| May 5, 2011
Jackie Cooper, whose tousled blond hair, pouty lower lip and ability to cry on camera helped make him one of the top child stars of the 1930s in films such as "Skippy" and "The Champ," has died. He was 88.
Cooper, who grew up to become a successful TV...
| May 16, 2010
By now you've probably gathered that Richard Wagner was opera's great maker of epics, with the singular ability to rouse emotions, amass followers and incite enmity. He was mythmaker, and he was mythologized. His operas are massive pageants of humanity,...
| May 23, 2010
Home Alone With Classic Cinema
W.W. Norton: 416 pp., $18.95
Gary Giddins is well known for his writing about music — he was a Village Voice jazz columnist for three decades, and his books, among them the biography...
| May 27, 2010
Chuck Palahniuk is as subtle as a straight right to the jaw, and just as bracing.
His 1996 novel "Fight Club" was a terrific meditation on the decrepit state of modern manhood. It had a relentless pace, brutal honesty and pitch-black humor.
| May 30, 2010
The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham
Random House: 640 pp., $35
The story of William Somerset Maugham, the stammering young boy who became a doctor and then the world's most famous writer since Dickens, has often been told,...
| Jun 28, 2010
| 4:04 PM
Update: Talk-show host Leeza Gibbons has sold her longtime Hollywood Hills compound for $4,795,000.
Owned in the '40s by actress Joan Crawford, the 11,137-square-foot Mediterranean is set behind gates on more than an acre of landscaped grounds, which...
| Mar 24, 2011
| 8:45 AM
When trimming a household budget, premium cable is an easy expense to cut. Hold on to your HBO, though.
Its "Mildred Pierce" miniseries, premiering March 27 and spread out over three Sundays, is worth it.
Kate Winslet turns in a sublime performance as...
| Mar 25, 2011
| 1:09 PM
With acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes directing and Oscar winner Kate Winslet starring as "Mildred Pierce" (8 p.m. March 27, April 3 and 10, HBO; ** out of four), I expected this mini-series based on James M. Cain's 1941 novel to dazzle me.
Instead, I was...
| May 1, 2011
A decade ago, when my wife and I were honeymooning on Italy's Amalfi Coast, we'd talked — maybe even vowed — to return there for our 10th wedding anniversary if we still liked each other. After all, it would be 10 years. That's a pretty big...
| May 8, 2011
| 5:16 PM
| Feb 20, 2011
Walter Seltzer, a Hollywood press agent-turned-producer who started out at MGM in the 1930s and made an enduring mark on the industry in the 1980s as a tenacious fundraiser for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, has died. He was 96.
| Jul 10, 2010
Dr. Phil, as straight-shooting TV host Phil McGraw is best known, and his wife, Robin, have listed their Mediterranean villa in Beverly Hills at $16.5 million.
The couple is selling because they have bought a hillside view home that they've been admiring...