Alan Rickman: An Accomplished Villain

British actor Alan Rickman’s dozens of roles ranged from the husband who strayed and quickly regretted it in Love, Actually (2003) to a terrorist leader in action thriller Die Hard (1988). But Rickman, who died Jan. 14 at age 69, probably resonated most with millions of Harry Potter fans as Severus Snape, the icy, humorless potion-mixing magic instructor in the hit movie franchise. Famous People We Lost in 2015 » No matter what his role, Rickman seemed to excel, in part, …

The Creator’s Calling

Two weeks ago, the publishing world was rocked by the news that The Cuckoo’s Calling – supposedly a debut mystery novel written by one “Robert Galbraith” – was in fact the handiwork of Harry Potter’s creator, J. K. Rowling. Why did Rowling choose to wrap herself in the invisibility cloak of a nom de plume? She may have been eager to avoid the unreasonably high expectations (and concomitantly dismal notices) that overshadowed last year’s The Casual Vacancy, her first stand-alone …

Richard Griffiths: 5 Priceless Scenes with the ‘Harry Potter’ Actor

When the word “Falstaffian” is used to describe an actor, it’s usually intended as a euphemistic reference to his girth. But in Richard Griffiths’ case, he really captured the dissolute, larger-than-life outrageousness of Shakespeare’s signature rotund rascal in myriad stage and screen roles. The British character actor, who died on March 28 at age 65  in Coventry, England, after complications from heart surgery, actually did play Falstaff in Henry IV, Part I and Part II, for the Royal Shakespeare Company. …

The Takeaway: Weekend Edition

Casey Anthony confession video? Beware: If you come across a link promising a video of Casey Anthony confessing to killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, you should pass. It’s a fake. Or more specifically, it’s a scam. The link, showing up all over Facebook, reads: “BREAKING NEWS – Leaked video of CASEY ANTHONY confessing to lawyers. Click To See – She can’t be re-tried, double jeopardy[sic]…OJ all over again!”