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  • Monday, Oct. 6, 2014
In this March 10, 2005 file photo, Geoffrey Holder poses at the French Institute Alliance Francaise' "La Nuit des Etoiles" dinner in New York, honoring French actress Catherine Deneuve. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Geoffrey Holder, a Tony Award-winning director, actor, painter, dancer and choreographer who during an eclectic show business career led the groundbreaking show "The Wiz" to Broadway, pitched 7-Up on TV and played a scary villain in a James Bond film, has died. He was 84.

Holder died Sunday of complications of pneumonia at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in New York, according to Anna Glass, a producer and family friend.

The 6-foot-6, Trinidad-born Holder won Tonys in 1975 for directing and designing the costumes for his all-black retelling of "The Wizard of Oz." In 1978, he directed and choreographed the lavish Broadway musical "Timbuktu!" starring Eartha Kitt and earned another Tony nomination for best costumes.

On TV, Holder played roles on TV's "Tarzan," voiced the leader on the PBS Kids animated show "Cyberchase" and pitched 7-Up as "the un-cola" in a commercial in which he wore a white More

  • Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Matthew McConaughey in a scene from "Interstellar" (AP/Paramount Pictures).
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- 

Google has announced a groundbreaking collaboration with Paramount Pictures for a first-ever multi-platform pact for Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated film “Interstellar.”

The partnership will feature initiatives delivered across Google platforms, including Google for Education, Google+, Google Play and YouTube. Together, the companies are helping moviegoers connect to the film through immersive experiences, exclusive content and detailed information on how to see the film, find showtimes and purchase tickets.

The partnership launched with the “Interstellar” Space Hub, a first-ever digital initiative supporting a film on a Google domain at g.co/interstellar. As the official website for the film, the “Intestellar” Space Hub features a Space Hunt content discovery feature and a movie ticket purchasing function, as well as links to a Solar System Builder app available via Google Play.

Nolan More

  • Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014
In this July 23, 2014 file photo Tyler Benjamin blows smoke from his advanced personal vaporizer e-cigarette at Aqueous Vapor in Columbia, Mo. Bans on selling electronic cigarettes in Missouri and states across the country have an unusual advocate _ big tobacco companies. (AP Photo/The Columbia Daily Tribune, Nick Schnelle, File)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- 

In a rush to keep electronic cigarettes out of children's hands while the federal government creeps forward with a proposed national ban for minors, experts say that many states are passing laws that could mean fewer restrictions on the nicotine devices later.

Lawmakers last month made Missouri the 41st state to outlaw selling e-cigarettes to minors. Age restrictions have wide support, but Gov. Jay Nixon and public health advocates opposed a piece of the legislation that prevents tobacco taxes or regulations from being imposed on the electronic devices, which heat liquid nicotine into an inhalable vapor.

E-cigarette makers have been in a tug-of-war with state and federal governments since the battery-powered devices first were sold in the U.S. in 2007.

A 2009 law gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate a number of aspects of tobacco marketing and manufacturing. It first More

  • Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014
In this June 23, 2014 file photo, Steve Martin poses during "The Un-Private Collection: Eric Fischl and Steve Martin," an art talk presented by The Broad museum in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Steve Martin is being saluted with this year's Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.

The AFI announced Friday that Martin would be getting its highest honor for a career in film.

The award will be given at a tribute in Los Angeles next June. The gala ceremony will be aired for a third year on the TNT network and by its sister channel, Turner Classic Movies.

The 69-year-old Martin followed initial stardom as a standup and TV performer with his debut feature film, "The Jerk," in 1979.

His many other films include "Pennies from Heaven," ''Three Amigos!," ''Little Shop of Horrors," ''All of Me," ''Roxanne" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."

Previous award recipients include Al Pacino, Warren Beatty, Mel Brooks and Jane Fonda.

  • Friday, Oct. 3, 2014
LOS ANGELES -- 

Talent Partners, a provider of talent and production support services for more than 750 agency and advertiser clients representing 1,500 brands, has agreed to acquire PES Payroll, a Burbank-based firm with 20 years’ experience providing crew payroll and production support services to the commercial, television, film and live event industries.

“Our acquisition of PES Payroll is the first step in a transformative opportunity made possible by The Carlyle Group’s investment in us,” said Paul Muratore, president and CEO of Talent Partners. “This is an important part of our far-reaching plan to provide the most innovative solutions and value for our clients--to become an even more nimble and resourced production support services provider, for the increasingly global commercial industry and new growth areas like reality television, feature films, new media content and live events.”

“PES Payroll is the More

  • Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
In this Feb. 8, 1964 file photo, Ed Sullivan, center, stands with The Beatles, from left, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, during a rehearsal for the British group's first American appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," in New York. (AP Photo, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Ed Sullivan will be back in front of an audience soon, but it won’t be a big show.

An 18-inch solid bronze statue of the legendary television variety show host was recovered by Los Angeles police Thursday, four days after it was stolen.

The LAPD says the 20-pound statue is in good condition. They gave no details on where it was found or who may have taken it.

The statue was taken Sunday from atop an outdoor pedestal at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza in North Hollywood.

The plaza where the statue stood honors significant TV personalities and pioneers. Sullivan’s classic variety show, “The Ed Sullivan Show,” lasted for more than two decades. He died in 1974.

  • Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
In this Jan. 17, 2014 file photo, actress Kristen Stewart smiles at the premiere of the film "Camp X-Ray" during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Stewart will be among the panelists selecting the winners for a short film competition. At least five young female directors will be chosen to direct shorts based on characters from “Twilight." (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

"Twilight" will be raised from the dead for a series of short films on Facebook.

Two years after the last film of the popular movie franchise, Lionsgate announced late Tuesday that Stephenie Meyer's world of vampires and werewolves will be revived for a short film competition. The Women in Film organization will help lead a campaign to develop and produce a series of shorts directed by aspiring female filmmakers.

At least five young directors will be chosen to direct shorts based on characters from "Twilight." Meyer and "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart will be among the panelists selecting the winners.

In a statement, Meyer said she was honored to work on a project "giving more women a chance to be heard creatively."

The films will debut on Facebook next year.

  • Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
In this Sept. 6, 2014 file photo, actor Adam Sander smiles during a press conference for "Men, Women, and Children" at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Hannah Yoon, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

In its bid to upend the movie business the way it has television, Netflix has secured one of the big screen's biggest box-office draws and most irreverent comedic talents.

Adam Sandler has signed a four-film deal with Netflix, the streaming service announced early Thursday. The actor will star in and produce each feature, all of which will premiere exclusively on Netflix.

"When these fine people came to me with an offer to make four movies for them, I immediately said yes for one reason and one reason only: Netflix rhymes with wet chicks," Sandler said in a statement. "Let the streaming begin!"

Netflix declined to say how much it was paying Sandler. But the streaming giant has a history of reaching deep into its pocket to lure big-name talent. To land "House of Cards," with director David Fincher and star Kevin Spacey, Netflix reportedly spent $100 million for the show's first two seasons.

On Tuesday, Netflix signaled its More

  • Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
Isa Qosja, director of "Three windows and a Hanging," Kosovo’s first ever Oscar contender, gestures during an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Sept. 31, 2014 in Kosovo capital Pristina. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) -- 

Kosovo has nominated an Oscar contender for the first time since it announced its independence from Serbia in 2008.

"Three Windows and a Hanging" by veteran filmmaker Isa Qosja was selected to represent the new Balkan nation at the Academy Awards in the category of Best Foreign Film.

The film examines a fictional village shaken after Serb forces raped some of its women during the 1998-99 Kosovo war — a sensitive issue that has largely been ignored in Kosovo's patriarchal society.

Kosovo authorities say up to 20,000 women may have been victims of rape at the time. The conflict hangs heavy over relations between the two former foes and Serbia fiercely objects to Kosovo's representation as an independent country.

"Should rape be considered shameful or as a misfortune?" the 66-year-old Qosja asked during an interview with The Associated Press. "In our tradition, rape has been treated as More

  • Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, file photo, attendees walk in front of an EBay and PayPal display area at the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile phone trade show, in Barcelona, Spain. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

PayPal's split from long-time partner eBay Inc. makes Carl Icahn mighty happy. But he doesn't think PayPal should stay single for long.

Icahn, who months ago called on eBay to spin off the lucrative online and mobile payment service, continues to believe that the payments field must be consolidated, either by PayPal buying up smaller rivals or by merging with another major player.

"In light of the development of strong competition such as the advent of Apple Pay, the sooner these consolidations take place, the better," he wrote on his website Tuesday in the wake of eBay's announcement that it will split off PayPal by the second half of 2015.

An independent PayPal will be much more appealing to potential customers like Amazon.com who compete with eBay. And PayPal will have more freedom to aggressively take on new mobile pay challenger Apple Pay.

PayPal services $1 of every $6 dollars More

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