Director of classic films such as “The Graduate”, “The Birdcage”, and “Working Girl”, as well as being a director of stage, an actor, writer, an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) recipient, producer, and comedian, Mike Nichols passed away suddenly yesterday at the age of 83. He was a refugee of Nazi Germany and the husband of Diane Sawyer, who is also a legend in her own right.
Whoopi Goldberg could not even talk on The View today about Nichols’ passing. They were dear friends and Nichols is credited for giving Whoopi her film career:
RIP Mike Nichols. Your gifts to the world will be passed on to many generations to discover and become inspired by.
“But oh, to be free. Not to have to go “Poof! What do you need, “Poof! What do you need, Poof! What do you need?”. To be my own master. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world. But what am I talking about? Let’s get real here, that’s never gonna happen. Genie, wake up and smell the hummus.”
In honor of Robin Williams’s passing, the Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior will air one of the best Disney animated features of all time, “Aladdin”, this weekend.
Live free, dream on, and have faith.
R.I.P Robin Williams
I haven’t written about the Lifetime Aaliyah movie until now because I had to take some time to digest the news before diving in. Aaliyah remains in my mind as an R&B princess whose death still feels like a dream. I admired her for her voice, fierce fashion sense, chill demeanor, and dance moves. “Rock the Boat”? “One in A Million?” “Are You That Somebody?” “If Your Girl Only Knew?” CLASSIC JAMS! I also maintain that her star was just becoming brighter, especially in films. It was exciting watching her perform on stage and in music videos and on screen.
Hearing about the news of a Lifetime biopic based on Aaliyah left me thinking about how I wish it could be released on the big screen. Look, I LOVE Lifetime. It’s the only network smart enough to capitalize on V.C. Andrews'”Flowers in the Attic” literary series while remaining loyal to an audience that can’t get enough of original movies based around difficult topics such as eating disorders, bullying, and infidelity. I’m a Lifetime girl for life (no pun intended).
So while my gripe about Lifetime’s decision to produce a movie based on Aaliyah’s short, yet impressive life had nothing to do with Zendaya being cast as the lead role, now she has officially dropped out of the movie. A part of me is sad because I would have loved to see how Zendaya would have portrayed the late megastar. But the other side of me thinks that Zendaya made a very educated decision. With the Aaliyah fan outrage and family members who would rather see Aaliyah’s story in movie theaters around the world, there is just too much drama when it seems clear that Zendaya just wants to do right by Aaliyah’s legacy and image. Zendaya might not have wanted to attach herself to a project that is meeting a boatload of animosity in its pre-production stages.
For now, production is on hold, so either a new star will be born/reborn if the role is recast OR Aaliyah’s life on the small screen will never be realized. I, for one, am staying tuned.
Sometimes celebrity deaths come in threes and recently I feel as though a huge chunk of formative years were kicked around a bit due to the current demise of Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, and Casey Kasem.
Maya Angelou showed me that writing is a gift for healing, sharing, and inspiring. Whenever I see her image or read her words, I’m always reminded of how important it is to take risks and the beauty of living a full, interesting life.
Ruby Dee taught me elegance and grace. She is an on-screen inspiration for me and will forever be someone I will look up to as a human being.
Casey Kasem will remain as the face of the American Top 40 countdown in my eyes. His voice and enthusiasm for music both soothed and energized me on school nights that I tried to go to sleep. Besides my parents, I owe a lot of my love of recorded music to this man.
Rest in peace Maya, Ruby, and Casey. Your legacies will never be forgotten.
I first heard about Peaches Geldof during my stay in London, while studying for my Masters in Arts Management. She was known as a “wild child”, with the most salacious of reports being about her drug use and six month marriage. I was drawn to her like many others on the outside looking in. Even though I never knew her personally, I hung out in the East End, occupying the same spaces that she did and came to my own conclusion that she was just living her life and figuring out who she was going to eventually become at a young age. Who was I to judge? When I did take a look at her TV show based around the launch of her magazine, Dissapear Here, and read some of her articles, I saw an intelligent human being. She was young and making mistakes, but underneath all of the drama and gossip, I found Peaches to truly be a well read, beautiful young woman with a gift for writing.
Earlier today, news broke on Twitter that Peaches died and I audibly gasped. My mom asked me “What’s wrong?” and I said, “This girl that I used to read about in London just passed away…”. I couldn’t go into much more detail because my mom had no clue who Peaches was, but I do, and anyone else who still watches old episodes of Skins, remembers a time when Bloc Party and Klaxons ruled the airwaves, and is aware of who her parents are beyond face recognition, knows who Peaches was and will remain to be. It’s a kick to the gut not only because she was so young but because she leaves behind two young sons, a husband and family who loves her, and a new chapter to a life that seemed to just get started. I watched her successfully debate alongside Katie Hopkins about attachment parenting and admired her stance. I saw a young adult who was confident and comfortable in her convictions and herself. I could see how much parenthood changed her in the best ways possible.