Whether it was through her classic rom-coms like Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail, dramas like Silkwood or her essay collection I Feel Bad About My Neck, three-time Oscar-nominee Ephron almost certainly pulled at your heartstrings at some point in the past two decades. It’s just statistics. To commemorate her amazing heart and wite, we gathered a few of our favorite Ephron movie moments. You know you’re going to cry anyway, so just go ahead. We know we will be too.
Davy Jones, the lead singer of the Monkees, died this morning in a Florida hospital of heart failure, TMZ reports. He was 66. At least two generations will mourn the passing of the adorable, Manchester, England-born singer, who joined the made-for-TV group in 1965. The Monkees originally aired on NBC from 1966-1968, but many of us got hooked on it when MTV picked up the series in the ’80s. We perfected our monkey walk in the playground and hummed along to the same sugary pop songs our parents listened to as teens.
Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz all auditioned for the group, the brainchild of TV execs who wanted to cash in on the popularity of the Beatles’ movie, Hard Days Night. And though they eventually took creative control of their music, the quartet endured endless criticism for their manufactured origins. Still, “Daydream Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a Believer” were genuine #1 hits. And we’re pretty sure that success directly lead to the copycats of the modern era, from the Spice Girls to O-Town to — why not? — American Idol.
Jones started off as an actor, appearing on the British soap Coronation Street at age 11, and also trained to be a jockey. In 1964 he was a member of the Broadway cast of Oliver!, which visited the Ed Sullivan Show the same day the Beatles made their debut on it. After The Monkees, he continued to act in TV guest spots.
Jones is survived by his third wife, Jessica Pacheco, and four daughters from previous marriages.
Actor Robert Hegyes died after an apparent heart attack in his native New Jersey yesterday, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports. The 60-year-old, who acted on Broadway, co-starred in Cagney and Lacey and guest-starred in everything from the Drew Carey Show to Diagnosis Murder, will forever be remembered as high school student Juan Luis Pedro Filipo De Huevos Epstein, his role on Welcome Back, Kotter, from 1975-1979.
Most people think of Kotter as the show that made John Travolta’s career. Not me. Though of Italian descent himself, the Jewish Puerto Rican Hegyes played has always been a kind of icon for mixed-up products of immigration. As the daughter of a Dominican and a Hungarian Israeli, I basically grew up hearing “Juan Epstein” jokes all my life, and I can’t say I minded it. If people associated my crazy background with a wise-cracking kid on TV reruns, that seemed pretty cool to me. Even in a sitcom setting, Juan’s exchange with Gabe Kaplan’s Mr. Kotter in the first episode sounds mighty familiar.
Kotter: Your mother’s Puerto Rican?
Epstein: No, my father. My mother’s name is Bibberman.
Kotter: I didn’t know there were Epsteins in Puerto Rico.
Epstein: Oh, there weren’t. Until the winter of ’38, when a boat carrying a shivering Lou Epstein from Odessa to the Bronx stopped in San Juan.
Check out this video of the Kotter cast’s reunion at last year’s TV Land Awards. Read more…
We loved Etta James with all our heart, soul and ears. And obviously so did a MANY of other people. Ever since learning of the singing legend’s tragic passing this morning, celebrities of every stripe have taken to twitter to pay their respects. Click under the jump to see what some of your favorites had to say about the lovely Miss James. And head on over to VH1 Tuner to read her full story and browse through a photo retrospective of her amazing life.
“Smokin” Joe FrazierÂ died yesterday evening at his home in Philadelphia, surrounded by his family. His agent, Darren Prince, confirmed the sad news. The boxing great was diagnosed with liver cancer just last month and was only 67 when he passed away. Frazier was an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame and known for his legendary 1975 “Thrilla in Manila” fight against Muhammad Ali, whom he fought three times. Our condolences go out to his friends and family.
Sad news to pass along this morning. Frances Bay, the sweet old lady who played Adam Sandler‘s grandmother in Happy Gilmore and once famously battled Jerry Seinfeld for a loaf of marble rye, passed away over the weekend from complications resulting from pneumonia. The 92-year-old actress was a veteran of both the silver and small screens began working in Hollywood all the way back in the 1930s (!), making memorable appearances in shows like Twin Peaks, Happy Days, and Who’s The Boss? along the way. To (lovingly) paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, “Rest in peace, you old bag.”
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