Time of Death: Life-Affirming TV

Dying is a subject most people would rather not talk about, let alone base an entire television show on. But on Time of Death, Showtime’s poignant, oddly beautiful docu-series that premieres tonight at 10, there’s no escape from watching life’s final act. The show follows real people who are terminally ill - medical treatment may keep them alive for a while, but there is no hope for recovery. All the main subjects of this show will die: It’s the rare TV …

Ed Lauter: He Played the Characters You Loved to Loathe

Unless you’re the rare moviegoer or TV viewer who watches all the end credits, the name Ed Lauter probably won’t ring a bell. But you’d surely  recognize his balding pate, angular nose and jutting, dimpled chin, and his narrow, perpetually squinting eyes. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter In his four decades as an actor, Lauter, who died on Oct. 16 at age 74 in West Hollywood, Calif., appeared in more than 200 roles. They ranged from appearances in TV series …

Rita Moreno Adds Life Achievement To Award List

As movie awards season draws a little closer, it’s worth noting that the Screen Actors Guild will give its Life Achievement Award of 2014 to the inimitable Rita Moreno, who turns 82 in December. She’ll add the SAG statue to a shelf of many others, an Emmy, two Grammys, an Oscar and a Tony (she is one of only 11 artists in entertainment history to have won that grand slam), not to mention a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a …

Ricky Gervais’ ‘Derek’ Puts Laughs in a Nursing Home

The global success of The Office gave Ricky Gervais carte blanche to follow his creative whims. In the 12 years since then he has served as a scorched-earth host at the Golden Globes and produced a hilarious podcast series, The Ricky Gervais Show. His  TV programs Extras and Life’s Too Short (both aired stateside on HBO) have been classic Gervais: alternately funny and mean-spirited. His newest TV series, Derek, begins streaming its entire first season on Netflix on Thursday. Much about the show will be …

Brit Mystery ‘Broadchurch’ Pulls You In

The murder of a young boy throws a quaint British beach town into despair and turmoil in Broadchurch, a gripping new crime drama that begins an eight-episode run tonight at 10 on BBC America. A hit in the UK when it aired there last spring, Broadchurch is darker than some other Brit detective series that have made the leap across the Atlantic. We’re a ways from Inspectors Morse and Lewis, for certain. Broadchurch isn’t the only series on TV this …

Dennis Farina: He Didn’t Just Play a Detective on TV

Some actors are pretty good at playing hard-boiled, streetwise police detectives. Dennis Farina, who died on July 22 at age 69 in Scottsdale, Ariz., actually was a hard-boiled, streetwise police detective who also turned out to be a pretty good actor. The Chicago native, an 18-year veteran of his city’s police force who took up acting as a second career, was best known for his stint from 2004 to 2006 on the long-running NBC police procedural Law & Order. See also: TV …