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Dame Edna Creator Barry Humphries Dies In Sydney At 89

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CANBERRA, Australia – Barry Humphries, Tony Award-winning comedian known for his outrageous theatrical character, Dame Edna Everage, a condescending and thinly disguised snob whose changing character has charmed audiences for seven decades, has died. He was 89.

His family confirmed his death in a Sydney hospital where he had spent several days due to complications after hip surgery.

According to a family statement, “he was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, unique wit, and generosity of spirit.”

“He was an entertainer to the core, touring up until the last year of his life and planning more shows that will sadly never be,” they continued.

Humphries had resided in London for decades before returning to his native Australia for Christmas.

He told The Sydney Morning Herald last month that his treatment after his accident and hip replacement had been “agony.”

“It was the most absurd thing, as are all domestic incidents.” “I was reaching for a book when my foot got caught on something, and I fell,” Humphries explained his incident.

Humphries has continued to perform as a performer, touring the United Kingdom last year with his one-man show “The Man Behind the Mask.”

Dame Edna began as dowdy Mrs. Norm Everage, who first appeared on stage in Humphries’ hometown of Melbourne in the mid-1950s. Humphries found postwar suburbia immobility and cultural blandness suffocating.

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“Farewell, Barry Humphries, you comedy genius,” Ricky Gervais, a British comedian, tweeted.

Edna is one of Humphries’ most memorable characters. Sir Les Patterson, an ever-drunk, unkempt, and lecherous Australian cultural attache, is the second most famous.

Patterson reflected Humphries’ and many other renowned Australian intellectuals’ perception of Australia as a Western cultural wasteland.

Humphries, a law school dropout, had significant success as an actor, writer, and entertainer in the United Kingdom in the 1970s, but the United States remained elusive.

In the United States, he received a Tony Award in 2000 for his Broadway production “Dame Edna: The Royal Tour.”

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to the legendary comedian.

“For 89 years, Barry Humphries entertained us through a galaxy of personas, from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone,” Albanese tweeted, referring to one of Humphries’ most enduring characters, the gloomy and meandering Stone. “But Barry was always the brightest star in that galaxy.” He was both gifted and a gift, a wonderful wit, satirist, writer, and an amazing one-of-a-kind.”

“Farewell, Barry Humphries, you comedy genius,” Ricky Gervais, a British comedian, tweeted.

“One of the funniest people I have ever met,” said Piers Morgan, a British television personality.

Morgan called Morgan a “wonderfully intelligent, entertaining, daring, provocative, mischievous comedy genius.”

Humphries was also a well-known character actor with several stage and cinema appearances, the author of novels and an autobiography, and an exceptional landscape painter.

On February 17, 1934, John Barry Humphries was born in Melbourne. His parents were content, loving, and strict, and they must have worried about their eldest son, Sunny Sam. His mother always told him not to bring attention to himself.

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On February 17, 1934, John Barry Humphries was born in Melbourne.

Humphries was more interested in art and secondhand bookshops than sports before graduating from Melbourne Grammar School. At 16, his favorite author was Franz Kafka, and he subsequently stated that he “felt a little foreign.”

He studied Dadaism, a subversive, anarchic, and absurdist European art movement, for two years at Melbourne University.

“Puss In Boots,” waterproof rubber boots filled with custard, and, on the performance art side, going on a tram with a supposedly blind accomplice whom Humphries would kick in the shins while saying, “Get out of my way, you disgusting blind person,” were among his contributions.

He moved to London in 1959 and began working at Peter Cook’s comedy club, The Establishment. In 1960, he played Sowerberry in the first London production of “Oliver!” and reprised the role on Broadway. In “Treasure Island,” he co-starred alongside Spike Milligan and William Rushton.

In 1964, Humphries collaborated with New Zealand artist Nicholas Garland to create the Barry McKenzie comic strip for the satirical magazine Private Eye.

The Australian government prohibited the book version of the cartoons because it “relied on indecency for its humor.” Humphries expressed satisfaction at the attention and pleaded with officials not to relax the restriction.

Humphries’ drinking had gotten out of hand by this point. In late 1970, he was charged with being drunk and unruly in Melbourne. He finally admitted himself to an alcoholism hospital for therapy that would transform him into a lifetime abstainer.

Despite the earlier restriction, the first Barry McKenzie film was released in 1972, with financial help from the Australian government. It was panned by critics, who were worried about what the world’s first film to feature beer-induced vomiting would do to Australia’s reputation abroad.

However, it was a tremendous success, and a sequel two years later had then-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam knighting McKenzie’s aunt, Edna.

He was married four times and left behind his wife, Lizzie Spender, four children, and ten grandchildren.

SOURCE – (AP)

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2024 OSCARS: Everything You Need To Know About This Year’s Oscars

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NEW YORK — After a winter of award events, including the Emmys, Golden Globes, and Grammys, the granddaddy of them all, the Academy Awards, is just around the horizon. The 96th Academy Awards may be a coronation for “Oppenheimer,” which leads with 13 nominations, but other films, including “Barbie,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and “Poor Things,” are also in the running.

Here’s what you should know about this year’s show:

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When are the Oscars?

The Oscars will be on Sunday, March 10, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The event will begin at 7 p.m. EDT, one hour earlier than normal, and will be live on ABC. The pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m. EDT. This is an early reminder to set your clocks – the first day of daylight saving time in the United States.

Are the Oscars livestreamed?
You can access the show on ABC.com and the ABC app with a cable subscription. You may also watch on Hulu Live, YouTube, AT&T, and FuboTV.

Who is hosting the Oscars?
Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the ceremony last year, will serve as emcee for the fourth time. That matches him with fellow four-timers Whoopi Goldberg and Jack Lemmon, leaving Kimmel trailing only Johnny Carson (five), Billy Crystal (nine), and Bob Hope (eleven) among Oscar hosts. “I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times,” Kimmel told the audience.

What films are nominated for Best Picture at the 2024 Oscars?
The ten best-picture nominees are: “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” “Barbie,” “The Holdovers,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Oppenheimer,” “Past Lives,” “Poor Things,” and “The Zone of Interest.”

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Who are the favourites?

Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” is the front-runner. Nolan, the best director favourite, is expected to win his first Oscar. The best actress category could be a close call between Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) and Emma Stone (“Poor Things”). If Gladstone wins, she will be the first Native American to win an Oscar. Best actor might also be a tight call between Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”) and Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”). They would be first-time winners. Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Giamatti’s co-star, is the favourite to win Best supporting actress, while Robert Downey Jr. (“Oppenheimer”) is predicted to win Best Supporting Actor. Ryan Gosling is his closest competitor for “Barbie.”

What’s with the ‘Barbie’ snubs?
While “Barbie,” 2023’s largest box-office blockbuster, received eight nominations, much of the conversation has focused on the film’s lack of nominations. Greta Gerwig was not nominated for directing, while Margot Robbie did not win best actress. Some have detected reflections of the misogyny spoofed in “Barbie,” while others have noted comedians’ traditionally poor reception at the Oscars. The nominations for “Barbie” include best-adapted screenplay (by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach), best supporting actress (America Ferrera), and two best song nominees: Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For” and Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt’s “I’m Just Ken.”

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Are there any changes to this year’s Oscars?

Though prior Oscars have been marred by slaps, envelope snafus, and debates about which prizes are presented live during the ceremony, this year’s show promises to remain relatively unchanged. All of the awards will be broadcast live. The academy is introducing a new award for best casting, but the trophy will be handed in at the 2026 Oscars.

What else is there to look for?
Composer John Williams has been nominated for his record 49th best-score Oscar for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and 54th overall. Godzilla is making his Oscar debut, with “Godzilla Minus One” nominated for outstanding visual effects. Two non-English language films are nominated for Best Picture for the first time: the German-language Auschwitz drama “The Zone of Interest” and the French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Beatles To Get A Fab 4 Of Biopics, With A Movie Each For Paul, John, George And Ringo

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NEW YORK — The Beatles are receiving the big-screen biography treatment in not just one film but four, with each band member getting his spotlight – all directed by Sam Mendes.

For the first time, the Beatles, traditionally among the most stingy rights holders, are granting complete life and music rights to a film project. Sony Pictures revealed Monday a contract that may dwarf all previous music biopics, with the story of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr divided across four films.

The Mendes-conceived films are intended to be released theatrically in a unique manner, with the films coexisting or intersecting in theatres. Specific release plans will be communicated at a later date. Sony has set a release date of 2027.

beatles

Beatles To Get A Fab Four Of Biopics, With A Movie Each For Paul, John, George And Ringo

McCartney, Starr, and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison have all approved the initiative through the band’s Apple Corps. Ltd. Sony Music Publishing has rights to the majority of Beatles’ songs.

“I’m honoured to be telling the story of the greatest rock band of all time, and excited to challenge the notion of what constitutes a trip to the movies,” Mendes stated in an e-mail.

Each film will be told from the perspective of one of the Beatles.

“We intend this to be a uniquely thrilling and epic cinematic experience: four films, told from four different perspectives, which tell a single story about the most celebrated band of all time,” stated Pippa Harris, the film’s producer. “To have The Beatles’ and Apple Corps’ blessing to do this is an immense privilege.”

The Beatles’ most well-known film appearances were during their early career. From 1964 to 1970, they appeared in five films, including “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964) and the animated “Yellow Submarine” (1968). They have, of course, been the subject of numerous documentaries, most recently Peter Jackson’s 2021 “The Beatles: Get Back.”

beatles

Beatles To Get A Fab Four Of Biopics, With A Movie Each For Paul, John, George And Ringo

The Beatles reunited in 2023 using artificial intelligence in the newly released song “Now and Then.” The track was made feasible by technology employed by Jackson on “Get Back,” it included a music video directed by the New Zealand director.

Attempts to dramatise the Beatles’ narrative have been intermittent and less effective. A 1979 biography titled “The Birth of the Beatles” was developed while Lennon was still alive, with the Beatles’ original drummer, Pete Best, serving as an adviser. The 1994 indie drama “Backbeat” followed Lennon’s connection with Stuart Sutcliffe before the Beatles became famous. Aaron Taylor-Johnson portrayed a teenage Lennon in the 2009 “Nowhere Boy” film.

However, music biopics have become a lucrative business in the last decade. Box-office successes like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Rocketman,” and “Elvis” have prompted Hollywood executives to seek the next jukebox blockbuster. Over Presidents Day weekend, “Bob Marley: One Love,” co-produced with the Marley estate, was the top-grossing film in theatres. A Michael Jackson biopic is currently under production.

beatles

Beatles To Get A Fab Four Of Biopics, With A Movie Each For Paul, John, George And Ringo

“Theatrical film events today must be culturally significant. “Sam’s daring, large-scale idea is that and more,” said Tom Rothman, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group.

The combination of Mendes’ crew “with the music and stories of four young men who changed the world, will rock audiences all over the globe,” Rothman added. “We are deeply grateful to all parties and look forward ourselves to breaking some rules with Sam’s uniquely artistic vision.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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George Santos Sues Late-Night Host Jimmy Kimmel For Tricking Him Into Making Videos To Ridicule Him

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NEW YORK — Former United States Representative George Santos said in a complaint filed Saturday that late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel duped him into creating films on the Cameo app that were used to mock the disgraced New York Republican on the show.

Kimmel, ABC, and Walt Disney Co. are named as defendants in the action filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. A Disney staffer was identified as a media contact for the Jimmy Kimmel Live! The show has yet to respond to an email from The Associated Press requesting comment.

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George Santos Sues Late-Night Host Jimmy Kimmel For Tricking Him Into Making Videos To Ridicule Him

George, who was ejected from the House of Representatives last year after being charged with numerous counts of fraud and stealing from contributors, is suing for alleged copyright infringement, fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment.

Kimmel misrepresented himself to persuade George to create personalised videos “capitalising on and ridiculing” his “gregarious personality,” according to the lawsuit.

Individuals and corporations contacted Santos via Cameo to request personalised video messages. According to the complaint, Kimmel made at least 14 requests using fictitious identities and storylines, which Santos was unaware of.

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George Santos Sues Late-Night Host Jimmy Kimmel For Tricking Him Into Making Videos To Ridicule Him

According to the claim, the films began playing on a segment titled “Will Santos Say It?” in December.

In one of the videos, Santos congratulates the alleged winner of a beef-eating contest, praising the achievement of eating 6 pounds (2.7 kilogrammes) of loose ground beef in under 30 minutes as “amazing and impressive.”

“Frankly, Kimmel’s fake requests were amusing, but what he did was a clear violation of copyright law,” said Robert Fantone, an attorney for George, in an email.

Santos is seeking $750,000 in statutory damages for the five videos he generated that were featured on the show and numerous social media sites. He also requests that other damages be established at trial.

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George Santos Sues Late-Night Host Jimmy Kimmel For Tricking Him Into Making Videos To Ridicule Him

The former senator is facing a raft of criminal charges, including allegations that he cheated campaign donors, lied to Congress about his wealth, took unemployment benefits while employed, and used campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses such as designer apparel. He is also accused of making unauthorised payments on credit cards belonging to several benefactors.

George pleaded not guilty to an amended indictment in October.

On Tuesday, Democrat Tom Suozzi won a special election to fill Santos’ previous seat.

SOURCE – (AP)

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