RIP Alan Arkin

Alan Arkin, the longtime screen and stage actor who won an Academy Award for his role in the 2006 film “Little Miss Sunshine,” has died on June 29th at the age of 89. He started his career in comedy and theatre before establishing himself as a¬†character actor¬†in film and television in a career spanning over six decades. He received¬†numerous accolades, including an¬†Academy Award, a¬†BAFTA Award, a¬†Golden Globe Award, and a¬†Tony Award¬†as well as nominations for six¬†Emmy Awards. Arkin began his career with the¬†sketch comedy¬†group¬†The Second City¬†before acting on the¬†Broadway¬†stage, starring as David Kolowitz in the¬†Joseph Stein¬†play¬†Enter Laughing¬†in 1963, for which he won the¬†Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

He returned to Broadway acting in the comedic play Luv (1964), and directed Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys (1971), for which he received a Tony Award nomination. Arkin gained stardom with his roles in the films¬†The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming¬†(1966),¬†Wait Until Dark¬†(1967),¬†The Heart is a Lonely Hunter¬†(1968),¬†Popi¬†(1969),¬†Catch-22¬†(1970), and¬†The In-Laws¬†(1979). He later took on supporting roles in¬†Edward Scissorhands¬†(1990),¬†Glengarry Glen Ross¬†(1992),¬†Grosse Pointe Blank¬†(1997),¬†Thirteen Conversations About One Thing¬†(2001),¬†Sunshine Cleaning¬†(2007),¬†Get Smart¬†(2008), and¬†Argo¬†(2012). For his performance as a foul-mouthed grandfather in¬†Little Miss Sunshine¬†(2006), he won the¬†Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Arkin also directed three films including the¬†black comedy¬†Little Murders¬†(1973).

His television roles included Leon Felhendler in Escape from Sobibor (1987), and as Harry Rowen in The Pentagon Papers (2003) for which he earned Emmy nominations respectively for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. From 2015 to 2016, he voiced J.D. Salinger in the Netflix animated series BoJack Horseman. Arkin was married three times and has three children. He and his first wife, Jeremy Yaffe, were wed for six years and had two sons, Adam and Matthew. The pair divorced in 1961. From 1964 to 1994, Arkin was wed to screenwriter and actress Barbara Dana, with whom he had son Anthony Dana Arkin. After their divorce, Arkin married Suzanne Newlander.

During his acting career, Arkin worked with all three of his sons, including playing Adam Arkin’s character’s father on the series “Chicago Hope.”

RIP Julian Sands : Remains Found 6 Months Later

I missed this news from 2 days ago. Human remains found in mountains in California have been confirmed to be those of British actor Julian Sands, who went missing on a hike in January. Sands went missing while hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles in January 2023. Walkers found the remains on Saturday, police said, and they have now been formally identified. Sands, 65, was best known for his roles in the Oscar-winning film A Room With A View and TV dramas 24 and Smallville. Other notable films he appeared in include The Killing Fields (1984),  Warlock (1989),  Arachnophobia (1990),  Naked Lunch (1991), Boxing Helena (1993), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), The Medallion (2003),  Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

On television, he portrayed Vladimir Bierko in 24 (2006) and Jor-El in Smallville (2009‚Äď2010), and voiced Valmont in Jackie Chan Adventures (2000‚Äď2002). Born in Otley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England on 4 January 1958. Sands began his film career appearing in supporting roles in films, including Oxford Blues (1984) and The Killing Fields (1984). He also had a cameo as a Greek soldier in the BBC adaptation of The Box of Delights in 1984. He played Erik, aka the Phantom in the 1998 horror-film version of The Phantom of the Opera.  He played the Doci of the Ori in two episodes of Stargate SG-1‚ÄĒin its ninth and tenth seasons (a role he reprised in the film, Stargate: the Ark of Truth). He played a college professor in a Season One episode of The L Word. In 2002, he starred in Stephen King’s Rose Red.

Sands was married to Sarah Harvey, a British journalist and author, from 1984 until 1987. The couple had one son. On 22 September 1990, Sands married Evgenia Citkowitz ‚Äď an American playwright, author, and journalist who is the daughter of Israel Citkowitz and Lady Caroline Blackwood ‚Äď after being introduced by John Malkovich, a friend of Sands.  The couple had two daughters.[29] Sands was fiercely protective of his family and rarely spoke about his wife or children in interviews. Sands and his family lived in Los Angeles, California from 2020 until his death.

Sands disappeared on 13 January during bad weather in the Baldy Bowl area of the San Gabriel Mountains. Air and ground searches were hampered as California was battered by deadly storms, as well as icy conditions and a threat of avalanches.The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said the remains found in the Mount Baldy area at the weekend had been positively identified as the missing actor.

RIP Nicolas Coster

Nicolas Coster, an English‚Äďborn American actor, has passed away at the age of 89. Coster was most known for his work in¬†daytime drama¬†and as a¬†character actor¬†on nighttime television series, such as¬†Wonder Woman,¬†Buck Rogers in the 25th Century,¬†T. J. Hooker, and¬†Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Coster was born in London to an American mother and a New Zealand father who was a London theatre critic and marine commander, Coster was raised mostly in California. Coster returned to England to study acting at the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Art. He also studied acting with Lee Strasberg in New York City. After his stint on Broadway and the Victoria Theatre in England, Coster appeared in the NBC soap opera Young Doctor Malone. He created the role of Professor Paul Britton on The Secret Storm, a role he played in 1964 and from 1967 to 1968. He played John Eldridge in the primetime serialized drama Our Private World and on As the World Turns.

Coster created the role of Robert Delaney on¬†Somerset¬†in March 1970 and later moved to¬†Another World¬†playing the same character. He played gangster-turned-informant Anthony Makana on¬†One Life to Live,¬†but left that series to create the role of¬†Lionel Lockridge¬†on¬†Santa Barbara. He played kidnapper Steve Andrews on the ABC soap opera¬†All My Children¬†and returned to¬†Another World¬†for its 25th anniversary in 1989. He returned to his role on¬†Santa Barbara¬†in 1990 until the show was canceled in January 1993. He appeared on¬†As the World Turns¬†from 1993‚Äď1995.

I first watched him on Santa Barbara back in the early 90s when the show was being telecast on cable tv in India. Back then we had one channel with American and some British shows and my sister and I watched a bunch of the soaps as well. After that I saw him in an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation in which he plays Admiral Haftel and more recently in The Concorde … Airport ’79.

RIP Treat Williams

Treat Williams, the star of¬†Everwood¬†and¬†Hair, has died after being involved in a motorcycle accident. He was 71. The actor’s death was confirmed to PEOPLE on Monday evening by his agent of 15 years, Barry McPherson. He first came to prominence with his appearances in two 1979 films: the musical¬† Hair¬†and¬†Steven Spielberg’s¬†1941. His subsequent credits included a mixture of starring and supporting roles in films such as¬†Prince of the City¬†(1981),¬†Flashpoint¬†(1984),¬†Smooth Talk¬†(1985),¬†Dead Heat¬† (1988),¬† The Phantom¬†(1996),¬†The Devil’s Own¬†(1997),¬†Deep Rising¬†(1998),¬†The Deep End of the Ocean¬†(1999),¬†Miss Congeniality 2¬†(2005), and¬†Second Act¬†(2018). Williams’ accolades include nominations for two¬†Screen Actors Guild Awards, three¬†Golden Globes, a¬†Primetime Emmy, two¬†Satellite Awards, and an¬†Independent Spirit Award.

Outside of film, Williams starred as Dr. Andy Brown on¬†The WB’s¬†Everwood¬†(2002‚Äď2006)‚ÄĒfor which he was twice nominated for the¬†Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance in a Drama Series‚ÄĒand as Mick O’Brien on¬†Hallmark’s¬†Chesapeake Shores¬†(2016‚Äď2022). He received¬†Golden Globe¬† and Emmy¬†nominations for his work in the television films¬†A Streetcar Named Desire¬†(1984) and¬†The Late Shift¬†(1996), respectively, and had recurring roles on¬†White Collar¬†(2012‚Äď2013) and¬†Chicago Fire¬† (2013‚Äď2018). On stage, Williams appeared in the lead role of Danny Zuko in the original Broadway¬†run of¬†Grease¬†in 1972. His other theatre credits include¬†Once in a Lifetime¬†(Broadway, 1978),¬†The Pirates of Penzance¬†(Broadway, 1981),¬†Love Letters¬†(off-Broadway, 1989), and the 2001 Broadway revival of¬†Follies. In 2010, Williams authored the children’s book¬†Air Show!

He died in the incident involved a single car and Williams’ motorcycle. Investigators believe the driver of the car was turning and didn‚Äôt see the motorcycle. The Manchester Fire Department responded and set up the landing zone for the helicopter. Williams lived in¬†Park City, Utah¬†and¬†Manchester Center, Vermont, with his wife, Pam Van Sant, and their two children, Gille and Ellie.

RIP Gitanjali Aiyer

Veteran Doordarshan news presenter Gitanjali Aiyer passed away in New Delhi on Wednesday, June 8th. She was 71. Geetanjali Aiyer was a DD news anchor for over 30 years. The news of her demise was tweeted by acting Congress Mahila President Netta D’souza. Despite the many, many news channels that have sprouted on cable tv since the boom of cable, with much more of a budget that Doordarshan could ever muster, We fondly remember the days when Gitanjali Aiyar graced our TV screens, leaving an indelible mark on our news-watching experiences.

Aiyar, began her career in the TV news industry, when she joined Doordarshan in 1976 after completing her graduation from Kolkata’s Loreto College in ’71.¬† 2. Besides news, Aiyar was also involved in theatre and also obtained a diploma from the National School of Drama. Aiyer joined Doordarshan in 1971 and dedicated 31 years of her life to presenting news programs. She chose to stay with Doordarshan when All India Radio separated from it in 1978. Apart from presenting news programmes, Aiyer was also a part of the 1985 TV serial on Doordarshan called ‘Khandaan’.

Aiyer has worked with major brands like The Oberoi Group, Yash Birla Group, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). She was deputy head of the Press and Public Affairs wing of the British High Commission in Delhi and her last job was Major Donors department at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Gitanjali Aiyer won the Best Anchor award on four occasions. She was also the recipient of the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Outstanding Women in 1989. Her death was mourned by prominent senior journalists, politicians and many media personnel on social media.

Who Did The Best Portrayal as Clark Kent/Superman?

Superman is one of the handful of DC characters who have been reimagined time and time again for live-action. Whether it is on the big screen or in the world of television, there have been multiple powerful portrayals of the last son of Krypton for decades. But who is the best? Who is my favourite? This is an easy one to pick – Christopher Reeves for me was and will always be Superman. I’m gonna say this – I have never seen the late George Reeves or a single episode of the 1950s series The Adventures of Superman or the movie. I have not watched a single episode of television series¬†Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman starring Dean Cain as Supe.

I have watched seasons 1 & 2 of Smallville before losing interest and I don’t think I can ever get myself excited to watch all 10 seasons of that show.¬† But I have watched all four of Christopher Reeve’s movies as the caped hero and yes I have watched Brandon Routh in Superman Returns, as well as Man Of Steel, Batman vs Superman & Justice League with Henry Cavill as the Krytonian. And the latest is Tyler Hoechlin who is currently on as Clark Kent/Superman in Superman & Louis. Oh and Routh also portrayed a different Earth version of Superman in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” on a couple of episodes of the Arrowverse.

Now from all of these I do like Cavill’s portrayal of Superman, though it took me a while to get to like him as he looks a bit too muscular. Hoechlin is a good shoutout for his role as Superman/Clark as a father to twin boys in their teens and a husband to Lois. He does amazing work. I didn’t like the movie Superman Returns much and hence Routh’s role is easy for me to dismiss – however, he was much better in Crisis and I think he gives off the best look that seems suited for the role of an older Superman. I am not a fan of Tom Welling’s portray of Clark that much either. So I guess after Reeve, I think I like Cavill, Hoechlin, Routh & Welling in that order and since I can’t add Cain or Reeves in the mix. But shout out to Routh’s later portrayal as well.

Do Your Television Viewing Habits Include ‚ÄėBinge-Watching‚Äô?

At times. Usually it is a kind of show that is either very new or one that I haven’t watched yet, even though it’s been a few years since they last aired/were released. I kinda like a bit of variety in my tv watching and hence I like watching episodes of 2 to 4 shows every week. But sometimes I really get into a show, even if I have watched it before, and stick to that one show for several days. Like Stargate Atlantis or Star Trek Enterprise – these are two shows that I enjoy binge watching several episodes at a time but I have already watched it a few times before.

Some shows like CSI or CSI Miami I have binged several episodes days on end. And I think during the times that I have watched them, I wasn’t really watching any other shows. Supernatural is another one as was Flashpoint. When I was laid up due to illness I did binge sitcoms like either Friends or Corner Gas and I remember back in 2019 when I tore my ankle muscles on one foot as well as fractured the big toe on another, I binged Full House as it was a show that I hadn’t watched since it’s first airing on cable tv many, many years ago.

But other than those, I would only binge shorted season series like on Disney Plus, Amazon Prime that is all the rage these days because it’s more serialized rather than episodic. It makes it easier to binge watch as you need to get to the end to feel like you have watched something.

Prompt from Over 1,000 Writing Prompts for Students at The New York Times Learning Network

RIP Jerry Springer

Gerald Norman Springer, known more popularly as American broadcaster, journalist, actor, producer, former lawyer, and politician Jerry Springer has died. He was 79 years old. A family spokesperson says Jerry was battling a “brief illness.” Our sources tell us it was pancreatic cancer that was diagnosed a few months ago, and this week he took a turn for the worse. The spokesperson says he died Thursday morning, peacefully at his home in the Chicago area. Springer served as the 56th¬†Mayor of Cincinnati¬†from 1977 to 1978. He was best known for hosting the¬†tabloid¬†talk show¬†Jerry Springer¬†between September 30, 1991, and July 26, 2018, and debuting the¬†Jerry Springer Podcast¬†in 2015. From 2007 to 2008, Springer hosted¬†America’s Got Talent, and from September 2019 until 2022, Springer hosted the courtroom show¬†Judge Jerry.

He was born in London during World War 2, to ere German-Jewish refugee Parents who escaped from Landsberg an der Warthe, Prussia (present day Poland). His family were in concentration camps and both his maternal and paternal died while still in camps. His parents migrated to the US with 4 year old Jerry, settling in Queens. Jerry earned a B.A. degree from Tulane University in 1965, majoring in political science. He earned a J.D. degree from Northwestern University in 1968. Springer became a¬†political campaign¬†adviser to¬†Democrat¬†Robert F. Kennedy.Following Kennedy’s assassination, he began practicing law at the¬†Cincinnati¬†law firm of Frost & Jacobs, now¬†Frost Brown Todd. He was also in the Army Reserves.

Before TV, he was a politician who ran a failed campaign for U.S. Congress in 1970, got elected to Cincinnati’s City Council in 1971 … and became the city’s mayor in 1977. He served one term. But, Springer became a worldwide sensation with his tv show¬† which debuted in 1991. Most people won’t remember this, but when he started Jerry’s show focused on political issues. Of course, it eventually became the exact opposite and a ratings smash. he show became more successful as it became targeted toward tabloidish sensationalism. Guests were everyday people confronted on a television stage by a spouse or family member’s¬†adultery, homosexuality, prostitution,¬†transvestism,¬†hate group¬†membership, or other controversial situations.

Springer hosted¬†America’s Got Talent¬†on NBC for its second and third seasons, replacing¬†Regis PhilbinHe’s survived by his daughter¬†Katie Springer¬†and his older sister¬†Evelyn.

Love Entertainment? Here’s How To Stream From Anywhere

With the right setup and services, you can stream from anywhere. This is essential when you are on a business trip, away on vacation, or need to find something to entertain the children.

Use Reliable Streaming Services

First, you should know that not every streaming service is the same. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, and many others are available. Sign up for a subscription to the one that best fits your needs. Be aware, though, that some regions have restrictions on what you can contain. This is something Netflix and Amazon are known for. To get the most out of your subscription, read this article on how to change region in Amazon Prime Video.

Make Sure You Upgrade to Compatible Devices

Technology changes quickly. Apps also need better hardware as they get more complicated. This includes your phone, your PC, and your laptop. If you have had any of these for a long time, the performance may start to get worse. Or do anything at all. You can stream movies that are no more than three years old on a laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or phone. This will help you use an app to its fullest. Some plans let you upgrade your device every now and then.

Stream from Anywhere with Mobile Data

Public Wi-Fi can be very dangerous, so you shouldn’t use it if you can avoid it. In some cases, you might not even be able to get on the internet. But you can stream your favorite shows and movies using your mobile data. You can, of course, do this right from your phone if you turn on mobile data. But you can also connect your phone to a PC or other device via USB or Bluetooth to get mobile data on that device. Just keep an eye on your costs and how much data you use.

Find a Good Internet Connection

If you want to stream any kind of video, you need a good enough internet connection. If you don’t have good internet, your playback will be bad, with buffering, stream loss, and low-resolution video. For a smooth and uninterrupted streaming experience, you should have an internet connection with a stable speed of at least 5 Mbps for standard definition (SD) content and 25 Mbps or higher for high definition (HD) or ultra-high definition (UHD) content. 

Use a VPN if Necessary

Remember that you may need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) if the streaming service is not available in your area. With a VPN, you can get around restrictions based on where you are and access content from anywhere in the world. Also, if you have to use a public connection, it will give you a little more security. But you should also know that some service providers might penalize you if you use a VPN, or the quality of the video might be lower than usual.

Summary

You might be pleased to know that you can stream from anywhere these days. However, the service depends on the app. You can use mobile data for access and a VPN for region control.

Brendan Fraser Wins The Oscar For Best Actor 2023

It finally happened for him and we are all so happy. Comeback king Brendan Fraser has won the best actor Oscar for¬†The Whale at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Fraser stars as a morbidly obese teacher in the film, which was directed by¬†Darren Aronofsky¬†and adapted by Samuel D Hunter from his own play. Fraser defeated a field of contenders including Elvis‚Äôs Austin Butler and The Banshees of Inisherin‚Äôs Colin Farrell. The role has already won Fraser best actor at the Screen Actors Guild and Critics‚Äô Choice awards, and best actor nominations for the Baftas and Golden Globes (for film drama). Fraser chose not to attend the latter, after alleging in 2018 that the Golden Globes former president Philip Berk sexually assaulted him in 2003. Berk called the allegation ‚Äúa total fabrication‚ÄĚ. An internal investigation concluded that Berk had ‚Äúinappropriately touched‚ÄĚ Fraser, but said Berk‚Äôs action ‚Äúwas intended to be taken as a joke and not as a sexual advance‚ÄĚ.

The 54-year-old American born Canadian actor broke out in the early 1990s with the comedy ‚ÄúEncino Man‚ÄĚ and the drama ‚ÄúSchool Ties.‚ÄĚ He was the face on movie posters for ‚ÄúGeorge of the Jungle‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Mummy‚ÄĚ trilogy, where he worked with fellow Oscar nominee Michelle Yeoh. He did dramatic turns in ‚ÄúGods and Monsters,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúThe Quiet American, With Honors and 2006 best-picture winner ‚ÄúCrash.‚ÄĚ His starring roles in Journey To The Center Of The Earth, Bedazzled & Blast From The Past Also did well. He had his share of projects that bombed, too.

Then Fraser all but disappeared. He battled depression due to the incident and was off the big screen for several years dealing with a series of personal issues involving divorce, his mother’s death, health problems and an alleged assault by the then-president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. He boycotted this year’s Golden Globes as a result. He painstakingly took on a bunch of supporting and small roles and clawed his way back up.

From 1992 when I watched him for the first time in Encino Man, I have been a fan and supporter. Throughout the years he had some really good movies that have resonated with me like With Honours,  Airheads, George Of The Jungle, Blast From The Past, Bedazzled, Journey To The Center Of The Earth & the Mummy Trilogy. Since 2010 he has struggled for major roles and with the issues of his health & depression the man took his time away from the spotlight to recover and spent 7 year in and out of hospital. Roles in tv series like Condor, Trust & as a main cast member of Doom Patrol has brought him back into the limelight and finally with The Whale, he is back where he belongs.

Congratulations Brendan!

RIP Gordon Pinsent

Canadian acting icon, writer, director, and singer Gordon Pinsent has died, his family said in a statement. He was 92. The Grand Falls, N.L., native had a storied acting career spanning dozens of films and TV projects over six decades, including Due South, The Red Green Show, Babar and the Adventures of Badou, and The Grand Seduction. Focusing on CBC programs alone, one could add The Forest Rangers, Quentin Durgens, M.P.; the original Street Legal and Republic of Doyle, among others. He was the voice of Babar the Elephant in television and film from 1989 to 2015.

Pinsent, the youngest of six children, was born in¬†Grand Falls,¬†Newfoundland¬†(present-day¬†Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada). Pinsent began acting on stage in the 1940s at the age of 17. He soon took on roles in radio drama on the¬†CBC, and later moved into television and film as well. In the early 1950s, he took a break from acting and joined the¬†Canadian Army, serving for approximately four years as a private in¬†The Royal Canadian Regiment. He joined the Stratford Festival¬†in 1962 with roles in¬†Macbeth,¬†The Taming of the Shrew,¬†The Tempest¬†and¬†Cyrano de Bergerac, and returned to Stratford in the mid-’70s as a leading player.

In the early 1960s he appeared in Scarlett Hill and The Forest Rangers. He has since become a staple of Canadian television with roles including the series Quentin Durgens, M.P., A Gift to Last (which he created), The Red Green Show, Due South, Wind at My Back and Power Play. The pilot episode of A Gift to Last was adapted for the stage by Walter Learning and Alden Nowlan and has become a perennial Canadian Christmas favourite in regional theatres across the country.

Pinsent’s movie roles include¬†The Rowdyman,¬†Who Has Seen the Wind,¬†John and the Missus,¬†The Shipping News¬†and¬†Away from Her. He wrote the screenplays for¬†The Rowdyman¬†and¬†John and the Missus. Perhaps his best known early film role was that of the President of the United States in the 1970 science fiction cult classic¬†Colossus: The Forbin Project. He starred in a role called¬†Horse Latitudes¬†based upon¬†Donald Crowhurst, now featured in¬†Deep Water. Pinsent had more than 150 TV and movie acting credits to his name, with his Internet Movie Database resum√© spanning from a 1957 TV movie to a cartoon voice in 2021.

In 1979 he was made an officer of the¬†Order of Canada¬†and was promoted to Companion in 1998. In 2006, he was made a Fellow of the¬†Royal Society of Canada. On March 6, 2007, it was announced that Pinsent would receive a star on¬†Canada’s Walk of Fame. He won the best actor Genie and ACTRA awards in 2006 for his work in Sarah Polley’s¬†Away From Her¬†and the Genie for best actor in¬†The Shipping News, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Annie Proulx. He also had a single guest appearance as Corky Dillems in the comedy series Corner Gas. Most recently he had a guest starring role as Maurice Becker on the February 3, 2010 episode of Canadian television series¬†Republic of Doyle and in an episode of Private Eyes.

Pinsent married actress¬†Charmion King¬†in 1962. They remained together until her death in 2007. Their daughter,¬†Leah Pinsent, is also an actress. Pinsent also has two children from a previous marriage. Pinsent is a Companion of The Order of Canada and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada. Pinsent received a¬†Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 2004, Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts. Pinsent received the¬†Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal¬†in 2012.

RIP Richard Belzer

American actor & comedian Richard Belzer, who began as an edgy stand-up performer before finding further fame as the cynical but stalwart detective John Munch on Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, has died. He was 78 and died early Sunday at his home in Bozouls in southwest France. He made his first appearance in 1993 as Munch on the first episode of Homicide and his last in 2016 on Law & Order: SVU. In between those two NBC dramas, Belzer played the detective on eight other series, and his hold on the character lasted for 23 years.

Belzer was born in Connecticut to a Jewish family and describes his mother as “physically abusive” and tried to make her laugh so she wouldn’t beat him or his brother. After graduating from¬†Fairfield Warde High School, Belzer worked as a reporter for the¬†Bridgeport Post. He began his career as a stand-up comic at Pips,¬†The Improv, and¬†Catch a Rising Star. Belzer was the audience warm-up comedian for¬†Saturday Night Live¬†and made three guest appearances on the show between 1975 and 1980. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Belzer became an occasional film actor and had small roles in several prominent films as well as in a few music videos.

In addition to his film career, Belzer was a featured player on the¬†National Lampoon Radio Hour. He also had a recurring role on the 1990s series¬†The Flash, played Inspector Henderson on¬†Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman¬†and did cameos in music videos for Pat Benatar and Mike + the Mechanics.He followed that with starring roles on the¬†Baltimore-based¬†Homicide: Life on the Street¬†(1993‚Äď1999) and the New York City-based¬†Law & Order: Special Victims Unit¬†(1999‚Äď2013), portraying police detective¬†John Munch in both series. He retired in 2014 but came back for an episode in 2016. Belzer’s older brother, Leonard Belzer, died by suicide at age 73 on July 30, 2014, by jumping from the roof of the New York City luxury apartment building in which he had resided. Belzer’s father had also died by suicide, in 1968.

RIP Raquel Welch

US actress Raquel Welch, often credited with paving the way for modern day action heroines in Hollywood films, has died at the age of 82. The star passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning after a brief illness, her manager said. Welch became an international sex symbol in the 1960s, widely remembered for playing a bikini-clad cavewoman in the 1966 film One Million Years B.C.  In a career spanning over five decades, Welch appeared in more than 30 movies and 50 television shows. She first won attention for her role in Fantastic Voyage (1966), after which she won a contract with 20th Century Fox. They lent her contract to the British studio Hammer Film Productions, for whom she made One Million Years B.C. (1966). Although Welch had only three lines of dialogue in the film, images of her in the doe-skin bikini became bestselling posters that turned her into an international sex symbol. She later starred in Bedazzled (1967), Bandolero! (1968), 100 Rifles (1969), Myra Breckinridge (1970), and Hannie Caulder (1971). She made several television variety specials.

Raquel was born in Chicago to Armando Tejada, who was an aeronautical engineer¬†from¬†La Paz,¬†Bolivia, ¬†and Josephine Sarah Hall. The family moved from Illinois to¬†San Diego, California, when Welch was two years old.¬† Welch married her high school sweetheart, James Welch, on May 8, 1959, with whom she had two children, Damon Welch and actress Latanne “Tahnee” Welch¬†(born December 26, 1961). In 1960, Welch got a job as a¬†weather presenter¬†at¬†KFMB, a local¬†San Diego¬†television station. Because her family life and television duties were so demanding she decided to give up her drama classes. After her separation from James Welch, she moved with her two children to¬†Dallas, where she made a “precarious living” as a model for¬†Neiman Marcus¬†and as a¬†cocktail waitress.

Through her portrayal of¬†strong female characters, which helped in her breaking the mold of the traditional sex symbol, Welch developed a unique film persona that made her an icon of the 1960s and 1970s. Her rise to stardom in the mid-1960s was partly credited with ending Hollywood’s vigorous promotion of the¬†blonde bombshell. She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy¬†in 1974 for her performance in¬†The Three Musketeers. She was also nominated for a¬†Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Television Film¬†for her performance in the film¬†Right to Die¬†(1987). In 1995, Welch was chosen by¬†Empire¬†magazine as one of the “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History”.¬†Playboy¬†ranked Welch No.¬†3 on their “100 Sexiest Stars of the Twentieth Century” list.

Welch’s most controversial role came in¬†Myra Breckinridge¬†(1970). She took the role as the film’s¬†transsexual heroine in an attempt to be taken seriously as an actress. Her looks and fame led¬†Playboy¬†to dub her the “Most Desired Woman” of the 1970s. Welch presented at the¬†Academy Award ceremony several times during the 1970s due to her popularity. She also acted in Kansas City Bomber, The Last of Sheila¬†and¬†The Three Musketeers and the sequel The Four Musketeers, Wild Party, Animal and the comedy Mother, Jugs & Speed in the 70s. In the 80s she acted on Broadway and also was in several tv films while also flirting with a singing career. In 2001, she had supporting roles in the comedy films¬†Legally Blonde¬†opposite¬†Reese Witherspoon¬†and¬†Tortilla Soup. In 2002, she starred in the¬†PBS¬†series¬†American Family, a story about a Mexican American family in¬†East Los Angeles.

Most recently Welch appeared in a sitcom titled Date My Dad (2017) where she reunited with Robert Wagner on screen, four decades after starring together in The Biggest Bundle of Them All. She married producer Patrick Curtis in 1967 and divorced him in 1972. In 1980, she married producer André Weinfeld, divorcing him in 1990. Welch wed Richard Palmer, owner of Mulberry Street Pizzeria, in 1999 but then separated from him in 2003 and later divorced. Welch said she would not remarry.