At least that’s the impression you get from heeding the accounts of many of those who worked with Phil Spector, the legendary record producer who died Saturday at age 81 while serving a prison sentence for murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003.
His conviction for that crime solidified Spector’s reputation as a monster. But for years before that, artists in his orbit — Darlene Love, Leonard Cohen, the Ramones and especially his ex-wife, Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes — spoke of his abuse and his manipulations; others simply hated what he did to their music, including Paul McCartney, who famously re-released the Beatles’ “Let It Be” minus Spector’s trademark embellishments.
And yet, McCartney’s scorn aside, Spector is widely — and rightly — regarded as one of the most consequential figures in pop history: a sonic visionary whose so-called wall of sound greatly expanded the dramatic scope of the three-minute love song.
PITTSBURGH, PA — Dick Thornburgh, who served as both Pennsylvania governor and U.S. attorney general under presidents Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush, died Thursday in a Pittsburgh-area retirement community. He was 88.
In 1964, Tiffin played coeds opposite James Darren in The Lively Set and For Those Who Think Young and starred alongside Ann-Margret and Carol Lynley in the Madrid-set romantic comedy The Pleasure Seekers. A year later, she appeared with Burt Lancaster and Lee Remick in John Sturges’ The Hallelujah Trail.
In only her third film, Tiffin starred alongside Pat Boone, Bobby Darin and Ann-Margret in the big-budget musical State Fair (1962), portraying Margy Frake in the remake of films released in 1933 and 1945 that had Janet Gaynor and Jeanne Crain, respectively, in that role.
She also played a novice flight attendant in Come Fly With Me (1963) and the seductive stepdaughter of Lauren Bacall’s character in Harper (1966), starring Paul Newman.
Pamela Tiffin Wonso was born in Oklahoma City on Oct. 13, 1942, and raised in a suburb of Chicago, where she began modeling. She moved to New York with her mom to continue that career path and appeared several times on the cover of Vogue, in commercials and in a 1960 short film, Music of Williamsburg.
Born Pierre Clermont, he was the first WWE Intercontinental Champion and thought to be the first openly gay wrestling star, which he detailed in his 2016 book, “Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE.”
Patterson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996. After retiring as an active wrestler in 1984, he worked behind the scenes in WWE and was credited with originating the Royal Rumble, one of the company’s signature events.
In a decades-long career, Connery won an Oscar for “The Untouchables” and appeared in such hits as “The Rock,” “The Man Who Would Be King,” “Time Bandits” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” He was best known, however, as the man who introduced James Bond to moviegoers with 1962’s “Dr. No.” Connery would go on to play the suave super-spy in six more films, including “Goldfinger,” “Thunderball” and “From Russia With Love.” As Bond, a ladies man with a license to kill, Connery was witty and sophisticated, with an ever-present hint of danger.
Craig became the most recent Bond in 2006’s “Casino Royale.” He’s played the role a total of five times, with the upcoming “No Time to Die” as his final outing. In recent times, Craig is generally considered to be the best Bond…with the exception of Connery’s original.
“It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema,” Craig said in a statement. “Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster. He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress Rhonda Fleming, the fiery redhead who appeared with Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan and other film stars of the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 97.
From her first film in color, “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court ” (1949) with Bing Crosby, Fleming became immensely popular with producers because of her vivid hues. It was an attraction she would later regret.
“Suddenly my green eyes were green. My red hair was flaming red. My skin was porcelain white,” Fleming remarked in a 1990 interview. “There was suddenly all this attention on how I looked rather than the roles I was playing.
Eddie Van Halen — the legendary guitarist and co-founder of Van Halen — has died after a long battle with cancer … TMZ has learned.
Sources directly connected to the rock star tell us … he died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica Tuesday. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, and Alex, Eddie’s brother and drummer.
We’re told in the last 72 hours, Eddie’s ongoing health battle went massively downhill — doctors discovered his lung cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs.
As you know, Eddie has been battling cancer for well over a decade. Our sources say he’s been in and out of the hospital over the past year — including last November for intestinal issues — and recently underwent a round of chemo.
Last year we reported … Eddie was flying between the US and Germany for 5 years to get radiation treatment. Though he was a heavy smoker for years, he believes he developed throat cancer from a metal guitar pick he used to frequently hold in his mouth more than 20 years ago
Country musician Mac Davis, known for writing enduring Elvis hits like “A Little Less Conversation” and “In the Ghetto,” has died at age 78.
His longtime manager Jim Morey said in a statement on Facebook that Davis died on Tuesday in Nashville, Tenn., after heart surgery and was surrounded by family and friends.
Davis had a long and varied career in music for decades as a writer, singer, actor and TV host and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. In addition to penning Presley hits, he was responsible for his own track “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me.” He was named 1974’s entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Thank you, dear Lord Jesus, for letting us know the man to whom you gave the most incredible talent,” said Reba McEntire in a statement. “He entertained and spread joy to so many people. What a wonderful legacy he left all of us with his music. Mac was one of a kind. I’m so blessed to have been one of his many friends.”
“I Am Woman” became the unofficial anthem of the Women’s Liberation Movement, and Reddy said in a 2013 interview that she was just trying to represent the women in her life with the empowering song. “There were a lot of songs on the radio about being weak and being dainty and all those sort of things,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “All the women in my family, they were strong women. They worked. They lived through the Depression and a world war, and they were just strong women. I certainly didn’t see myself as being dainty.”
A biopic about Reddy titled after her signature hit debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and I Am Woman star Tilda Cobham-Hervey spoke with Billboard at the time about the song’s staying power. “As much as this song is so relevant today, I think it will always be relevant to women,” the actress said. “It’s a really empowering song. It talks about the future and it’s really about bringing people together. I hope it’s a song that’s really inclusive of all people, of all gender identities. I also think that as much as there’s still a long way to go, it’s amazing to look back and see how far we’ve come too. She had to live through a lot of things that I know today I don’t have this struggle with.
Jamie Lee Curtis took to Twitter to remember introducing Reddy at the Women’s March back in January 2017, calling the moment “the honor of my life.
Ginsburg was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her older sister died when she was a baby, and her mother died shortly before Ginsburg graduated from high school. She then earned her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University and became a wife to Martin D. Ginsburg and mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class. Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School, where she graduated tied for first in her class. Following law school, Ginsburg entered into academia. She was a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School, teaching civil procedure as one of the few women in her field.
“It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight,” the president wrote. “He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace.”
The president had traveled to New York on Friday to visit his ailing brother. A senior administration official had said the president “has a very good relationship with his brother and his brother is very special to him.”
Robert, who died just 11 days before what would have been his 72nd birthday, had reportedly spent more than a week in the intensive care unit at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City earlier this summer.