AFI Highlights Clooney’s Life of Acting, Activism

George Clooney says he looks forward to more changes in Hollywood as he reflects on his career after being awarded the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award.

The 57-year-old’s work as an actor, director and human rights activist was the focus of a star-studded celebration at the Dolby Theatre earlier this month. TNT will air the ceremony on Thursday at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.

Clooney’s career spans more than three decades, from his breakthrough role on television’s “ER” to drifting through space in “Gravity.”

He’s also known for directing films such as “Monuments Men” and “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

Among those who toasted the star were Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Aniston.

Shirley MacLaine presented Clooney with the honor and urged him to direct more. (AP)

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Renowned Chef Anthony Bourdain Dead in France at 61

American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has been found dead in his hotel room in France while working on his CNN series on culinary traditions around the world. He was 61.

CNN confirmed the death, saying in a statement he was found unresponsive Friday morning by friend and chef Eric Ripert, and calling it a suicide.

CNN said Bourdain was in Strasbourg filming an upcoming segment in his series “Parts Unknown.”

The CNN statement said: “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much.”

Strasbourg police and emergency services did not immediately have information about the death. (AP)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Receive Mark Twain Prize This Fall

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is being honored with the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for a lifetime in comedy.

The veteran actress and comedian will be the 21st recipient of the Twain prize. The Kennedy Center announced her selection Wednesday and she will be celebrated at a gala event on October 31.

Louis-Dreyfus started as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and went on to create a pair of iconic and long-running television characters: Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld” and Vice-President Selina Meyer on “Veep.”

She has earned 11 Emmy awards, including a record-setting six consecutive Emmys.

Previous recipients of the Twain prize include Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin, George Carlin, Tina Fey, Bill Murray and Carol Burnett. Bill Cosby received the award in 2009 but it was rescinded earlier this year.  (AP)

 

Gabrielle Hamilton, Highlands Bar and Grill Win Beard Awards

Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune restaurant in New York City took home this year’s outstanding chef award at the James Beard Awards .

The outstanding restaurant award went to Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, when the honors were given out Monday night in Chicago. Many consider the ceremony the Oscars of the culinary world.

Hamilton earned a nomination in the same category last year. She previously won a Beard Award for Best Chef New York City. Highlands Bar and Grill received the nod after multiple previous nominations in the outstanding restaurant category. The restaurant’s menu changes daily and is rooted in classic French techniques.

The Beard Awards were based in New York. This is their fourth year in Chicago, where they moved in 2015. (AP)

Michael Che, Colin Jost of “SNL” to Host Emmy Awards

NBC says that Michael Che and Colin Jost of “Saturday Night Live” will co-host this year’s Emmy Awards.

Che and Jost anchor the “Weekend Update” segment of “Saturday Night Live” and are head writers on the long-running sketch show.

The Emmy ceremony rotates from the major broadcast networks, allowing them to use the host’s job to highlight a show or performers. “SNL” has enjoyed a ratings resurgence with its sharp-edged jabs at President Donald Trump and his administration.

Alumni of the late-night show have hosted the Emmys, including Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. But the last current “SNL” cast member to serve as host was Eddie Murphy in 1983.

The 70th prime-time Emmy Awards will air Sept. 17. (AP)

The Comedy Store Owner Mitzi Shore Dies at 87

Mitzi Shore, owner of the Los Angeles club The Comedy Store and one of the most influential figures in stand-up for more than four decades, has died.

Spokeswoman Jodi Gottlieb released a statement from the club announcing Shore’s death on Wednesday. She was 87.

No cause was given, but her son Pauly Shore, a comedian and actor, tweeted that she had been in hospice.

The Comedy Store was two years old when Mitzi Shore took over ownership after divorcing the club’s co-founder, comedian Sammy Shore, in 1974.

She arrived at a moment when a huge stand-up boom was erupting.

Virtually every major comic from Richard Pryor to Robin Williams to Jerry Seinfeld used the club as a stepping-stone and returned to hone their acts after gaining fame. (AP)

Study Suggests Building Second Hollywood Sign to Ease Crowds

Locals and tourists alike appreciate the Hollywood sign, so why not build another?

That’s one of the suggestions from a study seeking ways to ease frustration about traffic near the world famous sign in Los Angeles.

The second sign on the other side of the hill would face toward the suburban San Fernando Valley.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that a few of the less fanciful ideas include a shuttle to ferry visitors to trails near the sign and an aerial tram to offer birds-eye views.

And the report by consulting firm Dixon Resources Unlimited suggests a Hollywood sign visitor center to teach tourists about its history.

The newspaper says many of the ideas are much more mundane – including adjusting parking restrictions and installing signs to guide pedestrians. (AP)