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Martin Mull, Iconic Actor and Comedian, Passes Away at 78

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Martin Mull, Iconic Actor and Comedian, Passes Away at 78

Martin Mull, whose biting, esoteric comedy and acting made him a cool hit in the 1970s and subsequently a cherished guest star on sitcoms such as “Roseanne” and “Arrested Development,” died Friday, his daughter announced.

Martin Mull’s daughter, TV writer and comic artist Maggie Mull, reported that her father died at home on Thursday after “a valiant fight against a long illness.”

Martin Mull, who was also a guitarist and painter, rose to national prominence with a regular part on the Norman Lear-created comedic soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and the lead in its spinoff, Fernwood Tonight.

“He was known for excelling at every creative discipline imaginable and also for doing Red Roof Inn commercials,” Maggie Mull wrote on Instagram. “He’d find that joke amusing. He was always funny. My father will be greatly missed by his wife and daughter, his friends and coworkers, fellow artists, comedians, and musicians, and—as befits a truly extraordinary person—many, many pets.”

Martin Mull, known for his blonde hair and neatly maintained mustache, was born in Chicago, raised in Ohio and Connecticut, and studied art in Rhode Island and Rome.

His first effort into the entertainment industry was as a songwriter, writing the 1970 semi-hit “A Girl Named Johnny Cash” for vocalist Jane Morgan.

He would combine music and comedy in an act he introduced to hip Hollywood bars in the 1970s.

“In 1976, I was a guitar player and sit-down comic appearing at the Roxy on the Sunset Strip when Norman Lear walked in and heard me,” Mull told The Associated Press in 1980. “He cast me as the wife beater in ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.'” Four months later, I got my show.”

His time on the Strip was immortalized in the 1973 country rock classic “Lonesome L.A. Cowboy,” in which the Riders of the Purple Sage, together with music legends Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, pay tribute to him.

“I know Kris, Rita, and Marty Mull are hangin’ at the Troubadour,” the tune says.

On “Fernwood Tonight” (also known as “Fernwood 2 Night”), he portrayed Barth Gimble, the host of a local talk show in a midwestern town and the twin of his “Mary Hartman” character. Fred Willard, a frequent collaborator with similar comedic instincts, played his sidekick. It was eventually renamed “America 2 Night” and set in Southern California.

As Johnny Carson’s replacement on “The Tonight Show,” he’d become a true talk show host.

Mull frequently played slightly sleazy, slimy, and smarmy characters, such as Teri Garr’s boss and Michael Keaton’s antagonist in 1983’s Mr. Mom. He also played Colonel Mustard in the 1985 film adaptation of the board game Clue, which has become a cult classic, as have many of Mull’s other roles.

The 1980s also saw the release of “A History of White People in America,” a mockumentary that premiered on Cinemax and was widely regarded as his best work. Mull co-created the show and appeared as a “60 Minutes”-style investigative reporter looking into everything boring. Willard appeared again as a co-star.

He authored and starred in “Rented Lips” (1988), directed by his father, Robert Downey Jr.

Martin Mull’s co-star Jennifer Tilly said in an X post-Friday that he was “such a witty charismatic and kind person.”

In the 1990s, he was most known for his recurrent role on numerous seasons of “Roseanne,” in which he played a friendlier, less shady boss to the main character, an openly homosexual man whose partner was played by Willard, who passed away in 2020.

Martin Mull would later play private eye Gene Parmesan on “Arrested Development,” a cult-classic character on a cult-classic comedy, and received his first Emmy nomination in 2016 for a cameo appearance on “Veep.”

“What I did on ‘Veep’ I’m very proud of, but I’d like to think it’s probably more collective, at my age it’s more collective,” Martin Mull told the Associated Press upon his nomination. “It might go all the way back to ‘Fernwood.'”

Other comedians and actresses were frequently his biggest supporters.

“Martin was the greatest,” “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig stated on X. “He’s very humorous, talented, and a good man. I was fortunate enough to appear with him on The Jackie Thomas Show and loved every moment spent with a legend. Fernwood Tonight was incredibly crucial in my life.”

Martin Mull is survived by his daughter and singer Wendy Haas, who has been his wife since 1982.

Arslan Mughal is a freelance writer for VORNews, an online platform that covers news and events across various industries. With a knack for crafting engaging content, he specializes in breaking down complex topics into easily understandable pieces.

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Shannen Doherty, ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Star, Dies At 53

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Shannen Doherty | AP News Image

Los Angeles — Shannen Doherty, the “Beverly Hills, 90210” star whose life and career were roiled by sickness and tabloid rumors, died at 53.

Leslie Sloane, Doherty’s spokesperson, confirmed that she died Saturday. She had breast cancer for several years.

“The beloved daughter, sister, aunt, and friend was surrounded by her loved ones, including her dog, Bowie. “The family requests privacy at this time so they can grieve in peace,” Sloane said. The news was initially published by People magazine.

Her sickness was made public in a lawsuit filed in 2015 against her former business managers, in which she claimed they mismanaged her money and let her health insurance lapse. She later disclosed detailed information about her treatment after a single mastectomy. In December 2016, she shared a snapshot of her first day of radiation, describing the therapy as “frightening” for her.

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Shannen Doherty | AP news Image

Shannen Doherty, ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Star, Dies At 53

Doherty disclosed in February 2020 that her cancer had returned, and she was in stage four. She stated that she came out so that her medical conditions may be revealed in court. In 2018, the star filed a lawsuit against insurance company State Farm after her California home was damaged in a fire.

Doherty was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and relocated to Los Angeles with her family when she was seven. Within a few years, she became an actor.

“It was completely my decision,” she told The Associated Press in a 1994 interview. “My parents never forced me into anything. They support me. It wouldn’t matter if I were a professional soccer player; they’d be just as supportive and loving.”

She worked continuously as a child star on TV shows such as “Little House on the Prairie,” where she played Jenny Wilder. As a teenager, she detoured to the big screen with “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (1985) and “Heathers.”

In 1990, the doe-eyed, dark-haired actress scored her breakout role as Brenda Walsh in producer Aaron Spelling’s blockbuster teenage melodrama set in wealthy Beverly Hills. She and Brenda’s twin brother, Jason Priestley’s Brandon, were out of their element in the Midwest.

However, Doherty’s celebrity came with media scrutiny and allegations of outbursts, drunkenness, and impulsiveness, the last most notably following a brief marriage to George Hamilton’s son.

She quit “90210” at the end of its fourth season in 1994 (the show ran until 2000), allegedly due to problems with her costars and frequent tardiness.

However, in a 1994 Associated Press interview, Doherty portrayed her life as calm.

“It must be, if you pick up the Enquirer and find the only thing they can write about me is that I installed a pay phone next to my house and was seen at Stroud’s (a discount bed-and-bath chain) buying $1,400 worth of bed linens and wouldn’t go to an expensive store,” according to her. “It must be calm if they’re pulling that stuff out of their heads.”

Three years later, in 1997, a Beverly Hills Municipal Court judge sentenced Doherty to anger-management training after she allegedly smashed a beer bottle against a man’s window during a fight. In another legal fight, she pled no contest to a 2001 drunken driving charge and was sentenced to five days in a work-release program.

Doherty reconnected with Spelling in 1998 when he cast her as Prue Halliwell in “Charmed.” In an AP interview that year, the actress professed regret for her past.

“I did bring a lot of it on myself,” Doherty admitted. “I don’t believe I can point fingers and say, ‘Oh, you’re to blame.'” I don’t do this with myself, either. “Because I was still growing up.”

Doherty also stated that the media had “grotesquely misconstrued” her personality.

Spelling stated that their relationship was never as bad as others made it appear.

“We had a few bumps along the road, but golly, who doesn’t?” recalled Spelling, who died in 2006. “Everything Shannen did was blown out of proportion by the rag sheets.”

From 1998 until 2001, Doherty starred in “Charmed” alongside Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano, after which Rose McGowan replaced her character. Seven years later, she starred in the “90210” sequel series alongside original series star Jennie Garth and competed in “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010. She also worked on the third “Beverly Hills, 90210” revival, “BH90210,” a meta take on the program that ran for one season in 2019.

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Shannen Doherty | AP News Image

Shannen Doherty, ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Star, Dies At 53

Doherty struggled to regain her “Beverly Hills, 90210” star status, although she did work in big-screen pictures like “Mallrats” and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” as well as TV movies like “A Burning Passion: The Margaret Mitchell Story,” in which she played the author of “Gone with the Wind.” The nadir was “Blindfold: Acts of Obsession,” an erotic thriller starring Judd Nelson.

Doherty’s case against her former business managers was settled in 2016. She was honest about the toll cancer was taking on her. In an August 2016 interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” she discussed her anxieties and provided photographs of her baldness after treatment.

“The unknown is always the scariest part,” she told me. “Will the chemo work? “Is the radiation going to work?” she asked. “Pain is manageable, you know, living without a breast is manageable; it’s the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love.”

Doherty married Rick Salomon in 2002 after the latter was involved in a sex tape issue with Paris Hilton. The marriage was annulled within a year. In 2011, Doherty married photographer Kurt Iswarienko. She filed for divorce in April 2023.

SOURCE | AP

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Griff Has Opened For Some Of Pop’s Biggest Stars. Now She Has A Debut Album Of Her Own To Tour

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Griff, a British singer-songwriter, has had an undeniably successful career. Less than two years after releasing her first track and clearing her A-level examinations, she received the Brit Award for Rising Star. Then she opened for Dua Lipa. Then, Ed Sheeran. Then Coldplay. Then, Taylor Swift.

Between gigs, solo shows, and music releases, she worked on the tracks for her debut album, “Vertigo,” which is out today.

“The usual steps that you take as a new artist have been a bit, like, upside-down,” the 23-year-old, who goes by Sarah Faith Griffiths, told The Associated Press in an interview. “An album is such a step hitting the ground, and it’s such a milestone I’ve always wanted to get to.”

Griff Has Opened For Some Of Pop’s Biggest Stars. Now She Has A Debut Album Of Her Own To Tour

According to her, this moment feels like the start of her career. The immersive pop album explores the emotions accompanying such a whirlwind and those arising from other destabilizing occurrences, such as growing up and experiencing heartache.

Griff said the inspiration for the project came, “funnily enough,” while navigating a spiral staircase in one of the residences she wrote the record in — in this case, a cottage owned by singer and songwriter Imogen Heap. She claimed the physical truth of the encounter immediately translated into an emotional counterpart, which has stayed with her ever since.

“That was just a very real, tangible feeling that I have had, and still have, at this stage in my life,” she told me.

“Tears For Fun” and “Miss Me Too” explore that dizzying sensation through multilayer productions inspired by the large-scale locations she has previously played in. “Astronaut” incorporates piano by Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who inspired Griff to alter an early form of the song into a ballad. “You said you needed space, go on then, astronaut,” she admits in her characteristic belt, her grounded demeanor lending weight to her charges.

“It’s almost like I’m a little greedy with emotions when it comes to songs,” she added, explaining her desire to combine heartbreaking words with catchy, optimistic arrangements. “For me, music is all about moving people and triggering emotion.”

According to her, the catharsis is shared by both the artist and the listeners, which Martin has encouraged.

“He really believes that as creatives and writers, we’re just kind of vessels, and creativity will flow through us and ideas will find their way to the right people,” according to her. “And I think that kind of philosophy is really reassuring.”

Griff succeeds in her aim not only through her sound but also through the graphics she and her crew create. Ever since the album’s first track was released, she has worn a spiral in her hair. Song visualizers envision her dancing in billowing textiles on the same spiral created in sand. Like her pop forefathers, she understands that an album “era” is a multimedia undertaking.

However, the more casual glances of Griff, the creative, may disclose far more about her inner life. In preparation for her gig opening for a night of Swift’s Eras Tour in London, she chronicled the process of making a garment out of blue and white cloth inspired by a line from Swift’s song “But Daddy I Love Him.”

“I was always draping bedsheets around myself,” she recalled from her upbringing. “I was the only female – I have two elder brothers and a lot of foster siblings — so I entertained myself by dressing up. “I think I just enjoy making things.”

Griff Has Opened For Some Of Pop’s Biggest Stars. Now She Has A Debut Album Of Her Own To Tour

Swift stated on stage: “This girl, she is so creative on every single level.”

Griff, true to her enthusiasm, says she is eager to continue producing.

“To be totally honest, I feel excited to get back in the studio,” she told me. “I feel like I’ve got a lot more to give.”

SOURCE | AP

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Eminem Tops Spotify Charts with “The Death of Slim Shady” Album

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Eminem Tops Spotify Charts with The Death of Slim Shady Album

Eminem’s latest album, “The Death of Slim Shady (Coup De Grâce),” has achieved a monumental career milestone, pushing him to the top of Spotify’s Daily Top Artists chart. Due to his lyrical prowess and impactful storytelling, the rapper surged from No. 10 to No. 1 in just one day.

Eminem has experienced unprecedented listenership with the album launch, driving the streaming platform to peak popularity. According to insights from Eminem Pro, the track “Houdini” off the album garnered substantial acclaim, ranking third on Spotify’s Top Songs Global chart in its first day.

The song amassed an impressive 7.85 million streams within 24 hours of its release, emphasizing Eminem’s enduring influence in the music industry.

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In conjunction with the album’s success, Eminem has achieved a remarkable milestone in monthly listeners, surpassing 78.7 million and gaining more than 850,000 new listeners daily.

In addition to reinforcing his position as one of Spotify’s top artists, this surge highlights his ability to consistently grow his fan base and engage with it.

This latest triumph underscores Eminem’s ability to connect with audiences worldwide, reaffirming his status as a trailblazer in hip-hop and a perennial force in contemporary music. His influence on the cultural landscape remains as strong as ever, as his latest album continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

While Eminem has mentioned his children in prior songs like “Mockingbird,” “When I’m Gone,” and “Hailie’s Song,” these new ones provide a more intimate and sensitive look at his relationship with them. This emotional openness was also obvious in the new “Houdini” music video, which included all three youngsters in a playful setting.

“The Death of Slim Shady” represents a dramatic transition in Eminem’s career, with a departure from his alter ego and a stronger emphasis on personal events. The album’s introspective nature, particularly regarding his children, connects with listeners on an emotional level and provides a glimpse into the rapper’s softer side.

Source: eminem.news

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