Entertainment

Sean Connery, film's first James Bond, dies at 90

Marc Marnie/FilmMagic(LONDON) -- Sir Sean Connery, the Academy Award-winning actor famous for playing James Bond, has died. He was 90.

The BBC reported Saturday that Connery died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas, having been "unwell for some time," according to his son, actor Jason Connery. 

Jason told the BBC his father "had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him" when he passed away overnight.

"We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery," Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement on Twitter.

"He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words — 'The name’s Bond... James Bond' — he revolutionized the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him."

Daniel Craig, who currently plays the role of Bond, said in a statement, "It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema. 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," Craig continued, adding, "Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”

Born Thomas Sean Connery in 1930 in Scotland, the eventual big-screen star quit school at an early age and later joined the Royal Navy. After being released from service due to stomach issues, Connery became a weightlifter, according to Biography.com.

He later placed third in the Mr. Universe Competition in the mid-1950s, which kick-started his acting career.

Connery enjoyed a decade of some success, including several TV series roles and the TV movie version of Macbeth, as well as a starring role in the 1959 Disney fantasy adventure Darby O'Gill and the Little People.  But Connery's career-defining break came when he was cast in 1962's Dr. No as James Bond, becoming the first actor to bring agent 007 to the big screen.

"It was more fun in the earlier ones," Connery told later told ABC's Barbara Walters, admitting the Bond films would be his key to success in Hollywood. But Connery also said "the demand was enormous for publicity and exposure."

From Dr. No, Connery went on to make From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball and You Only Live Twice before walking away from the franchise.  He was replaced by George Lazenby for 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but returned for 1971's Diamonds Are Forever.  He then left again, and Roger Moore took over the role, though Connery would return as Bond one more time, for 1983's aptly titled Never Say Never Again

Outside the Bond franchise, Connery appeared in the critically-acclaimed movies Marnie, The Man Who Would Be King and Robin and Marian, among others.  But it was his co-starring role in director Brian De Palma's 1987 crime drama The Untouchables, opposite Kevin Costner, that earned Connery his first and only Oscar, for Best Supporting Actor.

After The Untouchables, Connery went on to star in the box office hits Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October and First Knight.

Connery's last film was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003, an experience said to be so unpleasant, it convinced him it was time to retire from the big screen. 

In 2008, after much speculation that Connery might reprise his role as Indiana Jones' father in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, he posted on his website: "If anything could have pulled me out of retirement, it would have been an Indiana Jones film. ... But in the end, retirement is just too damned much fun."

Off screen, Connery was knighted in 2000 by Queen Elizabeth II.

"It’s one of the proudest days of my life,” Connery said after receiving the honor, Connery said at the time. “It means a great deal for it to happen in Scotland.”

Connery was married twice in his life, first to actress Diane Cilento from 1962 to 1973, then to Micheline Roquebrune from 1975 until his death. Connery is survived by his son Jason, who was born in 1963.

By Michael Rothman
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Christmas on the couch: ABC announces lineup of holiday programming

ABC/Eric Liebowitz(LOS ANGELES) -- Get ready to snuggle up on the couch this winter with ABC’s holiday programming.

This year’s lineup includes the fifth anniversary special of The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration on Thanksgiving Day, The Disney Holiday Singalong and CMA Country Christmas on November 30, a new season of The Great Christmas Light Fight premiering on December 9, and a reimagined Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Celebration on December 24.

ABC will also be airing new holiday-themed episodes of General Hospital, The Goldbergs and black-ish.

And if that’s not enough to get you in the spirit, you’ll also be able to catch the animated special Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, the Christmas classic Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, the network broadcast premiere of The Greatest Showman and more.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Halloween inspo: Mindy Kaling dresses up as Devi from her show 'Never Have I Ever'

LARA SOLANKI/NETFLIX (Pictured: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in Never Have I Ever)(LOS ANGELES) -- When looking for Halloween inspiration this year, Mindy Kaling looked no further than her own show.

The actress dressed up as Devi Vishwakumar, the lead character in the Netflix teen comedy series she created, Never Have I Ever.

She posted photos of the costume on Instagram, and even enlisted two of her friends to dress up like Devi’s love interests in the show, Ben Gross and Paxton Hall-Yoshida.

“What’s a’poppin?! Do you like my Halloween costume?” Mindy wrote, posting a photo of the real Devi, played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, as a comparison.

Never Have I Ever debuted on Netflix in May and has since been picked up for a second season.

"Mindy needs to be on season 2," Ramakrishnan told Entertainment Tonight in July. "That's not negotiable. She needs to be on season 2. That would be awesome to be able to act with her! ...[she] could play a family member. She could play somebody in the school. She could do whatever."

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Omari Hardwick and Loretta Devine agree that laughter was their best medicine in their new horror film 'Spell'

Courtesy of Paramount(NEW YORK) -- Omari Hardwick and Loretta Devine share the screen in the new suspense horror flick Spell.

In the film, Hardwick plays Marquis, a father held hostage in rural Appalachia by a Voodoo priestess, played by Devine. Hardwick tells ABC Audio that because he and Loretta were fairly new to the horror genre, they quickly developed a "trust of each other" to help them ease into the "dark" places. 

"We were virgins to it," Hardwick says. "She was definitely a virgin being seen as a bad guy, as the antagonist. I was not. So, I had to hold her hand a bit. And in between takes literally grounding her."

It was during those breaks that Hardwick says he and Devine found levity.

"We were finding laughter and a lot of joking in between takes. That was the best," he says, comparing their experience to those of essential workers who "see so much gore" and laugh "to remain sane."

Still, Hardwick says he found "Loretta's crazy... funny" personality refreshing and a perfect match for her character of Eloise. Devine agrees, adding that her role wasn't too much of a stretch since she grew up with similar superstitions.

"I would say that this is a tribute to my grandmother because some of the things that happened in the movie she used to scare me with when I was very little," Devine says. "Things like being born with a cover over your face, [which meant] that you had magical powers."

While Devine says she found the film "scary" and her character mysterious, she says she's glad she was up for the challenge.

"It was exciting because it's so different from what I'm usually known for," she says. "And, that's sort of like my go to thing of late. 

Spell is in select theaters and available On Demand.

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lori Loughlin reports to prison to serve two months for college admissions scheme

Paul Marotta/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Lori Loughlin began serving her two month prison sentence Friday for her role in the Varsity Blues college admissions cheating scheme, a source familiar with the case told ABC News.

The former Full House actress reported to federal prison in Dublin, CA ahead of her report date of November 19. Federal prosecutors in Boston had to sign off on the earlier reporting date provided she does not try to seek early release.

“The parties recently agreed that the defendant can report to prison on October 30, 2020, instead of on November 19, 2020,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said. “The defendant has further agreed that, during her two month sentence, she will not seek an early release from prison on COVID-related grounds.”

Back in August, Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were sentenced to two months and five months in prison, respectively, on conspiracy charges stemming from the cheating scheme.

Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded guilty May 22 of this year via video conference before a federal judge in Boston after maintaining their innocence since their March, 2019 arrest.

They had both been accused of paying Rick Singer $500,000 to get their daughters Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade into USC as crew recruits -- even though neither girl had ever rowed competitively.  Singer also pleaded guilty to his role in facilitating the fraud.

By Aaron Katersky and Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jeff Bridges shares photo from cancer treatment, thanks fans for well wishes

Anthony Harvey/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- After revealing his cancer diagnosis last week, Jeff Bridges is thanking fans for all the love they’ve been sending his way.

The Big Lebowski actor tweeted a photo of himself undergoing his treatment for lymphoma and wrote, “I want to thank you all for reaching out during this time, it feels good getting all the well wishes and love!”

Bridges also posted a longer message on his website, where he’ll be giving updates on his treatment and how he’s feeling.

"This cancer thing is bringing on feelings of preciousness, & gratitude & good old fashioned love, & lots of it, big time," he writes. "I'm feeling so much of it comin' my way, & man, I appreciate it.”

Bridges adds, “It's contagious, all this love, like some kind of positive virus.”

The 70-year-old Oscar winner is staying positive and assured his fans last week, "Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good."

I want to thank you all for reaching out during this time, it feels good getting all the well wishes and love! I’ll be sharing more updates on https://t.co/tndalVJNn0 pic.twitter.com/0hGh7gs1Dp

— Jeff Bridges (@TheJeffBridges) October 29, 2020

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Netflix raises subscription prices on two popular plans

Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- Netflix is raising its prices again.

The streaming giant announced Thursday that it is raising the monthly price of its most popular plan -- the HD Standard plan -- from $12.99 to $13.99. Its 4K Premium plan will be going up to $17.99 from $15.

The prices take effect immediately for new members and will roll out over the next few months for current subscribers.

Netflix’s most basic plan will be staying at $8.99 per month.

“We understand people have more entertainment choices than ever and we’re committed to delivering an even better experience for our members,” the company said in a statement to Deadline. “We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer more variety of TV shows and films — in addition to our great fall lineup. As always we offer a range of plans so that people can pick a price that works best for their budget.”

The last time Netflix raised its subscription prices was January 2019.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Freeform announces its annual 25 Days of Christmas event

DISNEY/ATTILA DORY(LOS ANGELES) -- Halloween may still be a day away and Thanksgiving almost a month off, but Freeform believes it's never too early to start thinking about Christmas.

With that in mind, the cable channel announced the schedule for its annual 25 Days of Christmas month-long event, kicking off December 1, and featuring holiday favorites such as Home Alone, The Santa Clause trilogy, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, along with the network premieres of Almost Christmas, 2018's Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch and Daddy’s Home 2, among others.

You'll also be able to warm up with a marathon of Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story films, and enjoy Disney’s A Christmas Carol, the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street and Love Actually.

Perennial favorites Frosty The Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will get special airings on Christmas Day.

You can check out the complete list of movies and airdates here.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Paul Rudd brings cookies to voters waiting outside in the rain

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Despite the pouring rain in New York City on Thursday, Paul Rudd gave water-logged voters something to smile and laugh about when he showed up to deliver cookies to those idling in the long lines.

The Ant-Man star handed out the sweet treats and lots of compliments to those hoping to cast their ballots in Brooklyn.

"I want to say thank you for coming out and doing your part and voting," Rudd greeted voters in a video shot by Brian Rosenworcel, drummer of the band Guster.  

Barclays Center, which is operating as a voting center, also marveled over the actor's good deed and shared photos of him happily interacting with people waiting in line.

"Hey, look at us, who would’ve thought.. we’d be enjoying cookies with Paul Rudd after voting in BK," the center tweeted, ending with the hashtag "#MakeHistoryHere."

Rudd isn't the first celebrity bearing gifts to voters waiting in line.  On Tuesday, Law & Order star Mariska Hargitay also handed out cookies to NYC voters waiting to cast their ballots at Madison Square Garden.

New York is one of many states offering early voting, with polls opening October 24.  The last day to participate in early voting in the state is this Sunday, November 1 -- two days before the presidential election.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Karlie Kloss is pregnant, expecting first child with Joshua Kushner

Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Supermodel Karlie Kloss and husband Joshua Kushner's family is growing.  The married couple is expecting their first child!

People confirms that the pair, who recently celebrated their second wedding anniversary, will be welcoming their bundle of joy sometime next year.

"Karlie is overjoyed to be expecting her first child in 2021," a source told People. "She will be the most amazing mother."

Kloss and Kusher announced their engagement in July 2018, with the supermodel gushing on Instagram, "I love you more than I have words to express.  Josh, you're my best friend and my soulmate. I can't wait for forever together. Yes a million times over."

They later wed a few months later in an intimate New York ceremony, in October 2018.

Kloss and Kushner have yet to speak out about the baby news. 

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Explosive 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' trailer reveals wild Season 13

Bennett Raglin/Bravo(ATLANTA) -- The trailer for Seasons 13 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta dropped and to say the upcoming season looks wild would be a gross understatement. 

In the two-and-a-half minute preview, fans are given a glimpse into the drama-filled lives of returning cast members Kandi Burruss, Porsha Williams, Cynthia Bailey, Kenya Moore, and newcomer Drew Sidora.

The clip starts off with snippets of the girls dressed in lingerie, having fun with an adult entertainer at Cynthia's bachelorette party. Then an unidentified voice is heard saying they "want to turn up for real," followed by another who says "Turn off the cameras and we can actually have fun." This eventful night seems to be the source of some scandalous rumors as Moore claims to have heard certain "noises coming from a bedroom."

And, later in the promo, Tanya Sam tells Porsha that someone is "making disparaging comments about [them] involving a stripper."

That particular scandal aside, the ladies are each seen dealing with drama in their personal lives. For Cynthia, it's the stressful job of planning her wedding to Mike Hill amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Kenya is faced with a potential custody battle over 1-year-old daughter Brooklyn, whom she shares with her estranged husband Marc Daly.

Kandi is shown having multiple conversations about her daughter Riley's father and how he refuses to pay his long-overdue child support.

Porsha uses her voice to support the Black Lives Matter movement and fight for justice, while simultaneously trying to figure out her relationship with her daughter's father.

And, in the teaser, newcomer Drew is demanding answers from her husband after he went missing for three days. 

The Real Housewives of Atlanta season 13 premieres Sunday, December 6 at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kim Kardashian received a "Hologram from Heaven" of her late father for 40th birthday

Amy Sussman/E! Entertainment(LOS ANGELES) -- Kim Kardashian received an extremely emotional gift for her 40th birthday, a reunion with her late father.  Her husband Kanye West commissioned a lifelike hologram of Robert Kardashian Sr., who had a very special and heartfelt message for his little girl.

The reality star shared the sweet present with her fans on Thursday, dubbing it a "Hologram from Heaven."

"For my birthday, Kanye got me the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime. A special surprise from heaven. A hologram of my dad," Kardashian explained, noting that the present moved her and her family to tears.

"It is so lifelike and we watched it over and over, filled with lots so tears and emotion," she confessed. "I can’t even describe what this meant to me and my sisters, my brother, my mom and closest friends to experience together."

The hologram captures her father's likeness as well as his voice and intonations as he issues his passionate three minute speech.

Kardashian Sr., dressed in a sharp tan suit, approaches the camera and speaks directly to his daughter with his arms outstretched.

"Happy birthday, Kimberly," the hologram warmly greets. "Look at you!  You're 40 and all grown up.  You look beautiful, just like when you were a little girl."

Kardashian Sr. also brings up his fondest memories, such as reminiscing about jamming out to "Who Put the Bomp" by Barry Mann as they drove to school together.

The hologram also expresses genuine happiness over Kardashian's "commitment to become a lawyer and carry on my legacy" and promises her "I'm with you every step of the way."

"Thank you so much Kanye for this memory that will last a lifetime," Kim signed off in the caption.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Sacha Baron Cohen donates $100k to "Borat 2" breakout star Jeanise Jones

Courtesy of Amazon Studios(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) -- Sacha Baron Cohen is paying it forward to Borat 2 breakout star Jeanise Jones. 

According to People, Cohen, the star and creator of the movie, has donated $100,000 to Jones' Oklahoma City community on her behalf. Per Jones' request, the funds will be distributed by Ebenezer Baptist Church and will go towards providing shelter, food, and other needs for the community currently struggling with ice storms and power outages. The money will not be for the church itself. 

Jones won over audiences when she appeared in the Borat sequel as a "babysitter" for Maria Bakalova's character -- a 15-year-old girl named Tutar who would be married off to an older man.

In a GoFundMe set up by Jones' pastor, Pastor Derrick Scobey, he explained how she wound up with a role in the movie, admitting that it was not scripted. 

"She was recruited from our church the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Oklahoma City after Producers spoke to me about needing a “Black Grandmother” for a small role in a “documentary.” Jeanise emerged as that person and she was completely unaware that this was a comedy, and all of this was made up," Scobey wrote.

He then asked fans to donate to Jones, who is currently unemployed. 

"Please consider saying thank you to Jeanise with a tangible gift. She’s unemployed right now due to Covid," he shared. "Previously, she worked on a job for 32 years!" 

In response to Cohen's generous donation, Scobey told People,"I was blown away but not surprised because I was told about what type of heart this man has. Maybe it's a little risqué, some of the things in the movie, but he has a good heart."

The GoFundMe has raised over $135,000 as of Thursday night. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Songbird' trailer imagines a bleak world with COVID-23

STX Films(LOS ANGELES) -- Can’t imagine a year worse than 2020? Well, the new pandemic thriller Songbird does it for us.

The film, starring KJ Apa and Sofia Carson, dropped its first trailer Thursday, which shows the world in its fourth year of quarantine after COVID-19 mutates into an even more deadly strain, COVID-23.

Apa plays Nico, a delivery man with a rare immunity to the virus who’s able to continue his job as an essential worker. He falls in love with Sara, played by Carson, even though the two have never met in person due to the strict lockdown. When he finds out Sara might be infected, he goes on a mission to save her.

The film went into production in July, becoming the first movie to shoot in Los Angeles following the COVID-19 shutdown.

Songbird, produced by Michael Bay, also stars Demi Moore, Bradley Whitford, Paul Walter Hauser, Craig Robinson, Peter Stormare and Alexandra Daddario.

A release date has yet to be announced.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost have tied the knot

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost are officially married!

The actress, 35, and Saturday Night Live cast member, 38, announced the news of their nuptials in a post on the Meals on Wheels America Instagram account on Thursday.

“We’re thrilled to break the news that Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost were married over the weekend in an intimate ceremony with their immediate family and loved ones, following COVID-19 safety precautions as directed by the CDC,” a statement on the account read.

The statement added that the couple’s wedding wish “is to help make a difference for vulnerable older adults during this difficult time by supporting @mealsonwheelsamerica" and asked for donations to the nonprofit.

Johansson and Jost confirmed their engagement in May 2019.

This is Jost’s first marriage and Johansson’s third. She was married to actor Ryan Reynolds from 2008-2011, then to French journalist Romain Dauriac from 2014-2017.

The actress shares a six-year-old daughter, Rose, with Dauriac.

By Hayley FitzPatrick
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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