Here’s The Things You’ll Want To See Hear and Know Today.
The Big Picture
Former “Sopranos” star JAMES GANDOLFINI passed away yesterday, after suffering a massive heart attack in Italy. He was 51. James is best known for his role as Tony Soprano, for which he won three Emmys.
Sadly, when he died, James was in the middle of a father-son trip to Italy with his teenage son Michael, who had just graduated eighth grade. They were really tight, and were “regulars” at L.A. Kings hockey games.
Michael was his son with his first wife Marcy. She immediately flew to Italy after hearing of his death. James is also survived by his second wife Deborah, who he married in 2008. Just last October, they had a baby girl.
There aren’t many details on what happened . . . and it’s unclear if he’d been suffering from any health problems before the heart attack. James’ assistant said he’d just had “a beautiful day out” with his family . . . and, quote, “When they got back to the hotel, [he] went to use the restroom.
“And something happened in there . . . His sister said he was alive when they took him out in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital.”
James didn’t really break into acting until 1999, when he scored the role of Tony Soprano. He won three Emmys for it, and was nominated six times. Before that, he made ends meet as a bartender and a club manager.
He did have some notable small roles earlier in the ’90s, in movies like “True Romance”, “Crimson Tide”, “Get Shorty”, “The Juror” and “A Civil Action”. After “The Sopranos” ended in 2007, he had some bigger roles in movies like “The Taking of Pelham 123″ and “Zero Dark Thirty”, and he provided the voice of Carol in “Where the Wild Things Are”.
Another search for Jimmy Hoffa’s body has come up short. The FBI was convinced they had their best tip yet, from the son of a former mob boss. They searched a field in Michigan for three days, but didn’t find anything. (85-year-old Anthony Zerilli told the FBI where to look. It was a farm Anthony said was owned by his cousin. He said he heard from his father Joseph Zerilli that Hoffa was taken to a barn on this property in 1975, where someone hit him on the head with a shovel and then buried him alive.)
Yesterday, Men’s Wearhouse FIRED their founder and executive chairman, George Zimmer. You know . . . the guy from the commercials who says, “You’re going to like the way you look, I guarantee it.” The board of directors didn’t give a reason for the firing, but revenues are up so that can’t be it. The company also retains the rights to use footage of him in commercials.
Julia-Louis Dreyfus was on Katie Couric’s talk show yesterday. She’s starring in “Veep” now, playing a fictitious vice president of the United States. So she got to meet Joe Biden and have lunch with him recently. And evidently it was pretty surreal for her. (She says all the people on Biden’s staff introduced themselves to her by the names of their fictitious counterparts on the show. And when she met Biden, he told her he wished he was allowed to HIT his staff members the way her character hits people on the show.
Wanna be in pictures? The casting directors for the upcoming “Star Wars” movie have released a “breakdown” of the kinds of actors they want to see for various parts. There isn’t much to it, since it doesn’t say what the parts are.
But maybe it’s interesting. Some of the descriptions are: Quote, “Man in his 40s, obviously physically fit, a military type,” and “A guy aged around 70, strong opinions and tough.” (You can browse the whole thing, here.)
Casting is now underway in the U.K., where the movie will be filming.
Q Country Closeup
Brad Paisley joined The Rolling Stones onstage in Philadelphia this past Tuesday. He helped them out on “Dead Flowers”.
KEIFER THOMPSON says he ignored the pain in his throat for almost a year until it developed into a hemorrhage and a polyp on his vocal cords. He’s about 70% healed and has changed the bad habits that caused the trouble. But there’s still no word though when THOMPSON SQUARE will perform again.
Country singer Slim Whitman died yesterday. His biggest hit in the States was “Indian Love Call”. It reached number two on the Billboard Country Chart in 1952. (He was actually a bigger deal in Europe. In 1955 he had a hit called “Rose Marie” that set a Guinness record for the longest stay at the top of the UK Singles Chart. The record lasted for 36 years, until Bryan Adams broke it in 1991.) (The cause of death was heart failure. According to Wikipedia he was 90 years old, though there are some conflicting reports out there.)
The Backside of the News
In England, a city councilman has admitted to cheating on his wife . . . with an ALIEN. He says he has sex about four times a year with a large, green space alien called the Cat Queen. They even have a child together. And he doesn’t believe this will cost him his political career, since it hasn’t affected his work.
The unbelievable details
A mechanic is accused of trying to sell a radiation weapon to both the KKK . . . and some synagogues. I guess as long as they’ve both got the thing, everything cancels out?
THE WORLD’S SMALLEST MUSEUM _ Museum (that’s its name) is the world’s smallest museum, located in a small walk-in closet-sized space in New York City. What’s on display changes regularly. Right now there’s a collection of toothpaste tubes from around the world, and a collection of Disney-themed children’s bulletproof backpacks.
There were rumors SANDRA BULLOCK might be in the upcoming “Annie” remake, but it’s not happening. She was up for the part of Miss Hannigan . . . the mean lady who runs the orphanage.
At an LGBT event in New York on Monday, SNOOKI told the crowd, quote, “I’m praying I have a gay little boy one day.”