Brittany Murphy Dies, Aged 32

Brittany Murphy, Broadcatching, Hollywood



The Hollywood actress Brittany Murphy has died in Los Angeles, according to reports.

Officials at the Los Angeles county coroner’s office confirmed that the Cedars-Sinai medical centre in Beverly Hills reported the death there earlier today of a person named Brittany Murphy.

The Los Angeles fire department said it responded to an emergency call from the home of actress Brittany Murphy’s husband.

Fire department spokesman Devon Gale said the call was made at 8am from a home in Los Angeles that is listed as belonging to British screenwriter Simon Monjack, who is married to Murphy. One person was transported to a hospital.

The entertainment website TMZ reported that Murphy, 32, went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived. She was said to have been pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

The actor, who was born in Atlanta, began her career on television as a teenager before her breakthrough role in the 1995 film Clueless, which starred Alicia Silverstone.

Murphy went on to star opposite rapper Eminem in 8 Mile and appeared in the comic book adaptation Sin City.

She also provided the voice for Luanne Platter in long-running animated television series King of the Hill and Gloria the penguin in box office smash Happy Feet.

She had a brief relationship with actor Ashton Kutcher in 2002 after filming the comedy Just Married, in which they both appeared, and married Monjack in 2007.

Oscar Bubble 2008 | Jeffrey Wells' Hollywood Elsewhere



BEST PICTURE: No Country for Old Men (Miramax); Atonement (Focus Features); The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Miramax); There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage); Juno (Fox Searchlight).

BEST DIRECTOR: Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men); Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly); Joe Wright (Atonement); Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood).

BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood); Benicio Del Toro (Things We Lost in the Fire); Tommy Lee Jones (In The Valley of Elah); Tom Hanks (Charlie Wilson’s War); Denzel Washington (American Gangster); Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead); Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men); James McAvoy (Atonement).
BEST ACTRESS: Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose); Julie Christie (Away from Her); Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart); Ellen Page (Juno); Amy Adams (Enchanted); Halle Berry (Things We Lost in the Fire).

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men); Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War); Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood); Ethan Hawke (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead)’ Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton).
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone); Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There), Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement); Marisa Tomei (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead); Saoirse Ronan, Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement), Kelly Macdonald  (No Country For Old Men); Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton).

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Paul Haggis (In the Valley of Elah); Diablo Cody (Juno); Tamara Jenkins (The Savages); John Carney (Once).

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:  David Benioff (The Kite Runner); Ethan Coen & Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men); Christopher Hampton (Atonement); Ronald Harwood (Love in the Time of Cholera); Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War); Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood); Steven Zaillian (American Gangster).BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Charles Ferguson (No End in Sight); David Sington (In the Shadow of the Moon); Tony Kaye (Lake of Fire); Asger Leth (Ghosts of Cite Soleil); Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman (Nanking); Michael Moore (Sicko); Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine (War/Dance).

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Bee Movie (DreamWorks); Ratatouille (Pixar); Shrek the Third (DreamWorks); The Simpsons Movie (20th Century Fox).

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Guy Dyas (The Golden Age); Wolf Kroeger (Love in the Time of Cholera); Dante Ferretti (Sweeney Todd); Victor Kempster (Charlie Wilson’s War).

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins (No Country for Old Men, The Asassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, In The Valley of Elah); Remi Adefarasin (Elizabeth: The Golden Age); Affonso Beato (Love in the Time of Cholera); Stephen Goldblatt (Charlie Wilson’s War); Gyula Pados (Evening); Harris Savides (American Gangster); Roberto Schaefer (The Kite Runner); Marcel Zyskind (A Mighty Heart).

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Marit Allen (Love in the Time of Cholera); Colleen Atwood (Sweeney Todd); Alexandra Byme (Elizabeth: The Golden Age); Albert Wolsky (Charlie Wilson’s War); Janty Yates (American Gangster).

BEST FILM EDITING: John Bloom (Charlie Wilson’s War); Matt Chesse (The Kite Runner); Peter Christelis (A Mighty Heart); Naomi Geraughty (Reservation Road); Joe Hutshing (Lions for Lambs); Chris Lebenzon (Sweeney Todd); Pietro Scalia (American Gangster).

BEST MAKEUP: Luisa Abel (Charlie Wilson’s War); Whomever (American Gangster); Claire Green, Colin Shulver & Tristan Versluis (Sweeney Todd); Joe Hopker (Elizabeth:  The Golden Age); Marese Langan (A Mighty Heart); Whomever (Love in the Time of Cholera).


Live From New York It's Saturday Night Live On Strike



NEW YORK (AP) – It wasn’t live from New York as usual.

About 150 audience members in a tiny Manhattan theater were the only folks in the world to witness a totally new “Saturday Night Live” episode starring guest host Michael Cera and musical guest Yo La Tengo.

Anyone who tuned into NBC was subjected to a two-week-old rerun featuring Brian Williams and Feist, thanks to an ongoing Writers Guild of America labor strike.

“It was everything that’s never been on the show before,” cast member Kenan Thompson told The Associated Press after the show. “Sometimes it doesn’t get a chance to shine, but it sure shined here.”

The “SNL” cast and writers collaborated on staging the special “Saturday Night Live—On Strike!” event at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre to benefit the behind-the-scenes staff affected by the strike. The live performance was not officially sanctioned by NBC, but “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels, who celebrated his 63rd birthday, did attend.

“He came and saw it and laughed a little bit,” said Thompson.

The performance included all the trappings of a typical “SNL” episode, such as a host monologue, musical performance, “Weekend Update” news segment and several comedy sketches—all without any commercial interruption.

“It was a little dirtier than usual,” audience member Birch Harms said.

A typical “SNL” episode features about seven sketches, but the cast performed about 15 original sketches during the two-hour event. Thompson said he starred in a sketch called “Hip-Hop Whodunit,” a mock game show about solving hip-hop crimes, and also appeared as a French comedian during “Weekend Update.”

“They didn’t have elaborate costumes or graphics or anything,” audience member Risa Sang-urai said. “Sometimes they would explain things or wear wigs. It wasn’t anything too elaborate, but you didn’t really need it.”

Tickets to the hush-hush sold at the 11:30 p.m. EST performance were difficult to come by. Many audience members were friends or acquaintances of “SNL” cast members or performers at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, an improv theater co-founded by “SNL” cast member Amy Poehler.

Thompsen said everyone in the current cast participated in the event, except Maya Rudolph. Past cast members Rachel Dratch and Horatio Sanz also performed. Singer Norah Jones made a cameo appearance, according to audience members.

Production of “SNL” shut down because many of the stars also write the shows. The cast and writers of “30 Rock” have also planned to stage a similar live performance Monday at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.

“Everybody’s in a holding pattern right now,” Thompson said of the “SNL” staff. “It’s a shame. All these creative people are just sitting around. We’ve obviously got material we’re waiting to unleash on the world.”


On the Net:

Writers Guild Strike | Official WGA East Blog Buzz


Daily Buzz, People’s Revolution Edition


December 12, 2007

December 12, 2007 – More on Viacom freelancers walkout, Carson Daly faces the music, and a guide to fine picketing.

Labor fever is sweeping the the NYC blogosphere, as even Viacom-owned VH1’s Best Week Ever blog runs down their favorite Viacom Freelancers Strike picket signs, and Gawker reports MTV had to hide their Times Square View from impressionable TRL audiences.

Also via Comrade Gawker , Fresh Direct just put out of work a group of employees with a vote to unionize less than two weeks away.

And fellow Nicke Denton-owned blog Defamer has posted a harrowing account of more than 20 WGA members infiltrating Carson Daly’s show taping, heckling him throughout an attempted interview.

COOL FACTOR: Picket Line Connoisseurs

Deadline Hollywood Daily shared a Zagat-style review of West Coast picketing spots, attributed to Jonathan Schmoc. Is there an NYC edition on the way? A highlight:

Getting a school bus to honk has never seemed so “chic” as at the “legendary” Burbank “chez Leno.” “Enthusiastic die-hards” stand in “long lines” to “stand in a long line” as stories of “touching John Edwards” and “creepy Ambassador Hotel premonitions” make striking at NBC Burbank the West Coast answer to “yelling at any New York office building.”

Waiting For That Deal to Be Done; Broadway Stagehands Fail After Day One





No deal after the first day of talks between stagehands and producers over the Broadway strike comes to an end.

Negotiators hunkered down at a Times Square hotel all day Saturday to try to end the Broadway strike but couldn’t reach a deal.

Representatives of the striking stagehands and theater producers are expected to return to the bargaining table Sunday.

The closed-door discussions began at 10 a.m. in a fourth-floor ballroom at the Westin Hotel on W. 43rd St. – where prestrike talks broke down 11 days ago.

As the day dragged on, both sides refused to comment.

Negotiations didn’t wrap up until about 11:45 p.m.

“Now’s the pressure time, and everyone knows it,” said Barry Peek, a labor lawyer who is not involved in the talks. “I would expect that they’ll stay at the bargaining table this weekend until they get a deal.”

Thanksgiving week is second only to the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day as Broadway’s most profitable time.

At midday Saturday, some union delegates broke away from the negotiations to visit picketing colleagues at a nearby theater and tell them there was no progress.

“We’re just waiting around,” shrugged a Local 1 union captain.

Later, the talks seemed to pick up more steam, but both sides adhered to a news blackout.

“It would be unwise, disrespectful and could sidetrack the negotiations to say anything,” one union leader said. Representatives for the producer’s league also declined to comment.

Delegates and picketers wore black armbands in a show of respect for stagehand Francis Lavaia, 57, who died after collapsing on a W. 45th St. picket line Friday night.

The two sides last talked Nov. 8, two days before the union walked off the job, shutting down 27 plays and musicals.

Seemingly everyone in Times Square – theater producers, stagehands, restaurateurs, cabbies and food vendors – wants the theater lights back on soon.

“I’m hoping that we can resolve this and go back on stage,” said Scott Ellis, director of the mystery musical “Curtains.”

But as curtain time came and went yesterday, the only show at the Richard Rodgers Theatre was the stern-faced picketers handing out leaflets.

The stagehands – prop handlers, carpenters and lighting and sound technicians – have been working without a contract since the end of July.

Negotiations are focused on pay and work rules.

“We’re here as long as it takes,” said a 49-year-old stagehand, who had been working on the highly anticipated “Cyrano de Bergerac,” starring Jennifer Garner, before the strike began Nov. 10.

The strike is costing the city an estimated $2 million a day. Restaurants in the district began offering 15% discounts Saturday to fill their empty tables.

Thousands of theater fans have been disappointed.

Jane Pealver, 41, of Milwaukee had hoped to celebrate her anniversary at “Monty Python’s Spamalot” Saturday night.

“We’ve had our tickets for eight months,” she said angrily.