Dick Van Patten: America’s Favorite Dad in ‘Eight Is Enough’

Actor Dick Van Patten might have been America’s favorite fictional dad in the late 1970s/early 1980s for his role on the TV sitcom Eight Is Enough: Tom Bradford, a widower who married his son’s tutor (Betty Buckley) and formed a chaotic but loving new family unit with her. >> Famous People We’ve Lost in 2015 But in a career that spanned seven decades, Van Patten, who died June 22 at age 86 in Santa Monica, Calif., played a wealth of …

Piratas aburridos, los horrores de la guerra y la importancia de llamarse Cantinflas

El Extra (Columbia/Sony) Desde la primera escena, cuando el personaje de Cantinflas arruina la filmación de una secuencia épica que supuestamente transcurre durante la revolución francesa (“¿que no es la toma de Zacatecas?”), El extra es un vehículo perfecto para el legendario cómico mexicano. Filmada en colores brillosos y dirigida en 1962 por su frecuente colaborador Miguel Delgado, la película ubica a Cantinflas como un extra calamitoso en filmaciones de westerns y dramas históricos. La variedad de escenarios y situaciones …

Famosos artistas que se iniciaron en comerciales de TV

Antes de comenzar sus carreras artísticas, o para reforzarlas, muchos famosos participaron como modelos en comerciales de televisión. Anunciaban desde refrescos y papas fritas, hasta detergentes para trastes y antiácidos. Cantantes y actores como Shakira, Gloria Estefan, María Félix, Ricardo Arjona y Verónica Castro lo hicieron, sin saber la fama que alcanzarían. Por ejemplo, Lucía Méndez anunciaba una marca de camisas para caballero, Christian Bach modelaba pantimedias, Ernesto Laguardia se bañaba con un champú anticaspa y Chayanne recomendaba comprar una modernísima cámara fotográfica que era …

NBC Hopes for Big Ratings With Thursday’s ‘Peter Pan’

Thursday’s Peter Pan Live!, at 8 p.m. ET, would be must-see TV if for no other reason than 71-year-old Christopher Walken dancing as the villainous Captain Hook. The singular star of Deer Hunter, Hairspray and many a Saturday Night Live sketch has fond memories of tap lessons as a kid. He asked the show’s producers to go heavy on the terpsichorean turns in this version of the beloved musical. His will be the dancingest Hook ever, they promised on last week’s …

Don Pardo: The Man with the Big Voice

As a staff announcer at NBC for 60 years, Don Pardo was a robust, velvety virtuoso of enunciation, whose baritone resonated like the aftertaste of a full-bodied fine wine. His trademark gig was performing the introductions at the beginning of each episode of Saturday Night Live, which he did for all but one season between the show’s debut in October 1975 and its most recent season finale in May.   Pardo, who died on Aug. 18 at age 96 in …

Eli Wallach: The Good, the Bad and the Brilliant

Eli Wallach is burned into our memories as the “Ugly” in Sergio Leone’s 1966 spaghetti western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. As Tuco Ramí­rez, the malevolent but clownish bandit who tangles with a bounty hunter (Clint Eastwood) and a cold-blooded killer (Lee Van Cleef) over a cache of Confederate gold, Wallach gave a performance that was lauded as “inspired” by critic Roger Ebert, who wrote that “Wallach took this low-rent role seriously and made something evocative out of it.” …