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)


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 Bill Cosby received the award in 2009 but it was rescinded earlier this year.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)

Vatican Bling Takes Center Stage at New Met Fashion Exhibit

Those fashion exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art always have a high bling quotient. This time, though, the bling comes from an unlikely source: the Vatican.

The latest Met show focuses on the influence of the Roman Catholic Church on fashion. It features plenty of big-ticket designer items from labels like Versace and Dolce & Gabbana. But the Vatican plays a starring role.

Curator Andrew Bolton brought back 42 items from the Sistine Chapel, including tiaras encrusted with thousands of diamonds, and massive papal cloaks with golden embroidery so fine they took some 16 years to produce.

The exhibit will be launched as usual by the celebrity-studded Met Gala on Monday night. Will the celebrity bling be any match for the Vatican bling? (AP)

Select List of Nominees for 2018 Tony Awards

The musicals ‘Mean Girls’ and ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ garnered 12 Tony nominations each, leading the pack for the June awards ceremony. Also cleaning up were “The Band’s Visit,” and revivals of “Carousel” and “Angels in America” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

Best Musical: “The Band’s Visit;” ”Frozen;” ”Mean Girls;” ”SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Play: “The Children;” ”Farinelli and the King;” ”Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two;” ”Junk;” ”Latin History for Morons”

Best Book of a Musical: “The Band’s Visit;” ”Frozen;” ”Mean Girls”; “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater: “Angels in America”; “The Band’s Visit;” ”Frozen”; “Mean Girls”; “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Revival of a Play: “Angels in America;” ”Three Tall Women;” ”The Iceman Cometh;” ”Lobby Hero”; “Travesties”

Best Revival of a Musical: “Carousel;” ”My Fair Lady;” ”Once on This Island”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Andrew Garfield, “Angels in America”; Tom Hollander, “Travesties”; Jamie Parker, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”; Mark Rylance, “Farinelli and The King”; Denzel Washington, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Glenda Jackson, “Three Tall Women”; Condola Rashad, “Saint Joan”; Lauren Ridloff, “Children of a Lesser God”; Amy Schumer, “Meteor Shower”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady”; Joshua Henry, “Carousel”; Tony Shalhoub, “The Band’s Visit”; Ethan Slater, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical.”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Lauren Ambrose, “My Fair Lady”; Hailey Kilgore, “Once On This Island”; LaChanze, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”; Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit”; Taylor Louderman, “Mean Girls”; Jessie Mueller, “Carousel”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Anthony Boyle, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”; Michael Cera, “Lobby Hero”; Brian Tyree Henry, “Lobby Hero”; Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”; David Morse, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Susan Brown, “Angels in America”; Noma Dumezweni, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”; Deborah Findlay, “The Children”; Denise Gough, “Angels in America”; Laurie Metcalf, “Three Tall Women”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Norbert Leo Butz, “My Fair Lady”; Alexander Gemignani, “Carousel”; Grey Henson, “Mean Girls”; Gavin Lee, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”; Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Ariana DeBose, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”; Renee Fleming, “Carousel”; Lindsay Mendez, “Carousel”; Ashley Park, “Mean Girls”; Diana Rigg, “My Fair Lady”


Online:   (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)