office flop "I Know Who Killed Me." She was dropped last month from a movie project after the film's financial backers deemed her "unbankable."

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Chastity Bono/Chaz Bono

Chastity Bono With Mom, Cher Early 1970's

Chastity Bono Now Chaz Bono

Chastity Bono

Chaz Bono On A Date With Jennifer Elia
2009 Hollywood

CHER'S DAUGHTER is now officially a man! Chaz Bono recieved legal status as a male on Thursday after a judge approved the request made by the writer, activist and reality TV star in Santa Monica, California. Born as Chastity Bono to Sonny Bono and Cher, the 41 year old, had undergone a sex change operation last year and turned her identity to Chaz Bono.

Born as Chastity Bono, the only child of Sonny Bono and Cher, the LGBT advocate claims she had realised that she was a lesbian at a young age. In a book, the 41 year old had penned, “As a child, I always felt there was something different about me. I’d look at other girls my age and feel perplexed by their obvious interest in the latest fashion, which boy in class was the cutest, and who looked the most like cover girl Christie Brinkley. When I was 13, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realized I was gay.

Though the gender change treatment for Bono had begun shortly after her 40th birthday, but with this legal change in identity, Chaz Bono has completed an important phase in his transition to male gender.

Bono's attorney Kristina Wertz of the Transgender law center claimed that the legal identity change had complete an important phase in Chaz Bono's transition. She stated,"Chaz couldn't be happier. This is an important step in his transition and will allow him to change a variety of his identity documents to show who he truly is."

Bono who began his sex change operation procedure in March 2009, had said in December,"It's hard for me to articulate how this feels – when you've lived your whole life in a body and having everybody relate to you as something you don't feel. When that finally gets righted, it's just amazing. I finally get to live my life the way I've always wanted to."

The news that Bono gained permission for a legal gender change, that is his choice for a gender change led to him being recognised as a man legally, has led to a large search for images, photos and pics of Bono before his sex change operation and after. These pictures which are available various websites, give a detailed look at how the daughter of famous singer Cher turned into a man.

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