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Walter Mirisch, Oscar-winning producer, dead at 101

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LOS ANGELES — Walter Mirisch, a smart and Oscar-winning movie producer who oversaw classics like “Some Like It Hot,” “West Side Story,” and “In the Heat of the Night,” died of natural causes on Saturday, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was 101.

According to a statement from the Academy’s CEO Bill Kramer and president Janet Yang, Mirisch died on Friday in Los Angeles.

“Walter was a true visionary, both as a producer and an industry leader,” they said, noting that he had previously served as academy president and governor. “His passion for filmmaking and the Academy never wavered, and he remained a dear friend and advisor. During this difficult time, we send our love and support to his family.”

Mirisch won the Academy Award for best picture for 1967′s “In the Heat of the Night,” and the company he and his brothers ran also produced best-picture Oscar winners “The Apartment” and “West Side Story.”

He was born eight years before the first Academy Awards ceremony and was president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1973 to 1977. He received two honorary Oscars for his work and humanitarian efforts in 1978 and 1983.

Mirisch aggressively recruited top filmmakers such as Billy Wilder and Norman Jewison as producers, then gave them free rein to craft the films as they saw fit.

“We provided what these filmmakers required,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1983. “Billy could call me up and say, ‘I’d next like to do a picture about so-and-so’ — and that’s all we’d need to know. … We effectively became partners with our directors.”

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Mirisch aggressively recruited top filmmakers such as Billy Wilder and Norman Jewison

In addition to Wilder and Jewison, his company’s regular board of directors included Blake Edwards and John Sturges. The company also produced films by John Ford, John Huston, William Wyler, George Roy Hill, and Hal Ashby.

Mirisch began his career in the film industry as a teenager, working his way up from usher to management positions with a theatre chain before moving on to production work on low-budget action films and Westerns in the late 1940s.

His company, which he founded with his brother Marvin and half-brother Harold in 1957, was one of the most successful independent production outfits to emerge from the old studio system as television reduced movie attendance.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, the Mirischs had a string of hits, including “The Magnificent Seven,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Great Escape,” “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “The Pink Panther,” and its sequel, “A Shot in the Dark.”

Their company began with a few Westerns before producing 1959′s “Some Like It Hot,” a Wilder comedy starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis as cross-dressing musicians fleeing the mob.

Mirisch was open to trying out new projects. He was a Harvard-trained business executive who efficiently oversaw the business side of things, allowing his filmmakers to focus on their films.

Elmore Leonard, the crime novelist and screenwriter on two Mirisch productions, “Mr. Majestyk” in 1974 and “Desperado” in 1987, dedicated his Hollywood satire “Get Shorty” to Mirisch, calling him “one of the good guys.”

Mirisch was also one of a few filmmakers mentioned by Sidney Poitier in his acceptance speech for an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement at the 2002 Academy Awards.

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Mirisch was open to trying out new projects.

“Those filmmakers persevered, speaking to the best in all of us through their art,” said Poitier, who starred in Mirisch’s “In the Heat of the Night” and the sequel “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!”

The Mirisch brothers tailored their management style to the level of oversight they felt a director desired or required. Mirisch stated in a 1972 interview in the journal “Films and Filming” that some directors worked well as their producers, while others had little interest outside the actual filmmaking.

“We’ve worked with brilliant directors and producer-directors, and I must say that our relationships with each of them have been very different,” he explained.

The Mirisch brothers worked in theatre as a team for most of their careers. Walter worked as a producer and later as head of the production before joining the Allied Artists production company in the 1940s, while Harold and Marvin worked in administration.

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Walter Mirisch continued to make theatrical films until the 1980s.

While at Allied, Walter produced Westerns and a series of low-budget titles in the “Bomba the Jungle Boy” series starring Johnny Sheffield, who had played Boy in the 1940s “Tarzan” films.

Following the death of his oldest brother, Harold, in 1968, the surviving siblings carried on their business with Marvin as chairman and Walter, the youngest brother, in charge of production. Marvin passed away in 2002.

Walter Mirisch continued to make theatrical films until the 1980s. Although his films’ quality and commercial success declined in general, he did have some hits, including Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe for “Same Time Next Year.” Other late-career films included “Midway,” “Gray Lady Down,” and the 1979 remake of “Dracula.” In the 1990s, he was also an executive producer on several television projects.

In New York City, Walter Mortimer Mirisch was born on November 8, 1921. After attending City College of New York, he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1942 from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s in business in 1943 from Harvard.

Mirisch married Patricia Kahan in 1947, and she died before him. Anne, Andrew, and Lawrence were their three children.

The family has asked for donations to the Motion Picture and Television Fund instead of flowers (MPTF).

A memorial service will take place at a later date.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Matthew Perry’s Death Under Investigation In Connection With Ketamine Level Found In Actor’s Blood

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Friends Star Matthew Perry, 54 Found Dead at His LA Home

Los Angeles  — Authorities have begun an investigation into how Matthew Perry obtained the ketamine that killed him, police said Tuesday.

Los Angeles police are collaborating with the US Narcotic Enforcement Administration and the US Postal Inspection Service to investigate why the 54-year-old “Friends” star had so much of the narcotic in his system, LAPD Capt. Scot Williams said in an email.

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matthew Perry | CBC Image

Matthew Perry’s Death Under Investigation In Connection With Ketamine Level Found In Actor’s Blood

On Oct. 28, an assistant discovered Perry, 54, face down in his hot tub, and paramedics arrived and confirmed him dead. His autopsy, which was disclosed in December, revealed that the level of ketamine in his blood was within the range used for general anesthesia during surgery. The primary cause of death was categorized as an accident, with no foul play suspected, according to the report.

The coroner cited drowning and other medical conditions as contributory reasons.

TMZ initially revealed the probe.

People close to the star informed coroner’s investigators that he was receiving ketamine infusion therapy. The decades-old surgical medication has experienced a significant increase in use in recent years to treat depression, anxiety, and pain.

However, the medical examiner stated that Perry’s most recent treatment, which occurred one and a half weeks prior, could not account for the ketamine levels in his blood. The medication is normally metabolized within hours. According to the medical examiner’s report, Perry was being treated by at least two doctors: a psychiatrist and an anesthesiologist who also functioned as his primary care physician. No illegal drugs or paraphernalia were discovered at his home.

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Matthew Perry | People Image

Matthew Perry’s Death Under Investigation In Connection With Ketamine Level Found In Actor’s Blood

Perry struggled with addiction for years, beginning with his time on “Friends,” where he starred as Chandler Bing alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer for ten seasons from 1994 to 2004.

In other cases, celebrity deaths caused by drugs prompted authorities to punish those who gave them.

After rapper Mac Miller died from an overdose of cocaine, alcohol, and fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone, two of the guys who gave him the fentanyl were convicted of trafficking it. One was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison, while the other received 10 years.

Two doctors and a manager of model and reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith were charged with scheming to obtain her prescription medicines before her 2007 death but not with causing her deadly overdose. All accusations against one doctor were subsequently dismissedexcept one misdemeanor fraud charge.

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Matthew Perry | Rolling Stone Image

Matthew Perry’s Death Under Investigation In Connection With Ketamine Level Found In Actor’s Blood

After Michael Jackson died in 2009 from a deadly dose of propofol, a medicine designed for use only during surgery and other medical operations, not for the insomnia the singer wanted, his doctor, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011. Murray has maintained his innocence.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Accused Of 2003 Sexual Assault In Lawsuit

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Combs | AP News Image

NEW YORK — A former model accused Sean “Diddy” Combs of sexually abusing her at his New York City recording studio in 2003, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the latest in a slew of allegations against the embattled hip-hop entrepreneur.

Crystal McKinney, a prominent 22-year-old model, said she met Diddy at a restaurant during Men’s Fashion Week in Manhattan. The criminal complaint filed in New York City states that Combs invited her to his recording studio later that night.

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P diddy Combs | Sky News Image

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Accused Of 2003 Sexual Assault In Lawsuit

According to the lawsuit, when McKinney arrived, Diddy was drinking and smoking joints with several other males. According to the lawsuit, she smoked some marijuana and “later came to understand” that it was tainted with a narcotic or intoxicating drug. She felt as if she were floating. Diddy escorted her to the restroom, where the sexual assault occurred, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Diddy escorted her back to the studio, where she lost consciousness. She later awoke in a taxi and discovered she had been sexually assaulted, according to the lawsuit.

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Combs | Cheat Sheet Image

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Accused Of 2003 Sexual Assault In Lawsuit

Diddy’s reps did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

The Associated Press normally does not identify persons who claim to have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly, as McKinney has.

The complaint was filed days after CNN published security footage showing Combs assaulting singer Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel corridor in 2016. On Sunday, Diddy published a video admitting to attacking Cassie in a hotel hallway, stating he was “truly sorry” and his actions were “inexcusable.”

Diddy is not likely to face criminal charges for the incident due to the statute of limitations.

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Diddy Combs | AP News Image

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Accused Of 2003 Sexual Assault In Lawsuit

Cassie filed a complaint in November alleging beatings and abuse, which was resolved a day later. However, it sparked increased scrutiny of Diddy, with numerous further lawsuits filed in the following months, as well as a federal criminal sex-trafficking probe that prompted investigators to raid Combs’ residences in Los Angeles and Miami.

The claim was filed on Tuesday under a New York City law that allows accusers to initiate civil litigation within a specific time frame, even if the alleged crimes occurred many years ago.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Elvis Presley Final Resting Place Graceland Facing Foreclosure

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Graceland Facing Foreclosure
Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion: Getty Images

The Elvis Presley final resting place and renowned tourist attraction Graceland Mansion is embroiled in a legal dispute as it appears to be prepared for a foreclosure auction later this week. However, actor Riley Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley, is countering this with a lawsuit alleging fraud.

The estate, constructed in 1939, is reportedly scheduled to be auctioned off on Thursday at the Shelby County courthouse in Memphis, Tennessee, as per a purported foreclosure notice.

Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley, allegedly used Graceland as collateral to secure a $3.8 million loan from Naussany Investments and Private Lending in 2018. However, she failed to repay the loan prior to her father’s death in 2017. As a result, the foreclosure is purportedly taking place.

“Daisy Jones and the Six,” a popular television series from the previous year, featured Keough as its heir.

Keough asserts in a lawsuit that Naussany Investments “appears to be a fraudulent organization established with the intention” of deceiving her family.

Graceland Never Mortgaged

Additionally, the lawsuit asserts that Keough’s mother, Lisa Marie Presley, never provided the company with a deed of trust to Graceland or “borrowed money” from them. It further claims that any documents that dispute this are forgeries.

The notary public whose name appears on the deed of trust has provided a sworn affidavit in the lawsuit, which states, “I did not notarize this document.”

Wednesday’s hearing will contemplate the aforementioned allegations, subsequent to which a temporary restraining order was reportedly issued on Monday, as stated by Keough’s counsel, as reported by the CBS affiliate in Memphis, WREG.

“You want to maintain the status quo and ensure that nothing changes; nobody should be harmed,” said legal contributor for CBS News Jessica Levinson. “And the biggest harm would come from an illegitimate sale of Graceland.”

Two individuals who appeared to be associated with the investment and lending firm responded to CBS News’ inquiries by stating that they would relay our concerns to their legal representatives.

Elvis Presley was a cultural icon

The foreclosure claims are “false,” according to a statement from Elvis Presley Enterprises, the property manager of Graceland. Elvis Presley’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, shared a photograph of Graceland with the caption “It’s a scam!” on social media.

In 1957, Elvis Presley Sr. purchased Graceland for $102,500 at the age of 22. The mansion was 10,266 square feet at the time of his acquisition, and Elvis acquired 13.8 acres of the farm surrounding the residence. The Graceland estate is currently 17,552 square feet in size.

In 1991, the American National Register of Historic Places included Graceland, the final resting place of Elvis Presley in 1977. Named after Grace, an aunt of one of the original proprietors, Graceland attracts more than 600,000 visitors annually.

Elvis Presley was a cultural icon who revolutionized music. He rose from humble beginnings to become the “King of Rock and Roll.” With his distinctive voice, charismatic stage presence, and blend of genres, Elvis left an indelible mark on pop culture.

His hit songs like “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog,” and “Don’t Be Cruel” still resonate today. Elvis’ impact extended beyond music—his fashion sense, dance moves, and sex appeal captivated audiences worldwide. Despite his untimely death, Elvis’ legacy continues to inspire artists and fans alike.

 

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