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OSCARS: Governors Awards Honor Best Of The Best And Provide Lots Of Opportunity For Schmoozing

Pete Hammond

Captain Phillips newcomer and Oscar-buzzed Barkhad Abdi, who plays the lead Somalian pirate in the film, told me he thought the Governors Awards meant prizes actually handed out by the Governor and he seemed a bit overwhelmed by the whole occasion. Of course these honorary awards bestowed on Saturday night at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom are not presented by Jerry Brown, but rather voted on by the Board of Governors of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & SciencesAnd in addition to the formal duty of putting a shiny new Oscar statuette in the hands of Jean Hersholt Humanitarian winner Angelina Jolie, Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury and Claudia Cardinale (standing in for absent Costume Designer Piero Tosi who couldn’t make the trip from Italy), this signature awards season event now in its fifth year also has become the official “must schmooze” event of the entire six month awards corridor, a place where Oscar nominee hopefuls can jump from table to table full of Academy members. As presenter Martin Short put it, “the Governors Awards are the highest honor an actor can receive in mid-November.” And there can be no question the timing of the event is extremely important for those out on the campaign trail.

Related: Governors Awards Gallery: Angelina Jolie, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin

But ultimately this event is about honoring those the Academy feels are worthy of career recognition, generally a lifetime achievement award.  Cheryl Boone Isaacs, new president of the Academy, welcomed each of the honorees and noted the importance of the honor. “Congratulations to all of you. Your work on screen and off captivates and invigorates society. You challenge us to see each other and the world in different ways. We are all richer for your brilliance,” she said before breaking for dinner.

Once the 90-minute show began, Jolie’s In The Land Of Blood And Honey cast, actress Gena Rowlands, and George Lucas presented Jolie, the youngest winner of the Hersholt award, with her Oscar. A detailed film package clearly explained why this tireless global humanitarian is getting the award but she seemed overcome by it, saluting her late mother for the inspiration (father Jon Voight was in the audience). Read More »

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Governors Awards: Angelina Jolie, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin Feted At Honorary Oscars (Gallery)

2013 Governors Awards: Angelina Jolie, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin

The Academy‘s fifth annual Governors Awards kick off tonight at 8 PM at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland, hosted by Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, CEO Dawn Hudson and the Academy’s Board of Governors. Receiving honorary Oscars tonight are three-time Oscar nominee Angela Lansbury, three-time Oscars host Steve Martin, and costume designer Piero Tosi (The Leopard, Death in Venice), a five-time Oscar nominee. (Tosi will not be in attendance.) The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will be awarded to Angelina Jolie. Paula Wagner is producing tonight’s event. Hit the jump for the photo gallery and check back tonight for Pete Hammond’s coverage.

Related: OSCARS: Governors Awards Provide Lots Of Opportunity For Schmoozing

Related: OSCARS: Big Names, Deserving Recipients For Governors Awards Read More »

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OSCARS: Big Names, Deserving Recipients For Governors Awards

Pete Hammond

With recipients like Angela Lansbury, Steve MartinAngelina Jolie, and legendary Italian costume designer Piero Tosithis November 16th Governors Awards promises to be the starriest of all four held to date. One new Governor who had received the briefing book on those being considered told me last week that the list ran from big stars to names they had never heard of. Looks like the Academy’s Board of Governors decided to go with the “big names”. But as Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs just told me, “it’s a wide range of talent from many different aspects of filmmaking”.

Jolie’s Hersholt award is richly deserved. Some might be surprised to see her getting this honor at such a young age, and at 38 she is the youngest recipient of this award and the youngest recipient of a Governors Award since their inception. Her tireless globetrotting humanitarian efforts are a remarkable example for other actors of her generation and it’s nice the Academy decided to recognize them.

Related: Academy Unveils 2013 Governors Awards
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Academy Unveils 2013 Governors Awards: Honorees Angelina Jolie, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Piero Tosi

Related: Hammond: Big Names, Deserving Recipients For Governors Awards

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present Honorary Awards to Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin and Piero Tosi, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Angelina Jolie. All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s 5th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 16, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.

“The Governors Awards pay tribute to individuals who’ve made indelible contributions in their respective fields,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We couldn’t be more excited for this year’s honorees and look forward to bringing their peers and colleagues together to celebrate their extraordinary achievements.”

Lansbury has received three Academy Award® nominations for her supporting performances on film – the first in her 1944 feature debut in “Gaslight,” followed by “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1945) and “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962). Her numerous other credits include “The Long, Hot Summer,” “Blue Hawaii,” “The World of Henry Orient,” “Bedknobs and Broomsticks,” “Death on the Nile” and “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” as well as voice work for the first animated feature to receive a Best Picture nomination, “Beauty and the Beast.”

Martin, who got his start in television, is a versatile actor, writer, comedian and musician who began to display the breadth of his big-screen talent as the screenwriter and star of the 1977 Oscar®-nominated short film “The Absent-Minded Waiter.” He wrote and starred in “The Jerk,” “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” “Three Amigos,” “Roxanne,” “L.A. Story,” “The Pink Panther” series and “Shopgirl,” which he adapted from his critically acclaimed book of the same name. His other acting credits include “All of Me,” “Parenthood,” “Father of the Bride” and “It’s Complicated.” He also is a three-time host of the Oscars®, most recently in 2010 with Alec Baldwin.

Tosi rose to prominence through his collaborations with Italian director Luchino Visconti on such films as “White Nights” and “Rocco and His Brothers,” and continued to work with him on several other features, including the Costume Design nominees “The Leopard,” “Death in Venice” and “Ludwig.” Tosi received two more nominations for his designs for “La Cage aux Folles” and “La Traviata.” His other notable credits include “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” a Foreign Language Film winner, and “Marriage Italian Style,” a Foreign Language Film nominee, both directed by Vittorio De Sica.

Jolie, who won an Oscar for her supporting performance in “Girl, Interrupted,” has been an impassioned advocate for humanitarian causes, traveling widely to promote organizations and social justice efforts such as the Prevent Sexual Violence Initiative. Staking out a career at the nexus of entertainment and philanthropy, Jolie has worked for a number of global advocacy groups including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), for which she was appointed Special Envoy of High Commissioner António Guterres in 2012 after twelve years of service. Her dedication to these causes has also shaped her work in films that tackle global humanitarian issues including “A Mighty Heart” and her feature film directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey.”

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Amy Adams In Steve Martin Novel Adaptation ‘Object Of Beauty’

By | Tuesday February 7, 2012 @ 12:24pm PST
Mike Fleming

Maven Pictures’ Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray are teaming with Amy Adams to produce Object Of Beauty, based on the Steve Martin novel. Adams will star as Lacey Yeager, a clever art entrepreneur who climbs from gallery assistant to gallery owner, and from a tiny downtown studio to a posh uptown one-bedroom. Over a decade and a half, Lacey flies from New York to Russia to Washington D.C. to scout and buy art, steals a cherished family painting, and sleeps with and disposes of several men, including one who becomes a famous artist.

(Photo: Getty Images) 

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HAMMOND: Gil Cates, A Man For All Oscars

Pete Hammond

R.I.P. Oscar Producer Gilbert Cates

Among his many accomplishments, Gil Cates obviously will be known as the person who produced more Oscar shows than any one in the history of the Academy. Talk to any producer who has done it just once or twice and you will get this astonished look when you tell them Gil Cates did it 14 times in the last two decades. And with his always calm and cool manner, he made it look so easy. Perhaps that is why every producer doing the show in Gil’s off years always sought out his advice — and he always happily gave it as he told me when I interviewed him exactly one year ago about his memories on being the man behind so many Oscarcasts. “I’ve had lunch with each producer and producing team going back to my off years,”  he told me. “The one thing I’ve told everybody is the Oscars is such a big show that no matter what you do there are gonna be people who like it and people who don’t. The most important thing is to do a show you like. There’s no way to get out totally alive. Do a show they find unique and fun and special. That’s a victory.”

Gil Cates had a lot of victories in his long career. As a former president of the DGA, its current secretary/treasurer and its chief negotiator for the last four contracts; as founder of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television; founder and artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse; as director and producer of such multiple-Oscar-nominated films as Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams and I Never Sang For My Father; as well as so many TV films that made a lasting mark on the medium. There’s so much more, but my own personal connection (aside from attending the great theater he oversaw at the Geffen) has always been with the Oscars, and on those occasions when I got to talk to him or interview him I was like a kid in a candy store listening to his stories (sorry, some I just can’t print — off the record). His last show aired in 2008, the year No Country For Old Men won Best Picture. But this was also the year of the writers strike that KO’d the Golden Globes and put a dark cloud over the Oscars until just 12 days before the show was to air, when it was settled. But Cates, with his usual calm of a master negotiator and problem solver, had a Plan A (with all the stars in a strike-free show) and a Plan B (with no stars but a heavy emphasis on history and clips) ready to go, essentially prepping two different shows simultaneously, depending on events out of his control. It’s a good thing he was in charge because a lesser or more inexperienced producer might have cracked under the pressure. Not Gil. In the end, he produced a classy, star-studded show as usual but was ready to deliver whatever cards were dealt. Read More »

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HAMMOND: TV Academy Salutes Legendary Carl Reiner

Pete Hammond

Thursday night I had the honor of hosting the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences tribute to the legendary Carl Reiner, which also featured a surprise appearance at the end of the two-hour show from Carl’s Ocean’s 11, 12 & 13 co-star George Clooney who presented him with the enormous crystal trophy for his remarkable career in entertainment. The packed house (with an overflow turnaway crowd watching on video next door to the Academy’s Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood) greeted him with a massive standing ovation after comedian Paul Reiser welcomed him to the stage. The star-studded tribute also marked the last official Academy event for Chairman John Shaffner as he noted in his opening remarks welcoming the crowd, Shaffner will turn over his job after next month’s election to a new Chair (Warner’s Bruce Rosenblum is running opposite current Vice-Chair Nancy Wiard).

I had previously hosted the Academy’s  Betty White 60th Show Biz anniversary tribute and Bob Newhart’s 50th last year and this was another amazing night for a true show business icon, the indefatigable Reiner who at “89½” is well-deserving of this “mid-career tribute”  as I noted in my own introductory remarks. He’a a man for all (TV) seasons  and does everything including a lot of  Master of Ceremonies gigs. “If Carl could host his own tribute tonight I’m sure he would,” I said before cueing the opening clip reel … Read More »

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Oscarcast Team Of Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Adam Shankman Plot Pic

By | Tuesday October 4, 2011 @ 10:54am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: New Line Cinema is in early talks to acquire a pitch for a comedy vehicle that would re-team 2010 Oscarcast hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin with Adam Shankman, who will direct and who produced the Oscars that year. This is all pretty early stuff — they haven’t closed the deal or even hired a writer — but the principals have all sparked to the idea of moving forward on a comedy that has a bit of Trading Places meets Grumpy Old Men. The comedy will be produced by Shankman and his Offspring Entertainment partner Jennifer Gibgot. Martin and Baldwin previously teamed in It’s Complicated, playing dueling paramours for the affection of Meryl Streep. The idea for the project sprang from Martin appearing with Baldwin in the opening segment of Saturday Night Live, when Baldwin broke Martin’s hosting record, and Shankman and Gibgot thought they’d make a good screen pairing. Baldwin just teamed with them on Rock Of Ages, and though he seemed shaky about taking part for some personal reasons at one point, I’m told he had a good time on the film. We don’t see a lot of comedy tandems anymore, and I think these guys in a comedy has potential. Martin is repped by WME, Baldwin by CAA and Shankman at UTA.

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Former Oscar Host Steve Martin Gives Helpful Advice To Eddie Murphy

By | Tuesday September 20, 2011 @ 2:37pm PDT

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Video: Letterman Sings For CBS Upfronts

Did Dave and Steve Martin get to perform their big musical number? Here’s the video CBS honcho Les Moonves commissioned for the CBS upfronts:

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Spirit Awards Host Joel McHale Joins Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Ted’

Mike Fleming

James Franco isn’t the only awards show host this weekend who has bagged a big film role. Joel McHale, who tomorrow hosts the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards, is in final negotiations to join Mark Walhberg, Mila Kunis and Seth Macfarlane in Ted, the live action comedy that MacFarlane is directing for Universal Pictures and Media Rights Capital. McHale will play  Rex,  the sleazy boss who is perpetually putting the moves on his employee (Kunis). She wants to marry her boyfriend (Wahlberg), but won’t until he redefines his relationship with his teddy bear, the one that came alive during a childhood wish and has become a slovenly womanizing slacker. McHale, star of NBC’s comedy Community, also continues to host E!’s The Soup. Additionally, McHale has three films coming out in 2011: The Big Year opposite Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson; What’s Your Number? with Anna Faris; and Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids reboot opposite Jessica Alba. He is repped by WME and Sonesta Entertainment.

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Steve Martin: The Wild And Crazy Juror?

By | Thursday December 23, 2010 @ 7:45am PST
Mike Fleming

Steve Martin is demonstrating the power of creativity on Twitter. In the past few days, he’s written short and sweet reminiscences on the passing of Blake Edwards and Steve Landesberg. But Martin has spent the better part of the last few days filing reports from what appears to be jury duty, at an Ashton Kutcher pace. The punchline: Martin isn’t on jury duty at all, per his spokesman. But his Twitter site –   www.twitter.com/stevemartintogo — is quite funny, as you’ll see below. And he has presented the possibility that it might be possible to Twitter one’s way out of the jury pool.

REPORT FROM JURY DUTY: guy I thought was up for murder turns out to be defense attorney. I bet he murdered someone anyway.

REPORT FROM JURY DUTY: Prosecuting attorney. Don’t like his accent. Serbian? Going with INNOCENT. We’re five minutes in.

REPORT FROM JURY DUTY: I’m cracking up defense with my jokes. Judge not pleased. Defendant finds me funny. Nice guy!

REPORT FROM JURY DUTY: Defendant’s hair looking very Conan-y today. GUILTY.

REPORT FROM JURY DUTY: Attorneys presenting “evidence.” Since when are security photos, DNA, and testimony evidence? Trusting intuition.

REPORT FROM JURY DUTY: Lunch break. Discussing case with news media gives me chance to promote my book.

REPORT FROM JURY DUTY: Now forcing my autograph on other jurors. Also starting whisper campaign of innocence based on Magic 8 Ball.

Slipped into evidence blow-up of fingerprint with my face worked into it. Got screams!

Read More »

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R.I.P. Ed Limato

limato_chair_300x4003RD UPDATE: Ed Limato’s clients  weigh in on his passing:

Richard Gere: “Ed was my dear friend and agent for 40 years. He was the best of the best. There will never be anyone like him. The mold has been broken. He was probably the most respected agent of our time who loved his clients dearly and would do anything for them. “

Mel Gibson: “It’s said of agents ‘they have no hearts’. Ed was all heart!
He was there for me 30 years. I will miss him.”

Steve Martin: “Ed Limato not only represented important actors in Hollywood, but also represented class and kindness.”

Denzel Washington: “Ed was more than an agent. He was like a father to me and a dear friend to me and my entire family.”

2ND UPDATE (now completed): Ed Limato had been ill from lung disease and awaiting a lung transplant that never came. He arrived home from Cedars Sinai this week and fell into a coma. In recent days the icon who’d spent four decades in showbiz guiding the careers of some of its biggest stars was surrounded by everyone he loved: his clients and his friends and his colleagues. The untimely passing of this legendary talent agent at age 73 will cast a pall over Hollywood this holiday weekend. But his reputation as one of the greats will live on.

Most recently, Limato was a senior agent at WME Entertainment but he’d spent a lifetime moving between ICM and William Morris agencies. … Read More »

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