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, …

8 Boomer Superstar Hopefuls Are Ready to Compete

Eight potential Boomer Superstars are headed to AARP’s “Ideas@50” event in San Diego next week in hope of winning $5,000 and an audition with music label 19 Recordings in the Boomer Superstar competition Sept. 5. Coming from five states, eight cities and a variety of musical backgrounds, the contestants – all over 50 – were among hundreds who submitted music videos to AARP’s Boomer Superstar contest, powered by American Idol Live! In fact, American Idol judge Randy Jackson will emcee …

Hollywood Legend Lauren Bacall Dies at 89

Her résumé read “actress,” but Lauren Bacall was first and foremost a Hollywood movie star. Arriving in L.A. with her mother in 1942 and before speaking a line on film, the young New York model perfected the smoky, sexy voice that would become her trademark. On her own, Bacall, who died Aug. 12, figured out how to plant her chin against her long neck, look upward into the camera with those heavy-lidded eyes, and give what became known simply as “The Look.” …

Jerry Vale: A Voice Like Velvet

Even in his heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, Jerry Vale was never hip or trendy. Instead of jazz or rock, he stuck to ballads and love songs – the sort that would prompt a guy’s date to rest her head against his shoulder, whether they were out for a drive in the Rambler or having a slow dance in one of the smoky nightclubs where Vale got his start. But it worked, because Vale, who died on May 18 …

Opera’s Jessye Norman Finds Her Voice in ‘Stand Up Straight and Sing!’

Jessye Norman’s once-in-a-century voice has carried her from 1960s segregated Augusta, Ga., to the opera houses and recital halls of Europe, Asia and America. Norman tells her extraordinary story in a just-published memoir, Stand Up Straight and Sing! Despite racism, Norman describes a happy childhood. She grew up in Augusta surrounded by a large, loving family and a warm community of neighbors and teachers. At the center stood their church. Her parents and older siblings were active in the civil rights …