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Publicity photo of Danny Thomas. Credit: CBS Television (Public domain)
Publicity photo of Danny Thomas. Credit: CBS Television (Public domain)
In the summer of 1984, with the Olympics in full swing in Los Angeles, Rose Marie and Danny Thomas decided to cancel their annual charity bash. They promptly sent an "un-vitation" to their guests, to stay home and make donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis: "Rose Marie and Danny Thomas cordially invite you not to attend their St. Jude Gala this year," it read. "By not attending the 'Phantom Ball' which we are not giving, you will not be spending so much money..." Thomas encountered only one problem. Before receiving his letter, Don Rickles had sent a check for $1,000. "I'm expecting a call from Don anytime now," Thomas joked, "asking for his money back."
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Rita Rudner. Credit: LOL Comedy from Hollywood (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>)
Rita Rudner. Credit: LOL Comedy from Hollywood (CC BY-SA 2.0)
When the Northridge earthquake hit California (at 4:30 a.m. on January 17, 1994), many people were terrified, Rita Rudner among them. Rudner, who was at her home in Beverly Hills with husband Martin Bergman, later recalled: "Cabinets nailed to the wall came unattached, doors were flying open, and a fish committed suicide in our pond—although we think he had other problems. Now I feel everything—a neighbor can turn on a blender, and I run under the doorway."
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Cars for sale in Iceland in 2011. Photo from Wikipedia user Helgi Halldórsson (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>)
Cars for sale in Iceland in 2011. Photo from Wikipedia user Helgi Halldórsson (CC BY-SA 2.0)
From The Economist: Economists' ideas on how to design markets can seem puzzling at first. One example is the question of how much detail an online car auctioneer should reveal about the condition of the vehicles on offer. Common sense would suggest some information—a car's age and mileage—is essential, but that total transparency about other things (precise details on subpar paintwork) might deter buyers, lowering the auctioneer's commissions. Academic theory suggests otherwise: in some types of auction more information always raises revenues. To test the idea, Steve Tadelis of the University of California at Berkeley (now also working for eBay) and Florian Zettelmeyer of Northwestern University set up a trial, randomly splitting 8,000 cars into two groups. The first ...
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Actress Sienna Miller at the presentation of The Lost City of Z at the Berlinale 2017. Credit: Martin Kraft (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>)

Actress Sienna Miller at the presentation of The Lost City of Z at the Berlinale 2017. Credit: Martin Kraft ( ...(more)

During the production of the biopic Factory Girl (2006), Sienna Miller, who played Edie Sedgwick in the film, found working with director George Hickenlooper challenging. "Edie was skinnier than I was, so he wanted me to [lose weight]," she later recalled. "But I can't work that hard and not eat. He'd come and try to snatch bagels out of my hands!"
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Goldie Hawn: "I remember once I met Warren Beatty years ago [before they co-starred in 1975's Shampoo]. I was 23, [or] 25... I said, 'What am I going to do when I'm 45? I'm going to look so old.' He looked at me and said, 'You're not going to age. Just take care of yourself, eat the right foods and take care of your body.' I said, 'But I don't have any cheekbones! I'm too round. It will all just sag and fall apart.' And he said 'No, you have a face that will stay. The women with the cheekbones won't.' I thought he was just blowing smoke. Actually, it was true. And I say to all the girls with ...
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After the release of Birthday Girl (2001), British actor Ben Chaplin was asked about shooting his sex scene with Nicole Kidman. "Nicole is used to them," he said. "We did a lot of sex scenes, and you only see a twentieth of what we did. Maybe they will go bigger, longer and uncut for the DVD!"
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Heather Graham at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Credit: Dimitri Sarantis (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>)
Heather Graham at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Credit: Dimitri Sarantis (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Heather Graham's appearance (as sidekick Felicity Shagwell) in Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) made her a huge hit with boyfriend Edward Burns's nephews. "The boys are 10 and 6," she later explained. "Since I'm in Austin Powers II, I'm suddenly cool. They even carry the newspaper ad to school and go, 'You know, that's my uncle's girlfriend.' We're at family dinners, and out of nowhere the boys will look at me and go, 'Oh, behave!' Then they're so shy that they get up and run away." [British actor Michael York, who played Austin Powers's boss, Basil Exposition, also got a boost from Austin Powers fans. "I will be out somewhere," he once reported, "and I will ...
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John Lithgow at Met Opera Opening in 2008 © Rubenstein, photographer Martyna Borkowski. Credit: Rubenstein (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0">CC BY 2.0</a>)
John Lithgow at Met Opera Opening in 2008 © Rubenstein, photographer Martyna Borkowski. Credit: Rubenstein (CC BY 2.0)
In 2001, 3rd Rock from the Sun left NBC's orbit for good, saying goodbye after six stellar seasons. John Lithgow, who received an Emmy Award nomination (for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series) each year the show was broadcast (and won in 1996, 1997, and 1999), believed the show should have survived a lot longer. "It's almost a textbook case of how to do everything wrong in building a hit show," he later complained. "If NBC had set out to ruin it, they couldn't have done a better job. They kept trying to use us as a weapon instead of a show to be taken care of." How so? During its six seasons on the air, Lithgow said, NBC ...
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After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues to shoot hoops on the White House basketball court. This photo garnered a lot of attention when it was hung on the walls of the West Wing.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). Credit: White House/Pete Souza (Public domain)

After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues ...(more)

1997 was a bad year for George Clooney's career. "I had two movies come out in a row: Batman & Robin and The Peacemaker," he later recalled. "I buried the Bat franchise and almost brought down DreamWorks all in one year." When did Clooney sense trouble around the corner? "There was a moment when [director] Joel Schumacher looked at me in my rubber suit with nipples, and he's like, 'Fabulous!' I thought, 'Uh-oh—this isn't going to go well...'"
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In Marley and Me, John Grogan recalled the day he took his Labrador Retriever, Marley (named afer Bob Marley), home from the breeder: In the car, I used beach towels to fashion a cozy nest for him on the passenger seat and set him down in it. But I was barely out of the driveway when he began squirming and wiggling his way out of the towels. He belly-crawled in my direction across the seat, whimpering as he advanced. At the center console, Marley met the first of the countless predicaments he would find himself in over the course of his life. There he was, hind legs hanging over the passenger side of the console and front legs hanging over ...