Archive for July 22nd, 2008

Obit…Estelle Getty

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Estelle Getty of ‘Golden Girls’ dies at age 84

 

 

 

By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press

 

Estelle Getty, the diminutive actress who spent 40 years struggling for success before landing a role of a lifetime in 1985 as the sarcastic octogenarian Sophia on TV’s The Golden Girls, has died. She was 84.

 

Getty, who suffered from advanced dementia, died at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday at her Hollywood Boulevard home, said her son, Carl Gettleman of Santa Monica.

 

“She was loved throughout the world in six continents, and if they loved sitcoms in Antarctica she would have been loved on seven continents,” her son said. “She was one of the most talented comedic actresses who ever lived.”

 

The Golden Girls, featuring four female retirees sharing a house in Miami, grew out of NBC programming chief Brandon Tartikoff’s belief that television was ignoring its older viewers.

 

Three of its stars had already appeared in previous series: Bea Arthur in Maude, Betty White in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rue McClanahan in Mama’s Family. The last character to be cast was Sophia Petrillo, the feisty 80-something mother of Arthur’s character.

 

 

 

When she auditioned, Getty was appearing on stage in Hollywood as the carping Jewish mother in Harvey Fierstein’s play Torch Song Trilogy. In her early 60s, she flunked her Golden Girls test twice because it was believed she didn’t look old enough to play 80.

 

“I could understand that,” she told an interviewer a year after the show debuted. “I walk fast, I move fast, I talk fast.”

 

She came prepared for the third audition, however, wearing dowdy clothes and telling an NBC makeup artist, “To you this is just a job. To me it’s my entire career down the toilet unless you make me look 80.” The artist did, Getty got the job and won two Emmys.

 

It culminated a long struggle for success during which Getty worked low-paying office jobs to help support her family while she tried to make it as a stage actress.

 

“I knew I could be seduced by success in another field, so I’d say, ‘Don’t promote me, please,'” she recalled.

 

She also appeared in small parts in a handful of films and TV movies during that time, including Tootsie, Deadly Force and Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story.

 

After her success in The Golden Girls, other roles came her way. She played Cher’s mother in Mask, Sylvester Stallone’s in Stop or My Mom Will Shoot and Barry Manilow’s in the TV film Copacabana. Other credits included Mannequin and Stuart Little (as the voice of Grandma Estelle).

 

The Golden Girls, which ran from 1985 to 1992, was an immediate hit, and Sophia, who began as a minor character, soon evolved into a major one.

 

Audiences particularly loved the verbal zingers Getty would hurl at the other three. When McClanahan’s libidinous character Blanche once complained that her life was an open book, Sophia shot back, “Your life’s an open blouse.”

 

Getty had gained a knack for one-liners in her late teens when she did standup comedy at a Catskills hotel. Female comedians were rare in those days, however, and she bombed.

 

Undeterred, she continued to pursue a career in entertainment, and while her parents were encouraging, her father also insisted that she learn office skills so she would have something to fall back on.

 

Born Estelle Scher to Polish immigrants in New York, Getty fell in love with theater when she saw a vaudeville show at age 4.

 

She married New York businessman Arthur Gettleman (the source of her stage name) in 1947, and they had two sons, Carl and Barry. The marriage prevailed despite her long absences on the road and in The Golden Girls.

 

Getty was evasive about her height, acknowledging only that she was “under 5 feet and under 100 pounds.”

 

In addition to her son Carl, Getty is survived by son Barry Gettleman, of Miami; a brother, David Scher of London; and a sister, Rosilyn Howard of Las Vegas.

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Christian Bale Arrested…

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

BREAKING NEWS

‘Batman’ star allegedly assaulted mom, sister

 

 

 

British media report Christian Bale arrested over incident at London hotel

 

The Associated Press
July. 22, 2008

LONDONBatman star Christian Bale was arrested Tuesday over allegations of assaulting his mother and sister, police and British media said.

 

British media had reported that Bale’s mother and sister complained they were assaulted by the 34-year-old actor at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Sunday night, a day before the European premiere of his latest film, The Dark Knight.

 

The women made the allegation at a local police station in southern England on Monday, Britain’s Press Association news agency said. It later said Bale had been arrested, citing “police sources.”

 

Asked whether Bale was in custody, a police spokesman did not refer to him by name but said: “A 34-year-old man attended a central London police station this morning by appointment and was arrested in connection with an allegation of assault.”

 

The spokesman spoke anonymously in line with force policy and refused to go into more detail. British police do not name suspects before they are formally charged.

 

U.S.-based representatives for Bale didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. Repeated phone calls to Bale’s London representative went unanswered.

 

The Sun newspaper said police didn’t question the actor Monday because they didn’t want to interfere with the premiere of the movie.

 

Wales-born Bale first made a splash as the child star of Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun in 1987. His screen credits also include American Psycho, The Machinist and Batman Begins.

 

In The Dark Knight, Bale reprises the role of wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego Batman, a brooding vigilante superhero still scarred by the murder of his parents.

 

The film, which stars the late Heath Ledger as Batman’s nemesis The Joker, took in a record $158.4 million at the box office in its opening weekend in the U.S. last week.

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 UPDATE

 

Bale’s London representative issued a statement on Tuesday. “Christian Bale attended a London Police station today, on a voluntary basis, in order to assist with an allegation that had been made against him to the police by his mother and sister. Mr. Bale, who denies the allegation, co-operated throughout, gave his account in full of the events in question, and has left the station without any charge being made against him by the Police.”

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Walk of Fame Restoration…

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Faded stars to shine again on Hollywood Walk of Fame

 

 

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

 

Officials are set to unveil details of what is expected to be a two-year project to fix plaques that have become damaged.

 

By Bob Pool
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 22, 2008

 

 

Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve is about to get another shot at Hollywood stardom.

 

That was the name of the lead character played by actor Willard Waterman in the hit 1950s radio comedy The Great Gildersleeve.

 

The show went off the air in 1957 and Waterman died in 1995. Since then, Waterman’s commemorative plaque with its bronze depiction of a microphone has slowly faded from the Hollywood Walk of Fame too.

 

Chunks of the pink terrazzo inside the outline of the bronze star have come out. One of the star’s five points has disappeared. An asphalt patch fills the hole.

 

Today, though, Waterman’s battered and broken sidewalk marker will be designated one of 778 bronze stars to be replaced as part of a wholesale Walk of Fame makeover. (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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