People

Virna Lisi, 78, Italian Actress Who Won, Then Fled, Hollywood Stardom

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“In the 1960s, like many other female Italian actors of the time, Virna Lisi was tempted to try her luck in Hollywood. However, after films in which her co-stars included Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Frank Sinatra, she returned to Europe, where she had painstakingly built up a reputation, particularly in Italy and France. It was in these countries that Lisi … had the opportunities to show her mettle.”

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Why John Waters Is a National Treasure (By Jerry Saltz)

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“No one gets the cross-section of showbiz and fandom like him. In giving us these extraordinarily particular individuals and distinct visages – both psychological and visual – Waters gets you to know in your bones that the more we are part of a vast crowd of people who idolize someone or something, the more alone and special we feel in our idolization.” (includes slide show of Waters’s art)

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Fights Over James Brown’s Estate Freeze Out His Final Wishes

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“The bulk of his estate, worth millions of dollars — perhaps tens of millions — was to go to a trust to provide scholarships to needy children here in his native state and in Georgia, where he grew up. But nearly eight years after his death, at 73, on Dec. 25, 2006, the I Feel Good Trust has not distributed a penny to its intended recipients.”

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25 Women Who Drove The Culture In 2014

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“Whether they sent us into a collective tizzy with their scandalous album covers or had us pumping our fists in favor of their truthful testimony, these 25 women (plus a few honorable mentions at the end) were the ones who got us talking, thinking, re-thinking, and maybe, just maybe, planning a revolution of our own.”

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Janis Martin, Mezzo-Turned-Wagnerian-Soprano, Dead At 75

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“To most opera lovers worldwide, Ms. Martin is best remembered for her potent mastery of the challenging soprano parts in the works of Wagner and Richard Strauss. She was a regular at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany, dedicated to Wagner’s music, and she appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and other leading opera houses.”

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The Prime Minister Of Canada Is Still Atoning For A Remark About The Arts From 2008

Stephen Harper

“His attempt to brand the arts as an elite concern played particularly badly in Quebec; some analysts believe the quote cost him a majority in that election. Many outside Quebec were equally unimpressed: Surely ordinary Canadians, with their garage bands and their dance lessons, are as appreciative of the arts as any elite.”

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How To Become A Poet

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“I’ve been thinking about 1998. I was twelve years old that year; Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. were both killed that year. To learn about that kind of violence existing in the world — both racist and homophobic — it changed me. I don’t know if I fully understood it at the time, but I was terrified. And terror does many things but it also clarifies.”

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What Happened To Jose Feghali?

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“His career fairly exploded after the Cliburn win. With top-drawer management, he had a busy schedule of playing with the world’s top orchestras, and in the most prominent recital halls. Latin good looks and that natural ebullience didn’t hurt. Given the bumpy history of Cliburn winners, critics speculated that this guy just might have staying power. But something happened along the way.”

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Shonda Rhimes: “I Haven’t Broken Through Any Glass Ceilings”

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“If I had broken through any glass ceilings, I would know. If I had broken through a glass ceiling, I would have felt some cuts, I would have some bruises. There’d be shards of glass in my hair. I’d be bleeding. … So how come I don’t remember the moment? When me with my woman-ness and my brown skin went running full speed, gravity be damned, into that thick layer of glass and smashed right through it?”

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Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Kills Himself

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Jose Feghali shot himself in the head. “The Brazilian native, trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, won the gold medal and the chamber music prize in the 1985 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Since 1990 he had been artist-in-residence at Texas Christian University’s School of Music, more recently also serving as its coordinator of internet technologies.”

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Jane Freilicher, 90, New York School Artist Who Dared To Paint Landscapes

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“She was not widely known by the general public, but her consistent, steady experimentation earned her intense acclaim throughout her life, particularly from contemporary critics and poets, many of whom were her close friends. In 1958, the poet James Schuyler termed her ‘a poet’s painter who may yet become the public’s painter” – an apt description for her entire career.”

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Rethinking Van Gogh At The Museum That Bears His Name

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“Curators at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam think that it is time for this artist’s profile to get an update: to focus more on van Gogh the serious artist, not van Gogh the myth. To that end, they have redesigned and rehung the museum’s permanent collection to present a more nuanced view.”

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Anna Netrebko, Freedom Fighter

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Netrebko said her gift to the Donetsk opera and ballet theatre was “a step to support art where it is needed now”. Russian Channel 5 TV showed her giving the cheque to Oleg Tsarev, a leader of the armed separatists in Donetsk.

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Read the story at BBC

Bolshoi Ballet Star Alla Sizova Dead At 75

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“[Her] outsize talent was apparent even before she joined the Kirov (now the Mariinsky) in 1958. … Her extraordinarily high jump and astounding technical prowess as the Queen of the Dryads in a school performance of Don Quixote won raves from the Leningrad critics and a nickname, Flying Sizova.”

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The Beloved Mexican Comedian Who Inspired Millions Of Kids – And The Simpsons’ Bumblebee Man

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“News of the death of Gómez — more commonly known by his nickname, ‘Chespirito’ — generated an outpouring of mourning. Murals began materializing in Latin American cities. A South American news anchor teared up as she delivered the news. The Peruvian congress observed a moment of silence. And the Mexican president tweeted condolences — as did such entertainers as the rock band Molotov and pop singer Paulina Rubio.”

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Super-Gallerist Larry Gagosian Wins Billionaire’s Lawsuit

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Billionaire collector Ron Perelman “sued Gagosian and his gallery in September 2012, accusing them of concealing material information and manipulating art prices. Gagosian sued Perelman the same day, accusing him of reneging on an agreement to buy two pieces of art for more than $23 million and offering less money and other works in exchange.”

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How Richard Pryor And Lily Tomlin Became Comedic Soul Mates

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“‘I had to jump through hoops for him,’ Lily recalled. ‘I’m sure he was testing if this white girl was OK to work with.’ … ‘We had conversations that spiraled into the ozone,’ Richard recalled. ‘In minutes, we’d create enough characters to populate entire neighborhoods.'”

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Why Mel Tormé Never Got The One Thing He Desperately Wanted

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The gifted jazz singer – who was also a talented songwriter, arranger, author, and character actor – was tormented his entire life that he never achieved the same level of fame as Frank Sinatra. “What was it, then, that kept Tormé out of the pop-culture pantheon? Was his stylish singing caviar to the general? Or was something else at fault?”

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“Almost Scientific”: What Lena Dunham Learned About Creativity From Her Artist Parents

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Creativity is “an ineffable bug that takes you over but also something that you can learn. … My parents taught me that you can have a creative approach to thinking that is almost scientific. You don’t have to be at the mercy of the muse. You need your own internalized thinking process that you can perform again and again.”

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Brian Macdonald, 86, Choreographer, Director, Leader Of Ballet Companies On Three Continents

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“He served as artistic director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Royal Swedish Ballet, and the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, and he “won acclaim for creating or staging ballets, operas and Broadway musicals” through Europe and North America, including 19 productions at Ontario’s Stratford Festival.

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